Historic Northampton

Programs & Events

Welcome to Nonotuck:
An Exhibit of Woodblock Prints

by Annie Bissett

November 8 - December 6
, 2013

Opening Reception ~ Arts Night Out
Friday, November 8, 2013   5 - 8 pm

Woodblock Print by Annie Bissett

From Nonotuck Street to the Metacomet trail, from Lyman Road to Pomeroy Terrace, 21st century residents of Northampton walk every day among linguistic reminders of people who lived in the Connecticut River Valley before us. In November, Northampton artist Annie Bissett will exhibit a suite of woodblock prints at Historic Northampton that examines the lives and stories of the early settlers of Massachusetts. The exhibition imagines what the lives of these early immigrants might really have been like, their complex relationship with the native peoples who already lived in these fertile lands, and what their lives might mean to us now, over 300 years later.

Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, Annie Bissett spent two decades as a professional illustrator, working for clients such as the Washington Post, National Geographic Society, and TimeLife Publications, before turning her attention to Japanese woodblock printmaking (moku hanga) in 2005. Also known as ukiyo-e, Japanese woodblock printing is an ancient technique where a block of wood is carved for each color, water-based pigments are brushed onto the block, and the color is transferred to fine handmade papers using a hand-held device called a baren. Through her blog, Woodblock Dreams, where she documents the creation of her prints step by step, Bissett has become a leading voice in the growing American moku hanga printmaking movement.

Annie Bissett’s work has been selected for numerous juried exhibitions and biennials including the International Print Center of New York, the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, Los Angeles Printmaking Society, the Print Center in Philadelphia, Boston Printmakers, and the International Mokuhanga Conference in Kyoto Japan. She is represented by Cullom Gallery in Seattle and her prints are part of the permanent collections at the Boston Public Library, Saratoga Print and Paper Foundation, Hood Museum of Art, Yale University Art Gallery, Jundt Art Museum at Gonzaga University, and others. She is a faculty member of Zea Mays Printmaking Studio in Florence, where she teaches Japanese woodblock printmaking regularly.