Printmakers You Should Know: Martie Zelt

Believe it or not, we've come to the end of another year. For the past twelve months, I've been introducing you to printmakers represented in the RMAC collection in order to highlight the quality and diversity of our holdings. With that then, we'll finish out 2014 with an RMAC printmaker I happen to know personally, Martie Zelt (1930-).

n.b. This is essentially a condensed version of Zelt's biography from her website, so if you're interested in learning more, definitely go there:

Zelt was born in Pennsylvania. She studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, and moved to Spain and later Brazil during the 1950s. It was during this time that she would take up printmaking. In the 1960s, while living in Philadelphia, she would create large-scale silkscreens that synthesized Navajo textile patterns with the color theories of Josef Albers and Frank Stella.

It was during the 1970s, however, that Zelt would begin moving in the direction for which she is best known today. After meeting printmaker and papermaker Joe Wilfer, Zelt began making her own paper, turning her prints into complex, expressionist assemblages of different colors, materials, and textures. Her edges also softened, and her works became more organic in nature.

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Martie Zelt, Aire y Sombres, 2011, handmade paper, relief print with additions. Image courtesy of
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Martie Zelt with Tamarind Institute collaborating printer Tom Pruitt, Milagro, 1986, five-color lithograph on paper. Image courtesy of
Zelt combines a variety of techniques, including collagraphy, photography, sewing, and papermaking, to create her works. Her works have an distinctly tactile physicality to them. They are, in other words, very much made of the stuff constituting this world in which we live.        

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Martie Zelt, Peach Walking, handmade paper and collagraph, 2009. Image courtesy of
Zelt became a Roswell Artist-in-Resident in 1982, and after further travels and teaching experiences in Mexico and the East Coast, settled in Roswell in 1989, after a second residency. She's had a couple of exhibits at the Museum; I was able to see the most recent one when I first arrived here last July. I've also been fortunate enough to meet Zelt myself, and she's definitely a person worth knowing.

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Martie Zelt, Double Reddish Pod, 2008, monotype on handmade paper with mixed media. Image courtesy of
Want to learn more? Of course! Start early on your New Year's resolution to become more learned and check out these sites:

The RMAC doesn't have many of Zelt's works, and the ones we have aren't online yet, so there's no link to our collection this time.

2014 may be winding down, but that doesn't mean you won't see any more RMAC printmakers on the Fanciful Lobster. There are too many in our collection to get through in one year, so you'll continue to meet them periodically. Stay tuned!