MJ Torrecampo

Where Identities Meet

Sep 20-Oct 25, 2016

 Anthony Mancuso | MJ Torrecampo | Jager Palad | Nicole Dikon Hoopsnake Press is a collective of artists who studied under now-retired fine arts professor Francis Ke. The current exhibit, “Where Identities Meet,” explores the work of these artists, many of whom have moved to Tupelo to continue studying under Ke after his retirement. “It’s exciting, fresh subject matter,” Belle Naugher told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. “It’s about torment and the battles we go through as humans in our day-to-day life, but this is a different way to show it. I always say that art is therapy. We all go through things throughout our lives that are tumultuous and stressful, and this is art that shows how you can put your emotions down for others to see as a way of working through them.”   Hoopsnake Press was founded by Ke Francis in 1970 at the studios located at 1249 North Coley Road in Tupelo, Mississippi. At that time the press facility consisted only of a Charles Brand etching press and technical facilities to print small scale etchings and woodcuts. The press operation slowly expanded to include typecasting equipment, large etching and relief printing presses, and two letterpresses to handle the design, illustration and printing of books. In 1996 the press moved to research space at the University of Central Florida, Orlando, where it established a collaborative publishing venture with Flying Horse Press, the fine art press established by the university art department. Ke Francis became director of this press, which came to be known as Flying Horse Editions, and Ke and Mary Francis continued to publish under the Hoopsnake logo from 1996-2014.  Ke, his daughter Kerry, and Mary agreed to revamp the Tupelo facilities and combine the presses and resources from both locations at the original Tupelo studio in 2014. Currently the print and book-publishing projects, exhibitions and archiving efforts of the press are administered by Ke, Mary, and Kerry Francis. The Hoopsnake Press Associate Artists are a group of talented young artists whose artistic interests and aesthetic concerns parallel the mission of the press. They are skilled  professionals with unique personal visions.  I am pleased the Gum Tree Museum has offered them the opportunity to display their artworks to the community.   Ke Francis Artist, Hoopsnake Press