Karin Otto – Volunteer and Print Studio Advocate!
Do you know that Waterfall Arts has a new printmaking studio available to artists and curious minds of all ages and experience? It started in 2013 with the vision to establish a world-class print studio for Belfast and the Mid-Coast arts community. The loan of a press from Karen and Jeffery Jelenfy got us started and was soon followed by a generous donation from The Ethel and W. George Kennedy Family Foundation. Also key to the development of the studio, the help and knowledge of local artists; Tara Law, Richard Mann, Jeff Jelenfy, Abbie Read, Susan Groce, Gwen Tatro, Susan Smith, Kris Sader, Dina Petrillo, Shawn Brewer, Russell Kahn, Frances Hodgdon, and more!
Thanks to these significant contributions and the creative teamwork of Waterfall Arts’ staff, volunteers and local printmakers, the idea of an open access professional print studio has become a reality!
Barely a year later Waterfall Arts hosted PRINT, an exhibition of work produced by students, local artists and educators right here in the studio. Did you get a chance to see that show? We celebrated a full year of programming in our bright, comfortable and well-equipped print studio. It was wonderful to see that the Waterfall Arts print community is already producing strong, dynamic work!
Printmaking is fascinating in that it can be many things to many people. There are relief techniques, like wood and linoleum cut, Intaglio processes such as etching, engraving, and aquatint, as well as Lithography, Monotypes, Monoprints, and Screenprinting…all under the printmaking umbrella. There is endless variation to handling each technique, either separately or in combination, with each other. Considered one of the classic art forms, printmaking offers something for any level of experience and interest. And, because printmaking still employs traditional techniques from as early as the 14th century C.E., we can feel connected to those who came before us as we work. This process of putting image to paper is ancient, and yet it can still convey relevant imagery that expresses the creative thinking and innovation of today.
For me, nothing beats the diverse nature of the materials and the moment of “The Reveal”, when you unveil your printed image for the first time. That is what keeps me coming back. Waterfall Arts’ print studio offers an opportunity to work in nearly all the printmaking techniques. We run classes for all levels and age groups. We run open studio hours to continue work outside of class or just to spend some time dabbling around and studio subscriptions are available for more serious artists who want to use the space to produce or experiment. It is all here waiting for you!
Despite these successes, the staff and volunteers at Waterfall Arts have a vision to provide our community with even more printmaking resources and are constantly seeking ways to improve our already well equipped studio. In May we were honored to be the recipient of much of the Mid-Coast Printmaker’s equipment and materials. Big thanks goes out to them and to Frances Hodgdon for making it happen! And, just this month, we received a third generous grant from The Ethel and W. George Kennedy Family Foundation for the continued improvement of the print studio at Waterfall Arts. THANK YOU!!! This infusion of fresh capital allows us to invest in additional equipment and further upgrades. We will continue to offer diverse programming, including visiting resident artists, free monthly print demos, classes and workshops of all variety.
Curious about the studio? Come join one of our free monthly print demos. On June 18th, Gwen Tatro will be here to demo Dry Point etching. On July 23rd Susan Smith will give us a glimpse into the world of Collagraph. And on August 20th, Kris Sader will cover Monotypes. Demos run every month. Demos themselves run about 40 mins and the remaining time is yours to play.
We are so excited for this summer’s classes and workshops! Tara Law will run a one day Monoprint workshop on June 13th. Willy Reddick will be here on June 27th to run a workshop in White-line Woodblock printing. And Susan Smith will be here on Aug. 19th to run a workshop in Collagraph printing. There will be open studio hours all summer as well!
Also this summer, it is truly a tribute to all these amazing developments at Waterfall Arts that we are hosting our first Printmaking Artist in Residency! We are honored to welcome Julia Talcott, woodcut artist, from July 13-17. Come take her workshop or stop in to visit. You can check out some of her work on her website www.juliatalcott.com .
How fortunate we are to have access to such wonderful resources in our beautiful coastal community! Yeah printmaking! Yeah Waterfall Arts! Yeah Belfast!