Rachelle W. Chuang MA MFA lives a creative life as an artist and educator. She has taught in the Art and Graphic Design Departments at seven colleges in Southern California over the past nine years as both a full time and adjunct professor (Chapman, IVC, Biola, LCAD, Saddleback, Concordia and OCC). Prior to her mixed media work she created handmade paper sculptures and letterpress prints which have been exhibited in group shows and published in several books. Most of all, she is committed to beauty, faith, purpose, creativity and authentic human flourishing through her life and teaching.
My work is the result of experimentation and chance using four things that I love: paper, print, collage and color. Full sheets of heavyweight paper are uniquely printed from antique wood type, cut into strips and collaged on wood panels using archival PVA glue. Thick layers of epoxy resin are used to coat each work, resulting in brilliant, lively colors that show natural mark-making from relief printing as well as overprinted color shapes. I consider this series a demonstration of creative color play with the “work” being the multiple processes used in its creation. I hope that every viewer receives a color benediction or blessing as an enjoyable, visually-saturated experience.
INSPIRATION & PROCESS
This current work initially started from demonstrations of ink overlapping to students as letterpress prints. I love introducing digital students to the love of paper, printing and ink. Students arrange antique wood type into various compositions and print a small edition. The resulting prints showcase experimental typography using antique wood type and the found shapes that are created through overprinting and overlapping. The series also functions as educational samples about the qualities of ink and paper and color theory such as CMYK, color relationships such as analogous and complementary, and how spot color works. The prints weren’t originally meant to be finished or resolved compositions but evidence of the process. However, I found these prints interesting enough to submit them and they have been shown in exhibitions and published in books. Not being afraid of maximum color impact, I decided to find a way to intensify the work by cutting the prints into strips and collage them on wood panels. I often think of classic color theories from Bauhaus teachers such as Josef Albers and Johannes Itten. Itten’s color theories include his famous seven color contrasts such as simultaneous contrast and contrast of hue. I place each printed strip based on simple formal design decisions, color approaches and how the rhythm of the shapes play off each other to create a vibrant whole.
(This isn’t even a comprehensive list!)
Chapman University, Senior Lecturer & Assistant Professor: Book Arts & Hand Lettering, Color, Advanced Typography, Book Design, Graphic Design Research and Methodologies, Graphic Design
Laguna College of Art + Design, Adjunct: Graphic Illustration, Art Reproduction Methods, Words, Images & Ideas
SOCCCD IVC and Saddleback, Adjunct: Graphic Design 1, Graphic Design 2, Typography, 2D Design and Color Theory, Letterpress
Biola University, Adjunct & Associate Professor: Media Design Essentials, Advanced Typography, Typography, Bookmaking, Printmaking, 3D Design, 2D Design, Digital Tools, Historical Development of Design
SHOWS & OTHER INTERESTS
I’ve shown my work in numerous juried exhibitions and curate student shows every year including three “Reading Revamp” exhibitions showcasing work from my Chapman Book Design class. I also co-curated “The Page” book arts show with Karin Lanzoni and “Fanatical Mechanical” with House Industries both at the Chapman Guggenheim Gallery.
I’ve had the privilege of being part of the team that started the Los Angeles Printers Fair at the International Printing Museum in Carson, CA, now in its 10th year. I also helped the Irvine Fine Arts Center acquire letterpress equipment as part of their Printmaking studio.
My work is featured in the following publications:
Interrobang: An International Showcase of Letterpress Print, Random Spectacular No. 5, The Village of Type, Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, 2016
The UPPERCASE Compendium of Craft and Creativity, Uppercase Journal, 2016
UPPERCASE Journal, April 2015
Ladies of Letterpress: A Gallery of Prints, Princeton Architectural Press, 2015
State of the Art - Artist’s Book, Art Vip Gallery London, 2013
500 Handmade Books Volume 2, Lark Books, 2013
500 Paper Objects, Sterling Publishing, 2013
Vandercook 100, Just Vandy, 2012
1000 Artist Books, Quarry Books, 2012
Handmade Paper in Motion, Hand Papermaking, 2010
Art to be Read, The University of the Arts, 2009
Friends of Dard Hunter Tokyo Exhibition, Society for Study of Washi Culture, 2009
500 Handmade Books, Lark Books, 2008
“Graphic Means,” UPPERCASE Journal, August 2016
“Printmaking Abecedary,” UPPERCASE Journal 25 30, April 2015
“Linda Eckstrom: Interview by Rachelle Woo Chuang” CIVA Seen Journal, X1: 1 2011