Professor Ben Gross has been teaching in the art + design department at Salem State University for 25 years. He recently had one of his serigraphs showcased in the international group show, Color 2021, at the Czong Institute for Contemporary Art (CIRA) in South Korea. The group show, which ran from September 22-October 10, 2021, featured works from 33 artists centered around the uses of color theory in contemporary artwork. CIRA displays contemporary art from around the world and also hosts a workshop and a community center.
“The exhibition was advertised in The College Art Association exhibition opportunities, and 25 years ago when I started as Salem State, I found my job through The College Art Association,” Gross said.
The work, Well Rounded, was created in the same studio that Salem State art + design students use and consists of a series of screenprints that use opaque and transparent ink to create the illusion of color mixing. Five artworks, from a larger series called Underlying Meanings, were submitted for the show and all were selected.
The piece that was sent shows a collection of squares with rounded corners. First opaque ink was put onto the archival paper. Then transparent ink was placed in layers on top. This made it look to the viewer as if there were more than the three primary colors used in the piece. Red and yellow seem to combine to make orange, red and blue to make purple and so on.
In using color mixing in this way, Professor Gross used the color theory that he so often teaches in his classes. He also vividly illustrates how people perceive color and color mixing.
The piece has been accepted by CICA into their permanent collection. The entire series of prints will be displayed at the Winfisky Gallery from January 18-February 4 during the spring semester. Each piece took about two weeks to produce. Professor Gross used his sabbatical to plan, prepare and print the work for the exhibition.
The CRCA congratulates Professor Gross on his successful exhibition and wishes him continued future success.