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Archive for September, 2015

Farewell to Granada’s Beloved Etchers’ Haven

A Small Miracle for Artists in Granada

The Fundación Rodríguez-Acosta was the brainchild of the Granada banker/philanthropist/artist, Miguel Rodríguez-Acosta. Miguel was the grandson of the excellent 19th and early-20th-century painter, José María Rodríguez-Acosta. In the mid-1970s Miguel reconditioned a floor of one of his family’s buildings in the center of Granada, hired a good painter, Jose García Lomas (Pepe) and sent him to be formed as an etching master in Barcelona and Rome.
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When the workshop was fully equipped Pepe trained two assistants (the artists never touched the etching presses), the brothers Jorge and Pepito. Besides being a consummate technician, Pepe Lomas had a fine artistic sensitivity as well as an extremely respectful teaching approach with his artists. He was an exacting and demanding teacher but he never imposed his own creative criteria. Pepe was important to me not only for what he taught me about printmaking but also for what he taught me about teaching.
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Admission to the Founation’s etching studio was via a selection committee to which artists from all over the world submitted a portfolio of sketches. When I first saw the etchings that were coming out of the Foundation–work by artists like Claudio Sánchez Muro, Teiko Mori and Pepe Lomas himself–I thought I could never achieve that standard. But I presented my portfolio and was accepted. For the next two-and-a-half years, until it closed in1980, I went to the Foundation studio every weekday . This was the most intensive learning period of my life. I thought I had died and gone to heaven, and I am eternally grateful, both to my maestro and to the Foundation for the opportunity.
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Yesterday in my studio. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time, and it turned out lovely for everybody. All of the kids created a painting of their own to hang in their rooms. Mike made his seafood chowder for lunch (“glorified potato soup,” he calls it) and Bill and Puri came down from the sierra with bulging basket of blackberries. The berries and vanilla ice cream for dessert were a religious experience.  Next time we’ll do solarplate prints.

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