Bischoff follows his muse to new medium
June 9, 2008 · Updated 6:14 PM
The legendary island drummer celebrates music through silkscreen.
Korum Bischoff found a musical outlet in a most unusual place: his laundry room.
A year ago, the islands noted percussionist quit his band, the Dead Science, and became a full-time graphic artist.
Inspired by screen-printed rock posters, photo essays and being part of the Bainbridge music community for a long time, he decided to delve into screen printing.
I never tried silkscreening before, said Bischoff, a founding member and current vice president of the Island Music Guild. It has long been tied to the music world and seemed like the perfect medium for a show documenting the music community here on Bainbridge.
Youve got students, singer/songwriters, so many facets on the island.
Bischoff is a graphic designer for One Reel, which produces Seattles Bumbershoot festival and Teatro ZinZanni. His silkscreen exhibit will hang in Pegasus Coffee House until March 2.
Bischoffs screen print essays are 8-by-10 and 5-by-7 silkscreens that pay homage to students, technical wizards, singers and promoters, such as Eddie Williams, Alan Simcoe, Norman Johnson, Dave Bristow, Paul Lewis and Bryn Kepler.
The silkscreening process was hard to learn and harder than that was choosing the subjects, he said. I didnt think Id have enough to fill the (Pegasus) space, but I nearly did.
The show isnt meant to be a whos who of local musicians.
Its meant to illustrate many of the different ways one can be involved in the enjoyment of music, whether a musician or not, Bischoff said.
It is also an attempt to demonstrate some of the many roles that need to be filled in order to create a thriving music community.
In a panic
Bischoff learned the process late at night in a frantic phone call to an acquaintance between Christmas and New Year. The prints had to be hung on Jan. 27, inspiring what the artist described as a panic attack.
Bischoff tackled the messy project in his laundry room.
The first one he did was perfect, so he soldiered on, working on the project every day for a month, after his wife and 2-year-old son were asleep.
He starts by taking a digital photo of his subject a pretty simple portrait makes a black-and-white image of it on his computer and prints a transparency. The outcome is not meant to be photo specific.
He adds two colors that give life and vibrancy to the print, which takes about five hours to produce.
Its clear that the silkscreens are a labor of love. The expressive screen printings reveal the artists care and creativity, yet allow the personality of the subject to come through.
Bischoff would like to parlay his new talent into a business venture: childrens portraits.
The idea came to him after he completed this project and did silkscreens of a neighbors child and a drumming student of his.
This is an emerging, cutting-edge trend for the non-oil painting set, Bischoff said. I want to do a hipper, rock n roll-style portrait of kids.
The resulting prints, including one of his aunt and uncles dog, were well-received.
They were shocked when they realized it was their dog, shocked when they realized I had made it, Bischoff said.
Friends who came across his silkscreens at Pegasus were equally surprised. They called Bischoff to say, I saw your name. I didnt know you did this kind of stuff.
My identity on the island has always been the music guy, said Bischoff, who moved to the island while in middle school and made a name for himself booking acts into Pegasus and playing in various bands, including the Dead Science with his brother, Jherek, and Sam Mickens.
Bischoff made three prints of each silkscreen, but none are for sale. One hell keep, and one goes to the subject. The framed prints will become part of the Island Music Guilds permanent collection.
This is a gift to the music guild and a gift to some friends, Bischoff said.
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Korum Bischoffs silkscreened prints are on display at Pegasus Coffee House through March 2. This screen print essay represents a range of islanders who contribute to the music scene, from students to promoters.
On March 4, the exhibit will reopen at Island Music Guild with an artists reception from 5 to 7 p.m.
Afterward, at 7:30, Bischoff will sit at his drums to back island singer/songwriter Holly Figueroa, the founder of indigrrl.com. Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets are $12. For more information see www.islandmusic.org and email@example.com.