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Celebration of Larry Sommers

Celebration of  Larry Sommers

BAG Event

May 29, 2009 | 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

This is a Memorial Party and Fundraiser for the Larry Sommers Art Fellowship, sponsored through Seattle Print Arts.  The School of Art at UW & friends of Larry Sommers have also contributed to the party.

An exhibition of Larry’s work will be in the gallery.  Please come & honor Larry.

Larry Sommers was a long time member of the Book Arts Guild & was president of BAG for several years through some the group’s most difficult times.  With his humor, even-handed approach, personal integrity & charm he could handle any situation.  Larry died on April 2, 2009 at the age of 55 of heart attack in Chicago while attending a printmaking conference.  Larry taught printmaking & papermaking & was Instructional Technician in the School of Art at the University of Washington. Born & raised in Michigan, he had lived in Seattle for the past 30 years.

Larry earned a BFA in Printmaking at Central Michigan University in 1975 & an MFA in Printmaking at the University of Oregon, Eugene, in 1978. He worked at the University of Washington since 1985 & was master printer to visiting artists. He managed the printmaking, painting, & fibers studios & was advisor to the Student Printmaking Association at the University. Additionally he taught at the Pratt Fine Arts Center & was a consultant to Shev Shoon/ Ballard Works & Arttech in Seattle. He was a founding board member of the Seattle Print Arts, as well as having memberships in the American Print Alliance & the College Art Association.  Larry was also a puppeteer, great whistler, & a very warm, generous, and funny man.  He was loved by many people & will be greatly missed.

Larry Sommers owned & operated Inky Dink Press since 1982. Corporate clients included the United Parcel Service & Weyerhauser, Inc. Larry had a scholarship at the Anderson Ranch Art Center, CO, in 2008, & residency at Centrum Foundation, WA, in 1992. His expertise in papermaking, paper castings & all aspects of printmaking welcomed collaborations with artists Barry Herem, Tom Jay, Max Karst, Jeffry Mitchell, & Scott Fife.

Larry was a wonderful & charismatic teacher to many students & he was also known for his irreverent political posters. He was also a proud and active member of the State Employees Union # 925. He curated an exhibit of Seattle printmakers (Ink + Paper) at the G. Gibson Gallery, Seattle, in December, 2005, & his own work was included in several other exhibitions. Larry’s personal artwork is included in the collections of the Center for Study of Political Graphics, Los Angeles; Special Collections, University of Washington; Portable Works Collection, Seattle City Light; Irkutsk Museum of Fine Arts, Soviet Union; & the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas, Mexico City.

Most of the text written by Gail Gibson, Jill Hughes Richey, & Amy Hamblin, Seattle (known as Larry’s “common law sisters” while in Chicago at the hospital)

Other Images

Quite a crowd Mare Blocker with Larry's art Larry Loved France Joan of Arc puppet stage Larry's Joan of Arc puppets Larry making prints Shelia Lou and Mary Larry's mother