Cassandra Schiffler at Basement Gallery

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While Not For Squares, the current exhibition at Basement Gallery is a must-see and contains the quality quirky works of regulars like Ben Wilson and April VanDeGrift, make sure to peek around the corner into the little room in the back. It's there that you'll find the newly designated featured printmakers space within the gallery and, this month, the work of Boise's Cassandra Schiffler.

A 2007 graduate from the College of Idaho's visual art program, Schiffler said her nine drypoint engravings with mezzotint are a recent study of the medium and process. Mezzotint is a variation on the printmaking process of engraving, where a metal plate is entirely scored, and the desired area meant to leave white is smoothed. Drypoint is a similar printmaking process using a very sharp pointed tool, making blurred, softer lines on the resulting print.

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Photos are courtesy of the artist.

Schiffler titled the resulting series Etudes, "after the musical term that denotes a small study designed to enhance the skill of the player—which is what I felt like I was doing when I started making them," she explained.

While the printed area is rather small, just 6-inches by 4-inches, the black-and-white abstracts have a larger presence to them, each one resonating like a chord struck or a line spoken. Which is, in fact, part of the artist's intention.

"My compositions come from intuition and imagination, using an innate sense of pattern recognition, and an observation of the tension and harmony between forms. I try to create a sensual rhythm of line, shape, form, and value," Schiffler in her artist statement for the exhibition.

The show runs at Basement Gallery through Saturday, January 29.