An Abundance of Riches: Woodcuts of Andrea Rich
January 21 – May 14, 2023 in the Baker Visitor Center
Andrea Rich’s intricately designed, carved, and printed woodcuts draw viewers in for an up-close look.
Some of the artist’s earliest memories are of drawing animals. Childhood encounters with pets, livestock, and wildlife, including birds, deer, and toads, created a lasting connection to the natural world. Through encounters with creatures both tame and wild, Rich developed a fascination and a compassion for animals integral to her art.
“My prints are a visual record of the intriguing creatures that have enriched my life. The woodcut process challenges me to focus on the essence of my subjects. At the same time, I am drawn to the smell of the wood, its texture and grain, and the pleasure I experience while carving. I begin working on a block of wood and realize later that hours have passed without notice.”
Rich uses a centuries-old medium that requires one carved wood panel for each color – varying from one to sixteen – necessary to develop the composition. These panels are painstakingly aligned one atop another sequentially and pulled through a printing press to create the final woodcut.
The subjects of Rich’s woodcuts range from the wilderness of the Australian outback and the lush tropical Amazon forests to the roaring rivers of Yellowstone Park. Rich has traveled worldwide to study wildlife habitats and these varied firsthand experiences are reflected in her work.
Among Rich’s many achievements are international recognition for her woodcut prints, including a 2009 Award of Excellence from the Society of Animal Artists and a 2009 Medal of Excellence from the Artists for Conservation Foundation. She was named Master Artist by the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in 2006. In 2010 her work was featured in a solo exhibition at the Mass Audubon Visual Arts Center, Canton, Massachusetts. Rich is a member of the California Society of Printmakers, Artists for Nature Foundation, the Society of Animal Artists, and Society of Wildlife Artists.
In 2000 Rich designated the Woodson Art Museum as the repository for her artistic oeuvre. An Abundance of Riches is drawn from these holdings, which include an example of each of her woodcuts created since the mid-1980s.
Exhibit support for An Abundance of Riches is provided in part by: The North Carolina Arboretum Society,The Laurel of Asheville, RomanticAsheville.com Travel Guide, and Smoky Mountain Living Magazine