With the cancellation of this year's Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival due to COVID-19, the Festival Committee invited local artist Kreg Yingst to create a poster for 2020 in his original woodcut print design. We hope his work will capture some of the feelings of 2020 and become a positive memento for this unique year. Festival posters have become a local collector’s item and are available online this year only.
This limited-edition of 250 posters are each signed and numbered by the artist.
Covid-19 was the major crimp in bringing just about every art festival to a close, including the GGAF. This is symbolized in the print by using a combination of an entangling vine and a smaller version of a Blue Globe Thistle, alluding to the similar image that we’ve seen of the coronavirus.
The handles of the hourglass are adorned with masked faces, again representing the difficulties that we’ve experienced with Covid-19.
In the top half of the hourglass is a ship that has been caught in a swirling eddy; a hurricane depicted above it. As a city, we’ve of course not only had to deal with Covid, but also hurricane Sally and repeated threats from other storms. This feeling of vertigo is also, perhaps, something we’ve all experienced this year on a personal level as well. It’s a hopelessness of losing control of the rudder, unable to steer our vessels in a direction we might wish to go, and at some point, simply allowing those acts of nature to steer us where they will.
After this passage of time we wish to have 2020 drain out with a positive effect. The adversity we’ve all experienced, the isolation of being stuck inside our “glass bubbles,” has also allowed for a turning inward. While some have met this challenge with strength and grace, others have struggled. The labyrinth floor represents this struggle to “center oneself” and turn inward to a place of peace and contentment when all of our typical outward forms of socialization have been stripped.
What we find in the bottom half of the hourglass is that dawn awaits after a long season of darkness and turmoil. Life begins to bloom again. This is represented by the Florida crossvine, so named because a cross-section of its stem reveals a cross-shaped pattern. The cross is symbolic of excruciating death — something we’ve definitely experienced as a nation, and to some degree individually — but it is also accompanied by the hope of a resurrection which is symbolic of the blooming flower and the butterfly that emerges from its cocoon.
Kreg Yingst received his BA from Trinity University in San Antonio (1983) after attending the University of Texas (1978-’80), and his MA in painting from Eastern Illinois University (1996). After graduation, he taught art for thirteen years and has been a full time artist since 2003.
Both a painter and a self-taught printmaker, his work predominately evolves from an idea-based or narrative concept. Through a series, or “body of work,” the subject matter is fleshed out in a personal vision. Those ideas change as his interests change.
His initial printmaking influences were the book illustrators and WPA artists of the 1930’s. All of his original works are created from carved blocks of wood, linoleum, or other materials, and printed onto paper, board, or wood using an antique Showcard proof press. The larger works are hand-burnished using the back of a spoon. Some of the images are printed multiple times with different blocks to create colored layers, or in some cases, are individually hand-painted using watercolor.
His work can be found in numerous international private and corporate collections, including Janus Corp., Denver, CO, Purdue University, the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, and Pensacola State College.