THE word “print” can mean apples cut in half, painted, and pressed
Carving to create art By Jessica Novak
to paper making the image of a star. Or the raised type of an old
printing press, inked and set to paper. There’s the Cameron Art
Museum’s Tokaido Highway series of Japanese woodblock prints,
and the museum’s current exhibition of 140 prints from Louis de K.
There’s a common denominator. Making prints is complex, sometimes toxic or
dangerous, and the tools used and techniques employed are only limited by the
Wilmington printmaker Jeremy Millard created a 30-foot-long print from five
woodblocks using power tools and a 2-ton construction paving roller last year. The
content of this work is strong and flowing, showing scenes from a construction
site at the beach. It expresses feelings of man’s immense power mirrored in the
weathered timelessness of the sea. His images honor the strength and grace of the
workingman and call to mind images of Diego Rivera’s work in Rockefeller Center
and Detroit industry murals.
St. Christopher Protect Us, 12 x 9 inches water-based
block print ink on Japanese rice paper.
Millard is an artist, teacher, family man, and construction business owner who makes reduction relief prints from wood carvings in his
spare time, and biannually for Printfest. He teaches at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, surfs off the Carolina coast, and is
from a family that makes it a point to pass along art to each new generation.
“It’s a family affair,” he says. “We love doing work and art. Our kids do art; we try to pass it along.”
A reduction uses the same piece of wood (block) that is carved down or reduced a number of times. After each carving it is inked
and pressed to paper, adding detail with each step. The wood is used once, and the carving can’t be undone. When the art is made, the
number of prints is set.
“The benefit of doing a reduction is that the registration, meaning how everything lines up, is easier,” he says. “But if you only make four
of the first, you only make four of the whole thing. Because if you cut into it, it will never be the same. In a reduction, you destroy the block
An end isn’t necessarily a sad thing. Often you need to move forward to the next creative adventure. Artworks are like mini adventures
you can revisit any time, to capture a moment or to go down a path of experience. They may stimulate the heart, mind and imagination, or
simply be a connection with another person and provide company.
Millard’s work can be experienced in UNCW’s Cultural Arts building, in the side lobby by looking up to the mezzanine, and also in surf
shops on Wrightsville Beach. Millard will also exhibit with his wife, artist Casey Scharling, at Century 21’s downtown office and art gallery
for November’s Fourth Friday event.
WBM november 2019