Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Young Printmakers at the Woodson Art Museum: Week One

Ready for students in the Woodson Art Museum classroom.

And there goes February. Did you see it? Me, neither.

At the beginning of the month I headed off to Wisconsin and a two-week Visiting Artist Residency at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. During my visit I worked with 150 students in grades 4-12, and about 30 adults, creating relief prints. I'm back in Maine now (with a rotten cold, go figure), but wanted to share some images from this great experience. There are TONS more photos on the Woodson museum's Facebook page if you're itching to see some.

During the first week of my visit the students traveled to the museum and during the second I traveled to their schools. This is a risky proposition in Wisconsin in February, but we were fortunate to have two weeks of clear (but cold) weather, especially since most of the participating schools were about an hour away from the museum.

Week One sessions included a quick visit to the main galleries of the museum and two concurrent temporary exhibitions: Wild Fabrications, which featured studio art quilts with an animal theme, and Explorations in Wood, which included both functional and sculptural works.

Looking for graphic patterns in art quilts. R Wunsch/LYWAM photo

While in the galleries, students were asked to looked for strong graphic pattern elements as well as aspects of animals that might be incorporated into their own designs.

Downstairs in the classroom we first drew thumbnail designs for relief blocks, then transferred the drawings and carved. We accomplished a lot in less than two hours!

Designing for repeating print patterns. R Wunsch/LYWAM photo

5th graders hard at work.

Next week... Printing!

But before printing week I also got to work with a couple of adult groups, including area teachers who were invited to a free printmaking workshop at the museum. (Complete with coffee and snacks!)

Beginning experiments

Oops! A couple of people are missing, gone to pick up some art supplies,
also provided by the thoroughly awesome Woodson Art Museum.

We treated the afternoon as an experimental print lab, trying simple two color reduction prints, different color combinations, and overprinting two different images.

I really enjoyed this afternoon with teachers and was grateful for the opportunity to facilitate some personal creative time and casual interaction among art education professionals.

Lest you think it was two weeks of all work and no play... I did get out for a few hours to do a little birding. One of the museum curators and his wife shared their Sunday with me... we picked up what I think were my lifer snow buntings and three snowy owls. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Stay tuned for Week Two and some amazing student work....


  1. Busy busy :) but good to see a post from you :)

  2. It was definitely all a bit of a blur, but I was really delighted with the work they all did!