Jim Sherraden of Hatch Print Shop works in a newspaper press.
Jim Sherraden, originally from Salina, sets up his exhibition "From Brayer to Brush: Hand Colored Prints" in the Sandzen gallery in Lindsborg.
Jim Sherraden shows off one of the posters printed at Hatch Show Print on July 11, 2008.

LINDSBORG – The seeds of Jim Sherraden’s passion for papermaking and woodcarving can be traced to the historic architecture of downtown Salina.

Growing up in Salina, Sherraden was fascinated from a young age by the facade of the United Building and the ornate ceramic tiles of the old dry-cleaning shop at the corner of Seventh and Ash streets, as well as the masonry of many downtown buildings.

“I couldn’t believe how the bricks from those old buildings came together,” said Sherraden, who now lives in Nashville. “Who knew the kinds of things I always watched as a kid was going to be my career?” ”

For nearly 34 years, Sherraden worked for Hatch Show Print, a famous letterpress printing company in Nashville, where he created more than 10,000 show posters for a wide range of artists and musicians, including Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, BB King and Emmylou Harris.

Sherraden now works as a freelance artist creating his own woodcuts and paper quilts. He is co-author of the book “Hatch Show Print: The History of a Great American Poster Shop” and the 2013 recipient of the Distinguished Artists Award for the State of Tennessee. He has also designed numerous CD / LP packages including “Bruce Springsteen: Live in New York City” and “Emmylou Harris Live at the Ryman”.

“Everything I have learned while working at (Hatch Show Print) has helped me make the transition to my own artwork over the past nine years,” said Sherraden. “If you saw the frame that all of the characters are inserted into (on a Hatch Show Print poster) and flipped it over to look at the back, you would see that each letter and the spacing is, in and of itself, part of it.” a larger pattern that creates the poster in its entirety. Of course, this influenced my work today.

Sherraden is now returning to the Midwest to open a new exhibition at the Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery in Lindsborg.

“From Brayer to Brush: Hand-Colored Prints by Jim Sherraden,” features a collection of nearly 40 woodcut quilt pieces from Sherraden.

For each of his canvases, Sherraden carves his own blocks of wood by hand, prints them, then cuts paper, which he mixes and matches into a combination of quilting patterns, tiles, and texture that reflect a traditional shape or form. convey a unique design of its own. The watercolor paint is then applied after the final assembly.

“My work is based on a design balance found in nature: think of cobwebs, butterfly wings, a magnolia flower,” Sherraden said as part of his artist statement for the exhibition. .

Five new exhibitions

Sherraden’s work is one of five new exhibitions included in the 123rd Midwestern Art Exhibition, which opens Sunday and runs through May 23 at the Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery at 401 N. First on the Bethany College campus.

The exhibit also includes paintings and other works of art by brothers Thomas and Richard Klocke, graduates of Bethany College who now live in Lawrence; art collector Dave Woolard de Hays, who will present some 50 selections from his collection focusing on artists from this region; multimedia works by Salina artist and instructor, Harley Elliott; and works by members of the Sandzén Gallery exhibition committee, which includes Lindsborg artists Maleta Forsberg, Ron Michael, Elizabeth Liljegren and Rose Marie Wallen, as well as Wayne Conyers of McPherson, Michael Jilg of Hays and Karla Prickett and Cary Brinegar of Salina.

Due to restrictions in place for the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no opening reception for the show.

Now in its 123rd year, the Midwest Art Exhibition was founded in 1899 by Sandzén, a famous artist, teacher and printmaker, and his fellow artists Carl Lotave and GN Malm. It was intended to complement the annual festival of the Messiah each year at Bethany College during the Easter season.

Cori Sherman North, curator at the Sandzén Gallery, said the exhibit represents Kansas’ oldest art exhibit, a streak that has not been interrupted even by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

“We canceled our summer show last year and ran on (the Midwest art show) double the time,” she said. “Although we do not have an opening reception this year, the gallery will be open during regular hours. ”

North said if COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed over the next two months, Sherraden would like to return to host quilt-making workshops at the gallery.

Gofer for Waylon

Sherraden grew up in Salina and graduated in 1975 from Salina South High School. Although he loved his hometown, Sherraden said he was one of those kids who wanted to get out of Kansas “as quickly as possible.”

Country music legend Waylon Jennings will help him come to Nashville.

Sherraden said he aspired to be a lyricist, and when his lyrics fell into the hands of Jennings’ lead guitarist, the guitarist called Sherraden and “said I was a good writer and should move out. in Nashville “.

Sherraden moved to Nashville in 1977, which he likened to “a move to the moon” and became “a chauffeur, gofer and office boy” for Jennings for about two years.

After quitting Jennings’ job, Sherraden decided to go back to college and get a degree. He enrolled at Middle Tennessee State University, where he graduated in 1983 with a degree in English and a minor in printmaking.

Graphic design icon

In 1984, at the age of 26, he was hired at Hatch Show Print, where he served as director and curator until 2013, overseeing his transition from a cultural survivor to a widely recognized graphic design icon and a destination for typography lovers.

In 2005, Sherraden began carving his own woodcuts in his spare time, continuing the artistic work that first led him to work at Hatch Show Print. A few years later, he embarked on the creation of original wood and paper quilts.

In 2019, Sherraden began working exclusively from his home studio in White’s Creek, Tenn. Although he is now a freelance artist, Sherraden said he will never forget the skills and artistic insight that Hatch Show Print instilled in him.

“I developed a great affection for both country music and for the balance and design that is found in nature there,” he said. “It is still a very active company, which now belongs to the Country Music Hall of Fame. ”

Jim Sherraden, who opened a store in Watertown, created this paper quilt.
Jim Sherraden created "Quilt # 93, 2018" using a hand-colored relief print on paper.  Discover his creations at the Morris Museum of Art until November 8.
Jim sherraden

Steroid quilts

Cori Sherman North said she first met Sherraden over 10 years ago when he was invited to exhibit at the Beach Museum in Manhattan, then run by her husband, Bill. After Sherraden returned to Salina for a visit in 2016, North took him to visit the Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery.

“He said he would like to have an exhibit here someday,” she said.

North was very impressed with Sherraden’s woodblock quilts, which she says are created in such intense detail that they look like “steroid quilts”.

“He takes his own woodcut designs and cuts them into different shapes, textures and patterns,” she said. “It’s almost overwhelming to watch.”

Sherraden said his passion for printmaking has never wavered and that he doubts he will ever retire altogether when it is always so fun to create unique woodblock and quilt prints.

Sherraden gave his hometown of Salina credit for inspiring his future career, artistic direction and lifelong passion.

“I’m one of those guys who never forgot where he came from,” he said.

The 123rd Midwestern Art Show

When: Sunday to May 23

Where: Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery, 401 N. First, Lindsborg

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

Admission: Free, donations appreciated

Info: 785-227-2220 or www.sandzen.org