Woodcut Artist Tom Killion Captures the Magic of the California Coast


A new exhibition, California’s Wild Edge: The Coast in Prints, Poetry and History, is the best reason to visit the San Francisco Public Library this May.

From the eponymous book (due out from Heyday in July), California’s Wild Edge features the glorious Japanese-style woodcut prints, depicting the spirited landscapes of the California coast, of Pt. Reyes Station–based artist and author Tom Killion. We confess we are newcomers to Killion's work, but upon reading his bio, we are fascinated and quite obsessed. (And we need one of his prints for our offices, ahem.)

This is a guy who grew up in Mill Valley; founded his own press in Santa Cruz in the late '70s; got a doctorate in Ethiopian studies from Stanford and worked medical relief in Africa in the '80s; and was a Fulbright scholar at Asmara University in Eritrea in the '90s—all while publishing several books and teaching all over the place.

Clearly, we are late to the Killion party: His work has been exhibited from SF to New York and London. But that's not stopping us from oohing and aahing over the incredible works in the slideshow above. Peep these and more when the exhibition opens May 13. The opening program, at 6pm in Koret Auditorium, brings poet Gary Snyder in conversation with Killion himself.  //  California’s Wild Edge: The Coast in Prints, Poetry and History, The Main Library, sfpl.org.


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