From July 1st to 15th this summer, I was halfway across the country in South Dakota. “Why would anyone voluntarily spend that long in South Dakota?”, you might be wondering. If one happens to be a printmaker, it is home to one of the best artist workshops in the country: Frogman’s. Since this blog is allegedly a conduit for my art, and not solely devoted to writing and books, I thought I’d share a little bit of what I worked on while I was there.
My first week’s workshop was Screenprint with Melissa Harshman. Melissa is a professor at the University of Georgia at Athens, one of the graduate schools I am interested in. I had never screened before, so I threw myself into it with gusto and tried to make as much as possible during the week. I wanted to make as many mistakes as possible while I had someone there to correct me. I’d call the effort a success.
Melissa was a great teacher, very attentive, and I really enjoy her work. She cemented my resolve to check out/apply to UGA when the time comes.
My second week at Frogman’s was spent learning everything there is to know about collagraph from artist Tracy Otten, an old friend of my undergrad professor. She is a faculty-member at the University of Minnesota Morris and a cool chick in general. The amount of knowledge she had to share regarding different materials and processes for collagraph was nigh-endless. For the unfamiliar, a collagraph is basically a collage made of whatever which is then sealed, has ink rubbed into the surface and then wiped from the high points, and is printed onto wet paper under high pressure (to pull the ink onto the paper via capillary action).
In addition to classes, each day we had artist talks from two of the lecturers. In the evenings we often had activities like a gallery walk or an opening, sometimes less art-related fare like karaoke or bowling (with costumes). All in all a fabulous time at what amounts to art camp for adults. I learned a ton and am already planning what to take next summer! The collagraphs are currently flattening under some heavy books (had to roll them for the plane), and when they are ready I will trim them and the screenprints, along with doing some touch-up and adding hand-color. I’ll leave you with a piece of work that is already finished.