Vinita Voogd was shopping one day at Kragen-O'Reilly Auto Parts when a rack full of merchandise caught her eye. She promptly, in turn, caught the eye of the cashier, who watched her piling gaskets onto the counter and figured that Voogd owned a dozen or more cars.
Voogd, though, didn't need the parts for vehicles. She wanted them instead to make a print. The Indian-born artist has spent the last three decades affixing everyday items to plates and coating them with paint to stamp multiple copies — and she found herself explaining that in line at Kragen-O'Reilly.
"He was shocked," said Voogd, a Saddleback College instructor. "He said, 'How many cars do you own?' I said, 'Oh, no, these are for my artwork.'"
From gaskets and Starbucks cups to woodblocks and silk screens, nearly any object with a shape and texture can be used to make prints. And curator Darrell Ebert hopes to show off that versatility in his exhibit "Printmaking, Printmaking & Printmaking," which opens Thursday at Golden West College and spotlights Voogd and nine other artists.
Printmaking, according to Ebert, is among the hardest art forms to master because it requires knowledge of color mixing, texture, drawing and other media. The college offers several printmaking courses, but Ebert said he and his colleagues recommend that students take other classes before enrolling in them.
Ultimately, though, Ebert hopes the show will inspire visitors to pursue the craft.
"It's going to be a very exciting show because of the variety of work," he said. "I hope it's going to stimulate students into taking printmaking."
Voogd helped Ebert select the other nine artists in the show, many of whom are members of the Los Angeles Printmaking Society. The exhibit features works by Enrica Marshall, Anne England, Roxanne Sexauer, Lindsay Buchman, Hedy Buzan, Yoonsook Ryang, Mariko Ishii, Anne Moore and Annie Stromquist.
Stromquist, who teaches printmaking at Long Beach City College, uses a number of techniques in her work; her home studio, she said, has a 600-pound etching machine that requires five people to lift it. Her pieces at Golden West include "Meditations," a series of 10 mixed-media prints with a theme of transcendence and flight.
A Long Beach resident, Stromquist came upon the craft almost accidentally. In her mid-30s, she said, she quit her job as a college administrator to go to art school, but printmaking was hardly her career goal.
"I thought at the time I'd be practical and do graphic design," Stromquist said. "But then I took a printmaking class and thought, 'Oh, this is it.'"
If You Go
What: "Printmaking, Printmaking & Printmaking"
Where: Fine Arts Gallery, Golden West College
When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, March 3 through 24. Opening reception 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday.
Information: (714) 895-8772