Uncivil Good Trouble


Ashley Seay is the owner of Relief Printmaking Studio, which offers original art with a focus in woodblock printing, custom logo woodblocks, wood sculpture and design, pattern design, and fabric printing. The studio’s motto is to produce “relief you can see and feel.” She has over 10 years of experience in the printmaking medium. Woodblock printing is done by reversing an image, carving it on a piece of wood by leaving the image’s outline on the wood, and then the block is inked and printed on a substance like paper or fabric. A printing press is used to reproduce prints with even pressure. Hand printing is the traditional way; however, she prefers to use the printing press to ensure that ink is applied evenly on each print. Woodblock printing is how the first newspapers, books and bibles were produced. The artwork is inspired by history, culture, nature, Ancestors, Universe, and family and friends. “Creating is a very deep process for me. Art is not just an image on paper, it is an extension of the soul. I start by contemplating all of my inspirations, such as nature, current and past events, family and friends, life experiences, etc. The composition and theme of my work depends on how I want my audience to experience it. Abstract geometric symbolism is a common trait in my pattern designs, which creates a different interpretation and experience for all who encounter the pieces. At the end of the day, I want people to learn something new, raise questions, and acknowledge any feelings or thoughts that are inspired by looking at the artwork. It gives me a sense of completion and gratitude to know that I have touched others with this great gift of art that I was blessed with.” Recently she was an artist residence with Metro Nashville Public Schools. She led a course at Cane Ridge High School, and two classes at the Nashville School of the arts. Ashley has also won third place at the Best of Tennessee Craft Exhibition, featured and taught at the Frist Art Museum, National Museum of African American Music, Tennessee State Museum, Belmont University, and Cheekwood Mansion.

Artist Statement-Uncivil Good Trouble

In “Uncivil Good Trouble” artist Ashley Seay features 20 hand carved woodblock print mugshots of Civil Rights Leaders, Freedom Fighters, and the Black Panthers. These prints visually depict leaders who rose to fight for what is right, despite the repercussions of imprisonment. This exhibition is a celebration and dedication to all of whom fought for the freedom of Black People.

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