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Johanna Paas featured in Print National 2

The SHY RABBIT Print National 2: A National Juried Exhibition, continues at SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts through Sunday, Oct. 17.

This remarkable national print exhibition is not to be missed, and has been hailed as one of SHY RABBIT’s most successful and ambitious efforts to date, for the scope and the quality of the prints on display.

The 45 printmakers selected by the Juror for inclusion include several nationally and internationally recognized university professors/heads of printmaking departments, in addition to a number of highly regarded mid-career and emerging artists.

The prints on display include a wide range of contemporary etchings, lithography, woodcuts, monotypes, intaglio, serigraphs, artist-made papers, and often incorporate mixed media.

The juror selected for this prestigious second annual exhibition is Yuji Hiratsuka, professor of art, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Ore.

A national call for entries resulted in the receipt of 505 submissions from 150 artists located throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe.

Hiratsuka selected a total of 90 pieces for inclusion in the SHY RABBIT Print National 2, representing 45 printmakers from 21 states, Canada and the UK.

This work was chosen based on technical execution, presentation, originality and consistency.

“Codify” by Michigan artist and art educator, Johanna Paas, is one of the 90 remarkable prints on exhibit. This mixed media print combines relief, intaglio and silkscreen techniques.

The concepts of indexing and mapping of basic organisms influenced this imagery. The organic forms used as subject matter allude to micro and macrocosms.

Examples include references to celestial diagrams, aerial maps, natural patterns, genetic encoding and biological structures.

“The mysterious qualities of nature and biology function as a metaphor for the ethereal and spiritual,” states Paas.

“The compositional choice of working with compartments/parts, which comprise a whole, in many ways reflects the relationship that we as individuals have to the larger, universal whole. “The visual divisions present in the work encourage comparison. Visually and conceptually, the work balances between the familiar and abstraction.

“Recognizable imagery presents the viewer an entrance into the work, while the abstract imagery provides a glimpse into the unknown,” Paas concludes.

Paas is an associate professor of printmaking within the Department of Art at Central Michigan University. She received her bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Michigan, K-12 teaching certification from Eastern Michigan University and her master of fine arts degree from Louisiana State University.

Following graduation she taught courses at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, and in 2002 began her tenure at CMU.

Paas is an active member of a number of professional print organizations, including Southern Graphic Print Council and the Mid-America Print Council. She currently serves on the executive board of the Mid-America Print Council.

Her artwork has been exhibited in over 50 national invitational and juried exhibitions.

SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts: Gallery, Studio and Workshops is located at 333 Bastille Drive, two blocks north of U.S. 160, off of North Pagosa Boulevard.  The 4,000 square-foot arts facility houses a ceramic studio and fine art gallery, two mixed-media workshops, and two large exhibition spaces.

SHY RABBIT presents four to six exhibitions annually in its expansive arts center and gallery. Workshops are also offered regularly in ceramics and printmaking, instructed by professional artist and SHY RABBIT Creative Director D. Michael Coffee.

SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts: Gallery, Studio and Workshops is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, and evenings by appointment. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information on SHY RABBIT, please visit or call 731-2766.

For more information on exhibitions, visit