“Change Agent” highlights June Wayne’s legacy as an artist, printmaker, educator and activist. Wayne refused to follow a signature style, taking on a variety of themes such as personal history, modern science and social issues. In the Dorothy Series, she narrates the life of her mother, a Russian Jewish immigrant and traveling saleswoman for a garter company. In the Stellar Winds and Solar Flares Series, she mines natural phenomena as metaphors for the human condition.
Wayne was a catalyst for the revival of fine art lithography in the United States, a medium which had all but vanished by the 1950s. She championed lithography as an art form as vital as painting after studying the technique in Paris with the printer Marcel Durassier. With a grant from the Ford Foundation, Wayne founded the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles in 1960. The experimental workshop created a pool of printers and apprentices, as artists from across the country were invited to master the process of lithography. Now known as the Tamarind Institute of the University of New Mexico, it continues Wayne’s visionary plan as a major training center for fine art printers.
Along with prints by Wayne, “Change Agent” also features lithographs by internationally-known artists who trained at Tamarind such as Ed Ruscha, Matsumi Kanemitsu and Fritz Scholder. All of the works in the exhibition are drawn from the ASU Art Museum’s Jules Heller Print Study Room, which houses a collection of 6,000 prints from throughout history and around the world.
“Change Agent: June Wayne and the Tamarind Workshop” is supported by the Evelyn Smith Exhibition Fund. Visit the museum website for directions and hours and information about bringing classes to tour exhibitions or to meet with curators.
Image credit: June Wayne, “Secretary to a Publisher” (Plate 6 of the Dorothy Series), 1976, Lithograph, 17 1/4 x 21 1/2 inches, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Malcom Dorfman.