If you’ve paid attention to upcoming events at the Peninsula School of Art (PenArt), you may have noticed a common theme: printmaking. The first exhibit of 2019 is Midwest Made: Contemporary Print Invitational, and the first fundraiser of the year is Winter Print.
When asked about the focus on printmaking, PenArt Executive Director Catherine Hoke said, “The reason is twofold: There’s been a resurgence nationally in printmaking as an art form, and as a school we’ve invested in a new, more complete program.”
The investment was in new printmaking equipment. On Thursdays from November to April, 5:30-8:30 pm, PenArt opens its studios to artists of all levels who would like to work independently on life drawing, painting, ceramics, metals or printmaking. In the printmaking studio, there’s an etching press for monotype, collagraph and relief, as well as an exposure unit for screen printing. No instruction is provided, but a staff member is available to answer questions regarding the proper handling of the equipment and materials.
With the new equipment and open-studio opportunities, printmaking was a fitting subject for the opening exhibit of the new year. Hoke said the Midwest Made exhibit “will show people what is possible” when it comes to printmaking, and she’s hoping it “shines a light on that aspect of the school.”
Midwest Made, running Jan. 18 to March 2, includes the creations of a diverse group of artists whose work showcases the range of possibilities in printmaking – both in technique and subject matter. Hoke said of the selection of artists, “We were looking for artists showcasing a breadth of technique, both traditional and nontraditional … and who were leading in terms of education and quality of work.”
The artists who met that criteria are Brian Borchardt, April Katz, Melissa Wagner-Lawler, Jeffrey Morin, Yoonmi Nam, Gail Panske, Miguel Rivera, [Printmaking Lecturer] Andy Rubin and Josh Winkler. Along with being printmakers, these artists are all based in the Midwest, and many are in a teaching position at a university or college.