BIMPE VII – The Jurying Process and Jurors’ Statements






Sam Davidson. The owner and director of Davidson Galleries in Seattle,Wa., Sam earned a BA at Wesleyan University and an MA in Art History at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He established the Davidson Galleries in Seattle in 1973.

“It was an honor to serve as a juror for the Biennial International Miniature Exhibition VII (BIMPE VII). As a dealer in original prints I fear that too often those in the commercial print realm are regarded as tainted and only able to see the decorative merits of any group of prints. Fear not. Any unconscious inclination in that direction was countered by my fellow jurors.

My congratulations to Peter Braune, Lesley Anderson and the scores of volunteers for continuing to devote the huge amount of energy required to host such an event. Thank you, too, to the hundreds of artists who offered up their art for consideration. The result was a wonderful range of images and media.

As a former host/sponsor of a international small format print competition ‘Footprints’, in the middle and late 1970’s, I have a clear appreciation of what is involved. Although different from the 1970’s because of a substantial number of digital contributions, this year’s entries showed again what huge spaces and graphic power are possible in a small format.

Those thirteen images that received acknowledgement beyond initial acceptance into the exhibition were representative of the 700+ submissions. In spite of good digital based works, most of the special recognition went to traditional processes. Tomiyuki Sakuta, Yui Koyanagi, Cleo Wilkinson, Christine Ravaux, Kelsey Stephenson, and Annie Woodford chose intaglio. Kouki Tsuritani, Nikki Vahle, and Jim Westergaard sent wood engravings. Sergey Zlotnikov’s haunting narrative scene “Children of the Dark” and David Morrish’s “Ramses” made strong use of photo based techniques.

Many thanks to my fellow jurors, Anna and Jennifer, and especially to Peter and Lesley of New Leaf Editions for making the 2012 BIMPE show such an important gift to the international print community.”







Jennifer Page. A print artist dedicated to safer methods and technical innovations in the field of traditional photo-etching and photo-gravure on copper, Jennifer has formulated many innovative printmaking processes and founded the Cape Fear Press in North Carolina in 2001.

“I felt very privileged, as well as a great sense of responsibility, when asked to be juror for the BIMPE. Almost a thousand prints were submitted. The prints were placed in a dozen or so binders. As I faced the daunting task of judging them I asked myself what is the most objective and fair way to go about this. It seemed the best way was to go through all the prints once without making any definite judgments to gain a greater scope of the whole, then go through all of them again taking more time with each print. I was very impressed with the range of work and the quality of the various techniques. It was truly a learning experience  to see so many original prints at one time. Printmaking has a very rich vocabulary of techniques and ways for the artist to express themselves. The entire scope of the techniques was covered with some artists taking these processes to limits rarely seen. I subscribe to the less is more philosophy, especially when it comes to small scale pieces such as this. Some artists went beyond the unlimited combination of paper and ink which I found unnecessary and distracting and I couldn’t help but notice a few trends in this area. The pieces that stand out above the rest made the best use of their respective media in combination with stimulating content. The pieces that struck me the most have a way of taking me some place that I have been longing for and fulfill the needs of my subconscious.

I would like to thank New Leaf again for inviting me to jury this show. I would also like to thank all the artists who submitted work.”






Anna-Karolina Szul. The executive director of the Society of Northern Alberta Print-Artists Gallery, Anna graduated from the University of Alberta with a BFA in 2005 and was an artist in residence at Malaspina Printmakers in 2009.

“Jurying an exhibition is always a great honour and joy particularly one with a vast international reach as is the case with BIMPE. The pleasure comes from the unique opportunity to view contemporary print based artwork by an impressive number of artists from all around the world. Through this snapshot into the pulse of what is taking place in printmaking we see common themes and practices that are not related through a direct connection between individuals but suggest a greater connected unconscious that we often take for granted.

The challenge in such a task occurs when we realize that the merit of each individual work cannot be highlighted and the works must be compared and assessed by some standard rubric in order for a handful of prize winners to emerge. Although the process of looking at close to 1000 prints seemed daunting at first it was actually quite simple and pleasant. Sam, Jennifer, and I each looked at all the prints individually, created our own short lists and then hung the 75 prints that scored the highest on the wall. At that point we were down to 7.5% of the original works and only 1.4% to be recognized.

The process of assessing any artwork for me is the same:

1. Does the work move me? This is a vital characteristic because it is what stops you in your tracks, makes you wonder or feel a desire to know more.

2. Does the work stand on its own technically? For many people this is not an important factor, however, in an artform as process based as printmaking is, technique matters. If I start to wonder whether a mark is intentional, if a fingerprint was placed there or omitted purposefully the the work is missing something.

3. The third criteria is a little hard to explain, it is like the fairy dust in Peter Pan that allows everyone to fly. It is that perfect marriage between concept and execution. If you look at a work of at and not only have no desire or idea how to improve it but are lost in the experience then it is complete. This element is difficult to judge by a rubric, it is instinctual and probably biased but thankfully art is not a science. In essence, it is acceptance without analysis.

Thank you Peter, Lesley, Sam and Jennifer for including me in such a rare and wonderful experience.”








Sam Davidson checks out one of the binders of miniature prints.







Sam and Jennifer deliberating over the prints.








Sam and Anna deep in contemplation.






Binders and binders of beautiful small prints at New Leaf.







Pinning some of the potential prize-winning prints to the wall at New Leaf.





BIMPE VII – Opening Gala at Federation Gallery, Granville Island, Vancouver

Thank you to everyone, all two hundred of you, who made it out to the grand opening of BIMPE VII at Federation Gallery on Granville Island last night. It was a beautiful evening and great fun was had by all. We were happy that the catalogues, printed by Pinnacle Graphics inc., were there! If you’re interested, catalogues are still for sale at $25.

BIMPE VII marks the exhibition’s 12th year running and brings with it new venues and adventures. Opening once more at the Federation Gallery, Vancouver, BC, BIMPE VII will travel to Dundarave Gallery and to SNAP Gallery in Edmonton. As a miniature print exhibition, BIMPE’s only requirement is that a print be no larger than 4 by 6 inches, or 24 inches square. The exhibition is open to all types of print media, including digital or otherwise unconventional interpretations of “printmaking”.

Federation Gallery on opening night

BIMPE VII poster in the window


David Clifford, Blackstone Press

Vanessa and son

Peter addressing the crowd at the Opening Gala

Dana and Sage

Ann and Wendy

Peter, Gerri, and Barb

Joseph and Barbara

Ross and Hannamari

Peter addressing the crowd

Ross Penhall and tickets to the silent auction

Peter, Gerri, and juror Anna Szul

Peter going on, and on, and on ….

Sales at the Opening Gala: Joseph purchasing a catalogue

BIMPE world map of participants

Opening Gala at Federation Gallery


Wendy, Lisa, and Catherine

Milos and Hannamari


Tyler and Dana










BIMPE VII installation views

Photo credits Rosamond Norbury and Lisa MacLean

Over the years BIMPE has owed its success to the legion of volunteers that continue to commit their time and varied expertise. BIMPE VII is no exception and we want to express our sincere gratitude to those who have been willing to devote countless hours to its realization.

To our private sponsors, Michael and Pam Isman, Jane Justice, and John Ramsay, you have been pillars of support. The Bank of Montreal has been incredibly generous in their first contribution and is instrumental in enabling BIMPE to travel to more venues than before. We want to thank CMHC for their unwavering support over these 12 years. We Thank Opus and Gamblin for sponsoring prizes and donations that inspire the printmaking and artist community to continue to create the work that we are exhibiting. A big thanks also to our in-kind donors Zara’s Pasta and V&J Flowers, our fellow local businesses who provide the little things that make all the difference to our board throughout the year and our volunteers at the opening.

To our Board of Directors – you are the guiding light that leads us always forward. This year we would like to extend a special thank-you to Bob Nowack and Melannie Warren. Their expertise will no doubt be beneficial to BIMPE’s future.

To our three jurors – Sam Davidson, Jennifer Page, and Anna Szul – who took the time out of their busy schedules to travel to Vancouver and sift through the immense volume of prints and distill from it the show presented here – thank you for your eyes and varied tastes. BIMPE continues to evolve from year to year because of the fresh perspectives the jury provides.

Thanks to the Granville Island Hotel for their hospitality in hosting our jury and being so accommodating to our needs. Visiting the hotel is one of the highlights of our guests’ experiences.

The Federation Gallery and Dundarave Print Workshop + Gallery who are our partners in the exhibition – thank you for providing support staff during the exhibition.

To our volunteers: Anna Taillefer, Rosalind Rorke, Katie Dey, Daylen Luchsinger, Damon Bee, Francis Freeman Hkh, Angela Bonnici, Gerri York, Sharole Brown, Hannamari Jalovaara, Marsha McCall, Kelly Haydon, Dana Fetherstonhaugh, and Irene Laudan, we want to thank you sincerely for your time, without which BIMPE would not be possible.

Last but not least, we want to thank Chris Torgalson of Bedlam Hotel for years of web management and technical assistance, Chloe Aigner and Alyssa Burt of Zenhouse Media and Mark Hurst from Pinnacle Graphics for your gift of expertise and accommodating ways in the face of our tight deadlines and even tighter budget.