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U of I Artist Invited to Exhibit Artwork among Nationally Acclaimed Printmakers

February 21, 2019

Our inability to clearly see the world around us — either due to an incapacity for observation or a disregard of fact — is a theme running through Mike Sonnichsen's recent artwork on display at the National Print Invitational, curated by the Raleigh, North Carolina-based gallery Artspace. Sonnichsen, an assistant professor of art and design, was one of 26 artists nationwide invited to exhibit his work in a celebration of printmaking as one of the most relevant visual art forms practiced today.

The exhibit, which runs through April 6, features four of Sonnichsen's screen-printed pieces from a series featuring moiré — or interference patterns – created by placing regular patterns together to get secondary pattern effects, which are typically avoided in "clean" printing. The series, titled "Astigmatic," creates perceptual difficulties for the viewer and the impression of color combinations and structures that are not actually present. While colorful and eye-dazzling, the work alludes to our physiological visual shortcomings and the human tendency to perceive what suits our biases.

The showcased artists were chosen for their technical breadth, perpetual innovation and unique ability to communicate prescient social and political ideas.

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The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at