Berkeley Treasures: Three Generations of Printmakers
Emmanuel Montoya • Miriam Stahl • Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs
October 7- December 2, 2007
The Berkeley Art Center’s newest installment of its Berkeley Treasures series celebrates, in addition to contemporary printmaking, the practical and inspirational influences of one generation of artist/teachers on the next. Successively, artists Emmanuel Montoya, Miriam Stahl and Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs have studied printmaking under the other. The artists are linked not only as teacher/students and the medium of block printing, but also through their common use of portraiture to depict their communities and cultural/political heroes.
The transference began when Montoya taught Stahl printmaking at San Francisco State University in the 90s. Stahl continued as an artist, and began teaching at Berkeley High School where Riggs was one of her students. Today, Riggs pursues her art (she is also a musician), teaches, and has been a studio assistant for Montoya.
A Berkeley resident, Montoya is also a renowned muralist. A teacher at the Creative Growth Art Center, some of Montoya’s many murals include: Four the Seasons (Woodland, CA), Homage to Cesar Chavez (Alameda, CA), and Santuario/Sanctuary (San Francisco International Airport). Currently, he’s working on a series of block print portraits of his great-great grandmother.
An artist and bookmaker, Stahl is a lead teacher of the Arts and Humanities Academy at Berkeley High School. Currently, Stahl is working on a block print series about global revolutionary movements and the women involved in these struggles for justice. When she’s not teaching, Stahl can be found wheat-pasting posters and screen-printing clothes for free in various places around town.
A recent graduate of University of California, Santa Cruz, Pennypacker Riggs’ studies there emphasized printmaking. A non-violent, direct social action approach informs her work, influenced by her collaboration on “Bibliothek Liberation Front,” a collective created to protect the civil liberties of public library patrons from the US Patriot Act, which require that libraries inform the Homeland Security department of the books read by library patrons.
As part of its role at as the City of Berkeley’s art gallery, the Berkeley Art Center presents at regular intervals the Berkeley Treasures exhibition series. These shows spotlight Berkeley artists and their significant, long-term contributions to our city’s rich artistic heritage.