News items › Crow's Shadow welcomes artist Susan Murrell

This week Crow’s Shadow welcomes visual artist Susan Murrell from La Grande, Oregon, to the studio. Murrell will be working alongside Master Printer Frank Janzen for two weeks, July 18-31, and is the first of three “Golden Spot” residency artists lined up for the summer.

Murrell has shown nationally in installation exhibits that combine painting and intricate sculptural work.

An article from the Oregonian described Murrell’s 2008 show “Insinctive Inquiry”:

The artist explores parallels between scientific exploration and creative expression, which she seems to consider twin disciplines for making sense of the natural world. Murrell’s art itself, though, feels mysterious and playful, not just in mixing biological and chemical references but also in the way in which they’re displayed.

Murrell recently responded to a few questions via e-mail.

Q. What are you most looking forward to about your residency and working in printmaking?

“The immersive studio experience of residencies always makes a huge impact on my work. Without the daily distractions and obligations of normal home life, I’ve been surprised not only at the quantity of work that I produce, but the intensity of the experience. With continuous days and nights of
thinking about and making work, my biggest challenges arise and most substantial leaps occur. The effects of a residency percolate in my studio for years!

“This last year I’ve made a shift in my painting. I’m working in two distinct ways, and have been enjoying the awkward tension created by these kind of billowing, spontaneous marks, and almost obtrusive, opaque shapes that have become a bit architectural. The process of mark making has
really been reciprocal to the content, and so I’m looking forward to Frank Janzen’s expertise to translate this way of working to a new media. I am hoping to keep the integrity of what I feel like I’ve tapped into, while, of course, knowing it will change and become something different

“Printmaking is truly a bottomless pit of possibility – in the best way! The emphasis of my undergraduate work was in printmaking and I have had my own, beautiful Takach etching press for many years. There always seems to be 10 ways to approach a problem, and each path will result in new
discovery. This will be my first significant foray into lithography. The collaborative environment of Crow’s Shadow offers that I will not be limited by my own knowledge of techniques. Access and exchange of ideas! The greatest gift!”

Q. Do you have any thoughts or ideas yet regarding what kind of work you might like to do?

“Beyond editioning 2D work, I’m hoping to experiment, as well. My installations have often contained multi-part, repetitive imagery. It seems a natural extension that I start to exploit the multiplicity of printmaking to re-imagine how it could serve my larger-scale installations.”

Find out more about Murrell and her work by visiting her website at

You can meet Murrell and check out some of her newest work during an evening reception, 5:30-7:30 on Thursday, July 26, at the Crow’s Shadow gallery. The artist will be giving a gallery presentation at about 6 p.m.

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