Large woodcut mural downtown Easthampton

About Carved Content:

Carved Content is a project designed by Carand Burnet and myself to beautify derelict areas using large woodcut as our creative vehicle. A woodcut is an image carved into the plank surface of a piece of wood.  The areas that show white are cut away leaving the image to show black on the surface level.  The wood is then rolled with ink to show the design. Using hand chisels, we execute a carving into a boarded up window, door, or neglected wall.  After the carving is complete we roll ink across the surface of the window, door, or wall and leave it as a permanently installed mural on the premises.  Carved Content’s mission is to popularize the woodcut medium by placing it in highly visible and openly accessible locations within the local community.  After viewing the woodcut mural we hope community members will seek out additional information about Carved Content, the history and tradition of woodcut, and other artists who practice printmaking.

Using partial funding awarded by the ECA+ and provided by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Carand and I will begin working on a 5 1/2 foot large woodcut on the side of the defunct Hurry & Scurry copy center at 118 Union St in Easthampton, MA starting July 2013. Our mural will depict the cross section of a tree with all the growth rings fully carved.  The choice of subject is inspired by the persistence of nature in the face of urbanization (moss and grass grow plentifully inside the Hurry & Scurry building) and our recognition of the sudden recent passing of Bryan Nash Gill who’s woodcuts illustrate the complex intricacies of the natural world.  Carved Content will take approximately 30-60 days to complete and we hope to have an official unveiling in August or September during Art Walk Easthampton.

Easthampton is a burgeoning arts center in western Massachusetts.  The town is located in the Pioneer Valley – about 2 hours from Boston.  It is a small community with many talented artists.  Everyone has been incredibly supportive of our project including: Pine Valley Real Estate, ECA+, and the Mass Cultural Council.

Stay in Touch:

As the project progresses I will post updates, images, and video on this page, the BIG INK blog, Twitter, Tumblr, and Blogger. Please subscribe to my newsletter to receive more information about Carved Content, BIG INK, and my own personal woodcut work.

About the Organizers:

Lyell Castonguay is a knock down, drag out, no holds barred woodcut printmaking extraordinaire.  Originally from Maine, Castonguay attended the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester NH where he received his BFA in Illustration after completing intensive study in printmaking and drawing.  His most recent series of seven large woodcut portraits, ranging in size from 36″ x 54″ to 36″ x 72″, depict 19th and early 20th century magicians.  Castonguay is now interplaying splatter and woodgrain textures, bright colors, and calligraphic lines to illustrate birds.

Castonguay’s work has been exhibited at APE in Northampton, MA, the D’Amour Museum of Fine Art in Springfield, MA, the Aberystwyth School of Art in Wales, Lorg Fine Art Printmakers in Galway, Ireland, and the Danforth Art Museum in Framingham, MA.  Castonguay is a past recipient of three Massachusetts Cultural Council Grants. At the most recent community printmaking project entitled BIG INK Castonguay and Carand Burnet collaborated with a group of volunteers to print 7 large woodcuts on Main Street in Northampton, MA. Castonguay is also an active member of Zea Mays Printmaking in Florence, MA.


Carand Burnet’s three-dimensional constructions reside in glass domes and shadowboxes. Her work references specific places in invented worlds. Composed of hand cut wood, shells, and snakeskin, she manipulates these natural objects to comment on the interactions between nature and civilization. Part natural environment and part architectural form, the viewer is invited to discern his or her own connections in these contained worlds.   Series such as The Brooklyn Bridge along with her shadowboxes visually translates a poem by the artist or writers such as Guillaume Apollinaire, Blaise Cendrars, and others.

Burnet’s work has been exhibited in Seattle, WA, Portsmouth, NH, Amherst, MA, and in The Hosmer Gallery in Northampton, MA. She is originally from South Carolina and now lives in New England after earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2010. She was a 2012 Easthampton Bearfest Artist Participant. She co-owns the Curbside Gallery: a traveling art shop and is the co-organizer of BIG INK and Carved Content. Her constructions, hand made books, and prints reside in private collections.

“This program is supported in part by a grant from the Easthampton Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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