Hands-On Art: Pulled, Printed, and Pressed

November 25, 2014 by

Work from the etching studio

Laughter resonated through every studio in the building as WSW wrapped up another prolific session of our Art-in-Education (AIE) program, Hands-on Art. Make no mistake, though, these young artists have been working hard over the last four weeks to create handmade paper, and sets of prints in both etching and silkscreen.

In the final week of the program, Kingston High School students returned to the studio of their choice, or took a one-day bookbinding class with current artist-in-residence Barbara Landes. These young artists took their last day as an opportunity to hone new skills and refine work in their favorite discipline.


Cheyenne assists on the press bed

Throughout the program, students had the freedom to translate their own images into these new mediums, but our instructors also challenged them in new ways. Etching instructor Cheyenne Mallo had students create abstract work so that they could focus on form and loosening lines.

“The etching class was eye opening,” says senior Zach Barrett, who first came to WSW in eighth grade. “I really enjoyed experimenting with depth by reworking the printing surface. It’s not like creating a pronto plate because you get to rework the image.”


Barbara keeps on eye on couching alignment.

In the papermaking studio, Barbara had these young artists working with contrasting fibers like cotton and cattail. They also learned couching techniques, which means that they can press found material, like flowers, between two freshly-pulled sheets of paper. The result is a singular sheet with an embedded image.

Emily Patzener, who returned to the paper studio in her last week, says, “Paper has more texture than silkscreen. The accidents here are a lot nicer.”


Renee Williams inspects her screenprint

Artist-in-residence and silkscreen instructor Libby Scarlett had our young artists come to each session with their own prepared images, which allows them focus on method. “It’s really interesting to see how they explore process differently,” says Libby. “Some of them are committed to seeing their original concepts to the end, even if it might not be ideal for silkscreen, and others are more into learning the technique and making work that compliments the process.”

Art-in-Ed Coordinator Tara Hagen followed up with a final in-school session, which included a group critique and discussion of both process and content. Now, our young artists are gearing up for a month-long exhibition at Kingston’s Kirkland Hotel, where they’ll get to install their own work, taking into consideration all that goes into mounting a show.

WSW has always been committed to engaging the local community and Art-in-Ed programming is a stepping stone for these young artists. They’re able to work in professional studios at a young age, and perhaps they’ll come back to intern, or to take a Summer Arts Institute class, or to apply for residencies with us. This is just the beginning.

Join us in celebrating these young artists and their blossoming artistic careers! An opening reception will be held Saturday, December 6th, 5-7 pm at the Kirkland Hotel’s RUPCO building. This is the second of two Art-in-Ed posts, and you can read the first here.