Saturday, June 30, 2007

June 24 panel discussion on printmaking

(l-r) Elizabeth Winchester, Phil Sanders, Lisa Mackie, Patricia Phagan, Paul Smart

I commend Elizabeth Winchester, and bau on the program that has accompanied the bau 30 exhibit.
I haven't seen the exhibit, but I did attend the panel discussion held last Sunday at the Howland Cultural Center.

The panel discussion was called "Still Relevant: Printmaking in Contemporary Art." Discussion started off with Vassar Drawing and Prints Curator, Patricia Phagan giving a brief history of printmaking through the 20th Century.

The panel discussed where the medium of printmaking stands currently, with many University Art Departments dismantling printmaking programs, competition from digital media, and the apparent lack of attention given to art prints by collectors.

Given the name of the talk, I was almost expecting a woeful lamentation by a group feeling marginalized within the greater art world. Fortunately this was not the case. Examples given by Lisa Mackie of the Lisa H. Mackie Studio, and Phil Sanders, Director & Master Printer at the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop both gave examples of their interactions with artists of other media exploring various applications of the printmaking process. They also discussed advances in the process including the option of non toxic inks and chemicals now available.

Around 30 people were in attendance at the Howland which is a great asset to the community for just this type of event, and I'm pleased that bau chose to hold the talk there.

This was a great discussion between a group of people who are very knowledgeable and passionate about the topic. It's something we don't get enough of. It also stirred within me that compulsive desire to start pulling prints again.

PS. just a plug for the Howland which is in the middle of a fund drive to go green with a geo-thermal heating and cooling system.

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