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NEWS RELEASE Media contact:
Colleen Schafroth, Executive Director

Maryhill Museum of Art Exhibition “Comics at the Crossroads: Art of the Graphic Novel” Explores Work of 40 Northwest Comic Artists

(Goldendale, Washington, August 18, 2010
) –
For decades comics have largely been viewed as light-hearted and amusing stories told through simple line art. But in recent years, comics have moved from the cultural fringes into the artistic and literary mainstream. The Los Angeles Times recently added a Graphic Novel category to its slate of annual Book Prizes, citing the medium as “an expanding part of the book landscape, both aesthetically and commercially.” 
Comics at the Crossroads: Art of the Graphic Novel, on view at Maryhill Museum of Art September 18 - November 15, 2010, showcases the work of 40 Pacific Northwest artists who are established stars and emerging lights in the comic art universe.
An exhibition opening, featuring a free Family Fun program with Amazing Spider-Man inker Randy Emberlin, a curatorial talk and reception for the artists will be held on Saturday, September 18, 2010.

Despite being called comics, contemporary comic art is often far from humorous. Instead, it regularly addresses a wide array of serious literary, social, cultural, and political issues. Comics at the Crossroads: Art of the Graphic Novel examines this diversity as it appears in the work of Northwest comic artists.
“The general public hasn’t yet overcome past stereotypes and considered the fine art aspects of comic art. Many comic artists possess a sophisticated design sense and they routinely render the human form in masterful ways,” says Dr. Steven L. Grafe, curator of art at Maryhill and organizer of the exhibition.
“Comic art has moved from comic book stores to fine art exhibitions in galleries and art museums. At the same time, the Northwest has become a haven for comic artists, in part because important publishers are located in Portland and Seattle, and partly because regional comic artists have built a supportive community that continues to attract new artists,” says Grafe.
Comics at the Crossroads will feature previously published and unpublished works, such as sample page spreads and book covers by 40 Oregon- and Washington-based artists, including Michael Allred (Portland), Farel Dalrymple (Portland), Randy Emberlin (Portland), Ellen Forney (Seattle), Joëlle Jones (Portland), Steve Lieber (Portland), Gary Martin (Portland), Michael Avon Oeming (Seattle), Craig Thompson (Portland), Jim Valentino (Portland), and Jim Woodring (Seattle). The exhibition will also feature related models, toys, and other items.

Funding for Comics at the Crossroads and related programs is provided by Humanities Washington.
Other partners include Altonimbus Entertainment, Wordstock Festival, Puget Sound Energy, Kumoricon, and the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District.
August 20-21 & 27-28 | Teen Comic Workshops
Maryhill Museum of Art and the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District present two-day teen workshops with comic artists Terri Nelson and Randy Emberlin. Participants will make a comic book cover and explore the concept of character development. Workshops led by Nelson will take place at Stevenson Community Library (August 20-21) and the Goldendale Community Library (August 27-28); a workshop with Randy Emberlin will be held at the Washougal Community Library (August 27-28). Contact individual librarires for registration information. 
September 18 | Opening Day “Comics at the Crossroads,” 1 to 4 p.m. Celebrate the opening of Comics at the Crossroads: Art of the Graphic Novel, with a Family Fun program featuring Spiderman inker Randy Emberlin, a gallery talk with curator Dr. Steven L. Grafe and an artist reception. In the EyeSEE Activity Room, meet local teens and see art work they created during our summer comic workshops in Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries.  

October 12-14 & 19-21 | Museum Week – Wham! Bam! Zowie! The Comic Artist in You

Third and fourth grade classes are invited to spend a day of exploration and fun at Maryhill as they learn how regional comic artists put their unique spin on storytelling. Cost: $3 per student. Special bus fund assistance may be available. For reservations call (509) 773-3733. 

November 14 | Family Fun: Make a Family Zine with John Isaacson, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Explore the exhibition
Comics at the Crossroads, make a family zine and learn about DIY silkscreening with John Isaacson, a Portland-based cartoonist and musician who has been making ’zines and t-shirts since high school.

Opened to the public May 13, 1940, Maryhill Museum of Art celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2010. Housed in a glorious Beaux Arts mansion on 5,300 acres high above the Columbia River, Maryhill Museum of Art is one of the Pacific Northwest’s most enchanting cultural destinations. The museum was founded by Northwest entrepreneur and visionary Sam Hill, who purchased the property and began building the house with dreams of establishing a Quaker farming community. When that goal proved untenable, Hill was encouraged by friends Loie Fuller, Queen Marie of Romania, and Alma de Bretteville Spreckles to establish a museum.

Today Maryhill Museum of Art boasts a world-class permanent collection, rotating exhibitions of the highest caliber, and dynamic educational programs that provide opportunities for further exploration by visitors of all ages. On view are more than 80 works by Auguste Rodin, European and American paintings, objects d'art from the palaces of the Queen of Romania, Orthodox icons, unique chess sets, and the renowned Théâtre de la Mode, featuring small-scale mannequins attired in designer fashions of post-World War II France. Baskets of the indigenous people of North America were a collecting interest of Hill; today the museum’s Native American collection represents nearly every tradition and style in North America, with works of art from prehistoric through contemporary.  

Maryhill’s Outdoor Sculpture Garden features work by Tom Herrera, Mel Katz, Heath Krieger, Alisa Looney, Jill Torberson, Julian Voss-Andreae, Jeff Weitzel and Leon White. The Maryhill Overlook is a site-specific sculpture by noted Portland architect Brad Cloepfil; nearby are Lewis and Clark interpretive panels. Four miles east of Maryhill is a life-sized replica of Stonehenge, Stonehenge Memorial, which Sam Hill built to memorialize local men who perished in World War I. Nearby, the Klickitat County War Memorial honors those who have died in the service of their country since World War I.

The museum was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. In 2001 the museum was listed as an official site of the National Historic Lewis and Clark Trail and in 2002 was accredited by the American Association of Museums.

Maryhill Museum of Art is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., March 15 to November 15. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and $2 for children age 6-16. Admission to the Stonehenge Memorial is free; it is open from 7:00 a.m. to dusk daily.

Sandwiches, salads, espresso drinks, cold beverages, and freshly baked desserts and pastries are available at Café Maryhill; the Museum Store features art and history books, jewelry, Native American crafts and other mementos. 

Maryhill is located off Highway 97, 12 miles south of Goldendale, Washington. Drive times to the museum are 2 hours from Portland/Vancouver, 3.5 hours from Bend, 4 hours from Seattle, and 1.5 hours from Yakima. For further information, visit
Michael Allred, with color by Laura Allred Cover of Madman Atomic Comics No. 7, 2007. Giclée print on watercolor paper, 17-1/2" x 11". Copyright © 2007 by Michael Allred. Used with permission.

Hi-resolution images for use by the press are available for immediate download here.
Maryhill Museum of Art | 35 Maryhill Museum Drive | Goldendale, WA 98620 | 509-773-3733
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