The educational goal of the Printmaking Department is to provide students with the technical and aesthetic instruction and critical-thinking skills necessary to develop as working print artists. Students create work in a variety of fine art print media to develop a distinctive vision and a professional approach. Printmaking is an extension of drawing; thus, drawing and compositional skills are developed along with those of printmaking. Students learn the basics of the major techniques and must achieve mastery in lithography and etching. Black-and-white and color processes are taught in all media within the program. Students are also encouraged to pursue other areas of the Printmaking curriculum, such as relief, monotype, letterpress printing and book arts. Aesthetic understanding is developed through studio projects leading to more self-directed work on the upper levels. Lectures, demonstrations and workshops with well-known visiting artists and master printers further enhance the curriculum.
Recent visiting artists include Kathryn Polk, Drive by Press, Kristen Martincic and master printers Carolyn Muskat and Peter Pettengill. The Printmaking Department has hosted Beauvais Lyons and Phyllis McGibbon as its Auerbach lecturers during the past several years. The nationally recognized Hartford Art School Print Workshop has hosted major collaborations between artists and master printers in our facilities yearly since 1978. These workshops provide the students the opportunity to observe artists and printers collaborating to create original editions of prints, and sometimes to participate in their production.
The students’ work leads to their senior exhibition and helps prepare them for graduate school or a career in printmaking and the arts, whether as a gallery artist, or in some fine arts printing capacity, teaching or other professional fields within the greater art community.