Stephanie Kolpy was always a gifted artist. Growing up in Atlanta, she attended the Atlanta College of Art, which has since become SCAD’s Atlanta branch, where students immersed themselves in a variety of mediums.
“You didn’t have a major ... you had to learn everything,” she recalled. “Painting, drawing, printmaking, you did it all.”
That’s how the artist was originally exposed to her frequently used form of printmaking. At first, the painter was underwhelmed with the technique, but that changed once she signed on to the master’s program at Georgia State University in Atlanta.
“I never loved printmaking. But I was the only grad student coming in the progam with any printmaking experience so they hired me as an assistant to Matthew Sugarman and he trained me,” she said. “I really grew to love it even though I had always thought of myself as a painter.”
Kolpy is now an instructor at Georgia State herself where she teaches a variety of art forms, including printmaking. She’s also become fully ensconced in the academic community there.
“They just couldn’t get rid of me,” she said with a laugh. “I still think of myself as a painter but incorporate that into printmaking. I’m currently on the senior lecturer track.”
Kolphy is fortunate to be surrounded by a number of equally talented and innovative artists within the faculty at Georgia State. The group easily collaborates and exchanges ideas. One such example is an exhibit at Glynn Visual Arts on St. Simons Island.
Titled Ink + Thread, it will feature work by printmakers at Georgia State, including Kolphy. There will also be fiber arts pieces, hence the title — ink and thread.
The show will open with a reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Glynn Visual Arts, 106 Island Drive, St. Simons Island. Light refreshments will be served.
The exhibit will be on display through June 21.
Kolphy says the show was the brainchild of her colleague and former student, Judith Krone.
“I think it was all her idea. She had been teaching in textiles for many years and then she started doing printmaking, but I think she brought this together,” she said.
“It’s interesting to do a show that links fiber arts and printmaking because both are very process oriented. There is some correlation between the two in that you start out with a pattern and build on it. I think it will be really interesting to see those works coming together in the same space. It was a great idea.”
The result is a merging of innovative print processes, textiles and mixed media that highlights both disciplines. Themes reflect a broad range of perspectives which comment on a variety of complex current issues.
In addition to Kolpy and Krone, Kolphy’s Georgia State mentor Matthew Sugarman will take part, as will her Atlanta College of Art professor Norman Wagner.
Jack Michael, Nicole Benner and Jess Jones of Georgia State will exhibit works as well.
“Norman Wagner was a mentor at Atlanta College of Art and Matthew Sugarman taught me at Georgia State and is now one of my best friends. I taught Judith printmaking. So there are a lot of relationships there too,” she said.