The Black Arts Tarot

October 27, 2018 - February 17, 2019 

Visual Arts Center | Shultz Gallery

Discover and explore different printmaking techniques in The Black Arts Tarot, an exhibition of hand-pulled prints by artists with ties to South Dakota and beyond. The Black Arts is an old term describing the discipline of printmaking, because of the technical ability to create very rich, deep blacks. Originally used for gambling and storytelling, tarot cards are 15th century precursors to contemporary playing cards. Some of the oldest playing cards were created by unknown engraving masters such as Master ES, who worked in Germany around 1450-1467. By the 18th century, variations of these decks were used largely for divination.

Building on the tradition of artist-made playing and tarot cards, each of the twenty-two artists in this exhibition created a contemporary interpretation of one of the cards from the Major Arcana, or one of the twenty-two picture cards in a tarot deck, using their printmaking method of choice.

Organized by Joshua Butler (Grand Junction, CO), Matthew Hanson-Weller (Durango, CO) and J. Charles Cox (Fergus Falls, MN), who received his MFA from the University of South Dakota, the prints in The Black Arts Tarot are the result of a printmaking exchange. A printmaking exchange is coordinated between artists who agree to create, edition and exchange an image related to a specific theme. 

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