Thursday, December 30, 2010

"Devotion to Craftsmanship Revealed in Each Cut, Gouge"

10:00 PM PST on Wednesday, December 29, 2010By DANIEL FOSTER and JILL JONES
Special to The Press-Enterprise
Artist Tim Musso reveals an intricate, magnificently detailed world in his woodcut and screenprint work.
He captures details in nature so precisely that we feel as if we are viewing the object itself held up to us in a magnified format so that we won't miss any bit of the delicious, extremely nuanced details. His devotion to craftsmanship is revealed in each cut, gouge and stroke, and in the more than 50 hours of work devoted to each piece.

"His affinity and passion for nature and the outdoors permeates his work.
Drawing from his experiences that challenge his mind and body, he creates beautifully organic pieces by taking the smallest details and enlarging them so that we can explore every facet. The physicality of each piece is mirrored by the level of thought that goes into them," said graphic designer Chhun Tang.

As an assistant art professor, Tim Musso teaches printmaking, graphic design and foundation design at La Sierra University in Riverside. As an assistant art professor, Tim Musso teaches printmaking, graphic design and foundation design at La Sierra University in Riverside.
The rocks, lichen, roots, branches and bark along Musso's 590-mile hike in Oregon has provided the basis for a full series of work.

"I took inspiration for this body of work while hiking along the Pacific Crest Trail over the span of five years. Removed from society and traversing the San Bernardino Sierra Nevada, and Cascade mountain ranges, I became acutely aware of the power of nature to survive in harsh conditions. Trees growing out of solid granite on a windy mountain pass at 10,000 feet, seem to invite one to contemplate this power," said Musso. "In this setting one cannot help but question our relationship to these tenacious life forms. To explore this relationship I have turned to investigating the ecological and botanical cycles that support the trees of this unique landscape. ... In the resulting multitude of prints, certain forms repeat and recycle, demonstrating the plurality and strength of the normally unseen cycles of life."

The resulting print work is amazingly complex and rich with detail. Much of the work is in black and white that heightens the contrast level. Several pieces are quite large, 29 by 41 inches, which also creates a greater impact.
"Printmaking can be an extremely versatile medium, and the individual printmaker truly develops a relationship with each piece through process, patience and practice.

Tim Musso's work combines creative spontaneity with intense dedication to process and craft in creating very extraordinary and beautiful prints that portray complexity and depth as seen in nature. Musso uses his knowledge of technology and traditional print processes in combination with his internal motivation as a visual artist, to create forms that we recognize, but can't necessarily identify, giving us a new vocabulary of visual form," said graphic designer Dana Herkelrath.

As an assistant art professor, Musso teaches printmaking, graphic design and foundation design at La Sierra University in Riverside.
He has exhibited in numerous group shows and has been a prolific designer fashioning posters and packaging materials for companies such as Doritos, Pepsico, Lays, Dannon, Disney, Los Angeles Opera and others.

He received both his BFA and MFA from California State University, Long Beach.
Musso's artwork will be exhibited in the La Sierra University Faculty Art Show in the Brandstater Art Gallery running from Jan. 24 through Feb.20, 2011. The opening reception event is on Monday, Feb. 14 from 6-8 p.m.

For more information about the Artist Spotlight, contact Daniel Foster, President/CEO at The Community Foundation at 951-684-4194 or

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Final BBQ of the Semester

On the 17th, the printmakers at CSULB had planned to have a BBQ for the last day of the semester, but torrential rains would give one the impression that a BBQ could only be at the bottom of the list of possible activities. Undaunted by logic or weather, we had one anyway.