Yolanda del Riego: An Artist-Printmaker Formed in Alaska
Over the past five decades, Yolanda del Riego has been creating highly expressive and lyrical art using a wide array of materials and supports. Printmaking, and the use of printmaking techniques, has been one of her primary means of expression of her. In June of 2022 the International Institute had the honor to welcome Yolanda to share her recollections of these formative years in Alaska and their lasting impact on her. Yolanda spoke about why printmaking captured her so powerfully and why she chose to use a reproductive medium to create unique, one-of-a-kind works of art. She also explained why Anchorage, Alaska in the 1970s was such an extraordinary place to be, culturally and intellectually, for a young artist.
Yolanda has called Madrid home for many years, but in the 1960s and 70s she was living in the United States. She resided first on the east coast but in 1973 she moved to Anchorage, Alaska, and it was there that she learned printmaking. In 1976 she was accepted as a member artist of the Visual Arts Center of Alaska, where she had the opportunity to learn printmaking and papermaking techniques from the many visiting artists who were invited for extended stays to give workshops. As part of a vibrant community of artists, she also came into contact with musicians and creative people of all stripes. In Alaska she also encountered wild and immense landscapes, the likes of which she had never seen before. Yolanda drew on the strength of that lively arts community and the staggering beauty of the natural environment to develop her own style as an artist and printmaker throughout the 70s, culminating in a year of dizzying creation in 1980.