Purchase Print Week
October 27, 2017
Purchase College’s second semi-annual Print Week took place October 23-26. This year, Print Week held a focus on printmaking in the service of social justice and protest. Print as a medium has a long history of communication and collaboration. Activists have used posters, stencils, and printed media to serve their cause for centuries and at this point, not much has changed.
So, printmaking faculty Stella Ebner, Robert Swainston, and Cassandra Hooper curated the show, We Are All In This Together, in the Richard and Dolly Maass Gallery on contemporary protest art. The show spans many different movements from like, Gender Rights, Native Rights, Policing and Incarceration, and more.
The first day of Print Week, some artists from the collective who provided most of the work for the show, the Interference Archives, threw a Propaganda Party in the gallery! Artists collaborated with students to create their our protest posters and imagery to print on t-shirts and share their passions for social change. There were over 30 posters for students to grab about various different movements. Later that night, some of those artists held a panel discussion about how to enact change in our communities and how art can aid in that cause.
The following day, Print majors from all class years came together to throw a ‘Wayzgoose’ party in one of the print shops. Students came together to give demos on screen-printing, monotyping, intaglio, zine-making, and relief. Along with some good music and some snacks, it really became a party then. The print community brought together artists across a number of disciplines and even non-artists!
On the final day of Purchase Print Week `17, we were introduced to the artist and activist Favianna Rodriguez. Rodriguez is an Afro-Peruvian woman whose art speaks to gender rights, immigration rights, and many other causes. Rodriguez’s work has been replicated and reproduced in true printmaking fashion for various movements and protests.
Rodriguez held a guest critique with student artists featured in one of the galleries on campus, followed by a poster-making workshop, ending with a public lecture on her work. The night ended on a high note with Karaoke with a Message. Students and faculty chose some great songs about change and strength to serenade everyone with.
Purchase’s Print Week was packed with so many exciting events and information for students; it really brought together people across the spectrum for a purpose. In this instance, printmaking did its job of establishing inclusiveness and community.