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2024 Ohio Artist Registry Juried Exhibition

Michael Gill

Aetist / Editor / Publisher Collective Arts NetworkCAN Journal
Home 1372 Edwards Ave 1372 Edwards Ave County: Cuyahoga
Lakewood Ohio 44107 United States
Website: MichaelGillBooksAndPrints


Michael Gill came to print making as a writer. He has a BA in English (Hiram College, Ohio, 1986) and an MFA in Creative Writing (Eastern Washington University, Cheney / Spokane, Washington, 1988). He lived, worked, and studied in Washington DC, England, Wales, and Ecuador before returning to Cleveland. His poetry has been published in dozens of literary and other magazines, including Rolling Stone, and several chapbooks, which include The Atheist at Prayer (March Street Press, Greensboro, North Carolina) and The Solution to the Crisis is Revolution: Graffiti of Ecuador, collected and translated (Ox Head Press, Browerville, Minnesota).

He began making books as a way to give stories to his children. He prints in the letterpress studios at the Morgan Conservatory and at Zygote Press. He has exhibited in solo shows at Massillon Museum, William Busta Gallery, BAYarts Sullivan Gallery, and Tregoning & Co. and internationally at the Alte Feuerwasche Loschwitz Gallery during a residency at the Grafikwerkstatt in Dresden, Germany. He has also exhibited in multiple group shows, including The Printed Page (Denver, CO).

His books are held in the Cleveland Public Library Special Collections, as well as in artist book collections of Baylor University, Columbus College of Art and Design, Otis College of Art and Design, the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, Graffikwerkstatt Dresden (Germany) and Ediciones Vigia (Matanzas, Cuba), and in private collectons in Germany, France, and the United Kingdom.

Individual prints of the woodcut images from those books are in the collections of the Cleveland Clinic, Baker and Hostetler, Cuyahoga County Administration Building. A complete collection of the prints from A Pocket Full of Change is on view at the MetroHealth Glick Center, in Cleveland.

He is founder of Collective Arts Network, a nonprofit organization of galleries that publishes CAN Journal, a magazine of art in Northeast Ohio.

Artist Statement

Primaerily, I make color woodcut books in editions of 100. I start with the text and make images to complement and expand upon it. My images evolve through their creation as colors are separated and details accumulate or change. My books were initially written for my own children as they were learning to read. In time they began to address other audiences. My interest in handmade books was in having complete control over the process, and physical contact with the product.  The results of labor and physical interaction with materials are important to me.

I use photography as a compositional tool, but improvise images by editing and combining as I work them into blocks. I explore overprinting as a way of creating depth or casting light. I also use wood grain as a graphic element, choosing patterns of grain to fit the occasion.  

Most of my books are accompanied by editioned prints of individual pages to complement the book as a gallery exhibit. Each book contains the entire exhibit.

I print primarily on Vandercook flat bed proofing presses, primarily at the Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory and Zygote Press, both in Cleveland.

As a structure, books are a means to package significant amounts of information and control a narrative. While they are no longer the most efficient way to spread information, books create the possibility of shared experience, and as handmade objects artist books add to that shared experience the idea of direct contact with the artist.