Contemporary printmaking has evolved into an interdisciplinary
medium, combining traditional and alternative processes that integrate
print with other studio disciplines, such as painting, fibers,
ceramics, and digital arts. With the recent movement toward non-toxic
materials, digital imaging, and photographic processes, printmaking
remains an exciting and ever-changing field. The Printmaking program
at Bowling Green State University introduces students to a wide range
of techniques and processes with an emphasis on the development of
critical thinking and an individual artistic vision. The program
offers coursework in Relief and Monoprint, Intaglio, Lithography, and
Screenprint, all of which include traditional as well as contemporary
practices. Additionally, a summer workshop in Book Arts supplements
the regular curriculum. At the Advanced Prints and Graduate level,
students may elect to work in the traditional mode of editioning or
move into mixed media/interdisciplinary work that links the print
medium with other fields of study.
In consultation with an adviser, print students plan an individualized degree program that provides a thorough grounding in a range of print media, with additional advanced level studies in a specialized area of interest. In addition to print courses, students are encouraged to take courses in other studio areas in order to broaden their art-making experience.
While at BGSU, students develop skills in art-making, visual communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Some of our students go on to use their print expertise in the commercial printing market, within collaborative or contract printing workshops, or in general design fields, but most print students are working to become fine artists. Their main objective is the personal development of imagery and techniques via the print medium, which often leads to further printmaking study at the graduate level.
BGSU Undergraduates in Printmaking have successfully advanced to graduate study at various institutions, including the University of Iowa, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of North Texas, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Ohio University, and Northern Illinois University. Furthermore, our students have successfully competed for assistantships and fellowships at these institutions.
The Print Society
All students with an interest in printmaking are encouraged to join this active student club. The Print Society organizes field trips, visiting artist workshops, a booth at the Black Swamp Arts Festival, and various activities related to printmaking. Fundraisers, including T-shirt printing events and print sales, are held several times during the year to support Print Society activities. Funding supports visiting artists and student attendance at national and regional print conferences.
Regional and National Printmaking Associations
There are numerous professional printmaking associations in existence and students are encouraged to join these in order to gain a broader understanding of the world of prints. Two of these are:
Mid-America Print Council, a Midwestern print organization that sponsors a biennial conference of workshops and panel discussions, a members' exhibition, and a newsletter.
Southern Graphics Council International, a national print organization that sponsors an annual conference of workshops and panel discussions, a members' exhibition, and a journal.
The Intaglio/Relief studio is equipped for wood and linoleum block printing, intaglio work in copper, and monoprinting. The Intaglio/Relief studio houses:
- A Takach etching press, 33.5 x 60” bed
- A Charles Brand etching press, 36 x 60” bed
- 3 vertical acid baths for ferric chloride
- 3 hotplates
- Paper soaking trays
- A spray booth with airbrush station
- A rosin aquatint box
- A wide array of brayers and rollers up to 25 x 11”
- Two drying racks
- Dremel tools
- Assorted tools for relief and intaglio work
- Inks and chemicals
- A solvent washout area
The Lithography/Screenprinting studio houses:
- A Takach litho press, 33 x 57” bed
- A Charles Brand litho press, 30 x 50” bed
- 25 stones of varying sizes and grades up to 20 X 28"
- 3 plate-backing slabs up to 33 X 51"
- 4 leather rollers
- A wide array of composition rollers up to 25 x 11”
- A graining sink
- A hydraulic lift
- Hinge boards for screenprinting
- A drying rack
- A paper tear table
- A guillotine paper cutter
- Assorted squeegees up to 34”
- A screenprint vacuum table
- Inks and chemicals
- Flat files for student use
The Printmaking Storeroom is equipped with:
- Computer, scanner and laser printer
- A small library of books and journals
- Tools and paper available for purchase
The Printmaking Photo darkroom is equipped with:
- 4 light exposure units
- 2 large sinks
- A pressure washer
- A mat cutter
- 2 paper cutters
- A shrink wrapper
- Archives of past student work
Visiting Artists are invited to work with our students to supplement the regular curriculum. Visiting artists typically show their prints and provide a demonstration of their specialized process to the print classes. During the remainder of the week, the visiting artists produce a print with the assistance of students. Depending on the artist’s needs, students may help to tear and calendar paper, ink plates, expose plates and screens, cut stencils, assemble elements on the press, and/or assist with the curation of the edition. These hands-on activities provide real-life experience for students. Working alongside a visiting artist gives students a first-hand view of a professional artist at work, including the opportunity to observe the artist problem-solving visually, conceptually and technically through an image from start to finish.