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Entries filed under 'Printmaking'

    Technology and Touch: Intention and Serendipity in San Francisco and Reykjavík

    Carrie Ann Plank & Robynn Smith


    Carrie Ann Plank and Robynn Smith have been investigating relationships between technology and traditional printmaking techniques, both within the realm of their personal work, as well as in global printmaking practices. A recent lecture by the two at the Íslensk Grafík in Reykjavík, Iceland inspired a cross cultural exchange of work and ideas between Icelandic printmakers and San Francisco Bay Area printmakers in relation to this space between technology and tradition.  The exchange led to a curation of the exhibition, Technology and Touch, focusing on the variety of approaches to technology in the two disparate locales. Featuring the work of Icelandic artists: Greta Mjöll Bjarnadóttir, Valgerdur Hauksdóttir, Elvar Örn Kjartansson, Soffía Sæmundsdóttir, Laura Valentino, and Bay Area artists: Jimin Lee, Monica Farrar Miller, Michelle Murillo, Carrie Ann Plank, and Robynn Smith, the exhibition will travel from San Francisco at the Academy of Art University’s 688 Gallery in Union Square (November 2017) to the Southern Graphics Council International in Las Vegas at the Priscilla Fowler Fine Art gallery (April 2018) to Reykjavík in the gallery of the Icelandic Printmakers Association, Íslensk Grafík, IPA Gallery/Grafiksalurinn, within the Reykjavík Art Museum building during the Culture Night festival (August 2018).  Discussions, gallery talks and workshops accompany all of the exhibitions, resulting in the sharing of contemporary technologies and traditional printmaking practices across cultures.

    Co-curators: Carrie Ann Plank and Robynn Smith Photo credit: Bob Toy

    Co-curators: Carrie Ann Plank and Robynn Smith Photo credit: Bob Toy

    The authenticity of art resides in human expression, in our ability to use tools to further our ideas. The hand refers to the individual. It is our personal mark, our connection with our humanity, our relationship with nature and the wild.  Technology is innovation; bright, shiny and complex. Since the advent of the printing press, a major technological breakthrough, printmaking has always reflected the relationship between technology and the hand. A mark is made, and through the alchemy of technology, that mark is transformed and transferred to another surface. That relationship is always there, from the Gutenberg Bible of the mid 15th century to today’s laser cutters and photopolymer plates, the best printmakers seek just the right balance of handwork and technology.photopolymer plates, the best printmakers

    Artists from the project at the artist talk in San Francisco (left to right): Elvar Örn Kjartansson, Laura Valentino, Greta Mjöll Bjarnadóttir, Michelle Murillo, Carrie Ann Plank, Robynn Smith, Soffía Sæmundsdóttir, and Valgerdur Hauksdóttir. Carrie Ann Plank’s Data Rondures (Large Forms) in background. Photo credit: Bob Toy

    Artists from the project at the artist talk in San Francisco (left to right): Elvar Örn Kjartansson, Laura Valentino, Greta Mjöll Bjarnadóttir, Michelle Murillo, Carrie Ann Plank, Robynn Smith, Soffía Sæmundsdóttir, and Valgerdur Hauksdóttir. Carrie Ann Plank’s Data Rondures (Large Forms) in background. Photo credit: Bob Toy

    Both Reykjavík and the San Francisco Bay Area function as technological giants, yet in both places it is possible to feel the primitive, powerful nature of the wild. A five-minute drive out of Iceland’s capital is a primordial landscape of hot springs and lava. Standing a few hundred yards from the Golden Gate Bridge, the power of the Pacific Ocean is unfurled in an unbroken vista, all the way to Japan. Does the proximately to such dramatic landscape affect an artist’s use of technology? Does technology offer artists new tools to express their connection to the natural world?

    Every printmaker must strike a balance between technology and touch. This exhibition explores that balance, showcasing printmakers from two cities with a striking relationship between contemporary technology and the timelessness of nature.

    Two magnificently beautiful cities, both technology and trade hubs focused on the future, steeped in tradition and full of printmakers. Is there a connection?

    This question is what motivated us to explore an international exchange between printmakers from the San Francisco Bay Area and Íslensk Grafík, the Icelandic Printmakers Association based in Reykjavík.

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    Academy of Art Printmaking grads Erin McAdams (’16) and Keisha Mrotek (’15) have been putting their skills to use in their work for Master Printer Paul Mullowney. Mullowney Printing, located in San Francisco’s Mission District, publishes unique and editioned works by leading artists, using techniques that include etching, woodcut, photogravure, direct gravure, screen printing, and letterpress printmaking. The work has been an opportunity for McAdams and Mrotek to use the skills the acquired in their printmaking courses at AAU, and to develop those skills in a working apprenticeship with Mullowney.


    New Zine Class offers Conceptual Development and a Variety of Skills


    The Academy of Art is excited to offer a new class for Spring 2018: Zines: Reproduction Techniques for Communication and Expression. Zines are self-published small-run magazines, often created by artists, photographers, illustrators or anyone interested in exploring an idea and publishing it on their own. 


    Zines provide a forum to explore alternative ideas in a print format.  Communities of artists and zinesters put on annual events such as the SF Zine Fest every September in Golden Gate Park, the New York Art Book Fair, and the San Francisco Art Book Fair. Artists and publishers come from all over the world to sell, buy and trade zines.


    The Zines class gives students an opportunity to explore their current technical field, but also explore other ideas and avenues of content development. The class will use Xerography and Risography as well as collage, typography, design layout, photography, illustration, fiction and non-fiction writing to develop ideas and create zines. Sign up now for this exciting Spring class!

    Printed in Cuba

    The Fine Art Printmaking Departments hosts the exhibition Printed in Cuba at the 688 Sutter Gallery

    Screen Shot 2017-09-11 at 2.09.10 PM
    Screen Shot 2017-09-11 at 2.11.01 PM

    The Printmaking Department will host an exhibition from the international project Edition/Basel entitled Printed in Cuba.  The exhibition is the result of a collaborative project executed by 17 artists from the United States, Switzerland, and Cuba, during April of 2017.  The artists worked out of the Taller Experimental de Gráfica de La Habana in Havana, Cuba.  This international project focusing on cross cultural collaboration includes four Academy of Art Faculty Members: Carrie Ann Plank, Director of Fine Art Printmaking, Megan Adie, Printmaking Studio Manager, Lian Ng, Graphic Design Faculty and Barry Ebner, Printmaking Faculty.

    Here Aqui Hier


    Here Aqui Hier

    Collaborative piece by Fine Art Printmaking Director, Carrie Ann Plank, Cuban artist Janette Brossard, and Swiss artists Margarit Lehmann and Sadhyo Niederberger

    The exhibition runs from October 3rd through 31st at the 688 Sutter Gallery. The opening reception is Thursday, October 5th from 5:30-7:30pm

    Cuba meets USA meets Switzerland. PRINTED IN CUBA is an initiative by Margarit Lehmann (Switzerland) in cooperation with Aliosky Gracía (Cuba) and Lian Ng (USA). It is an experiment of artistic and sociopolitical dimensions: not Cuban art in America or Swiss art in Cuba, but joint work in a tri-national cooperation. The project brought together 19 printmakers from Cuba, USA and Switzerland to collaborate on a collection of unique prints using lithography, collagraphy, etching, pressure and relief printing techniques. The artists created layers on the same print in response to each other to result in a finished piece that does not represent a singular artist but of a collective whole. The artists participated in the project are: Alejandro Sainz (Cuba), Aliosky García (Cuba), Andreas Frick (Switzerland), Barry Ebner (USA),

    The Fine Art Printmaking department introduces a new class

    FA 499-24: SPECIAL TOPICS: 


    Ever wanted to make a zine, using Xerox and Risograph? Zines are a way to create editioned content in a reproducible and accessible format. We’ll investigate the history of zines, develop all sorts of content while exploring different formats of this democratic medium. Great for Fine Artists, Illustrators, Graphic Designers, Photographers and anyone looking to explore ideas through text and imagery. 

    Watch a promo video

    Study Abroad Florence, Italy

    SP17 Block layout Fine Art 11 X 17

    2016 Fine Art Auction


    November 10–11
    10 a.m.–6 p.m.

    Reception & Live Auction
    Saturday, November 12, 2016
    2 p.m. - Reception begins
    3 p.m. - Live auction begins

    Silent Auction
    Ends approximately 30 minutes after close of live auction

    AAU Galleries at The Cannery
    2801 Leavenworth St
    San Francisco, CA 94133





    Benefitting Academy of Art University's Student Scholarship Fund.

    Browse 2016 Catalog

    Academy of Art instructors chosen as Small Plates book artists for 2016

    Three long time instructors from the Academy’s Fine Art department, specializing in Book Arts and Letterpress, were invited by the San Francisco Center for the Book to produce artist’s books for the Center’s Small Plates imprint. Macy Chadwick, Jennie Hinchcliff, and Bettina Pauly were chosen by a panel of board members, teachers, and community members on the strength of their proposals to create the small-scale books, in an edition size of 100.

    The books were released at a party on June 10, at the Center for the Book, in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill neighborhood. At the well-attended opening, each artist spoke about her process, from conceptualization to production. In addition to the books themselves, tools and proofs from that process were on display.

    Macy Chadwick, a letterpress and book arts instructor at AAU since 2003, created a book called Input/Output. Chadwick says, “This is a book about the creative process. As artists, we gather information, text and ideas as fuel for making art. How does creative input transform into artistic output?” Her book is comprised of several folded sheets, which open up to reveal a complete image. In describing the process of designing and creating the book, Chadwick said, “Conceptually, I followed my usual mode of working—bouncing back and forth between structure, text, and idea in developing the book as a cohesive whole.” She did her printing at SFCB, rather than in her own studio, which presented both benefits and challenges. “It helped me focus on this specific project, and also gave me access to volunteers and equipment. But, I found that there was the added challenge of designing and producing the book in a public space.”

    Proclomatie is the book by Jennie Hinchcliff, who has been teaching book arts at the Academy since 2007. Her book is an homage to the early 20th century Dutch artist H.N. Werkman, using text from his 1932 manifesto on art making, and employing many of the same techniques as Werkman himself – including spontaneous design decisions, hand stamping, and printing on an iron handpress. Hinchcliff found the 4x4” size to be comfortable: “small, personal, a book that the reader can hold in their hands and connect with.” The edition size was larger than anything she had ever worked with, though. “Planning out the logistics for 75 books (and then making each book happen) was a new experience for me,” she said.

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    Fine Art Painting / Printmaking student Nina Wright

    Public Projects, Gallery Exhibitions, and HBO Documentary    


    Nina Wright, Fine Art Painting/ Printmaking student, is working on a wide variety of public works projects.  Nina’s signature graphic style can be seen applied to both her fine art pieces and in the public works projects popping up all over the Bay Area.  Recent gallery exhibits feature Nina’s mixed media screen print on panel works at such venues as: Know Gallery, LeQue Vive, Temescal Gallery, and Naming Gallery in Oakland. Recent public works projects include commissions from the city of Oakland for the art on utility boxes project, a commission from the Mission Street Public Life Plan as a featured artist in Art on Muni, and murals with the Clarion Alley Mural Project and a mural for the Temescal Gallery.  Look for more of Nina’s work in the 2015 documentary produced by HBO, San Francisco 2.0

    Artist Talk: Carrie Ann Plank

    Meet Bay Area artist Carrie Ann Plank on Sunday, March 20 and learn about her recent residency!


    Sunday, March 20, 2-3pm

    Join Carrie Ann Plank as she talks about her recent residency at Bullseye Resource Center Bay Area. She'll touch on the learning curve of working with glass for the first time, the inspirations for her prints, and the process of translating imagery into glass.

    This event is free and open to the public. Space is limited—RSVP required.

    About the Artist

    Carrie Ann Plank’s work is included in public collections including the Fine Art Archives of the Library of Congress, the Guanlan Print Art Museum in China, and the Iraq National Library in Baghdad. Recent shows include American representation at the International Print Art Triennial in Sophia, Bulgaria, the Liu Haisu Museum of Fine Art in Shanghai, China, and the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts Museum in Guangzhou, China. 

    She is the director of the printmaking MFA & BFA Programs at the Academy of Art University and is a board member of the California Society of Printmakers. 

    Bullseye Resource Center Bay Area
    4514 Hollis Street
    Emeryville, CA 94608
    (Map this location)

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    A Quick Look: Selected Book Arts Midterm Projects

    By Chris Rolik 

    Hard to believe, but we’re halfway through Fall semester already – and that means Midterm projects are due! The following are just a few selected Midterm projects from the many different Book Arts classes running this Fall. 

    Itay Kapitulmik's game "Funded"

    Itay Kapitulmik's game "Funded"

    Itay Kapitulnik created a board game he calls “Funded”. Based on the geography of the San Francisco peninsula, the board’s playing space ranges from the bottom of Silicon Valley to the tippy top of The City. Different aspects of the game involve dealing with traffic, housing, R & D, and money, with the object of the game being to obtain enough funding to ultimately build the winning “killer app”. Itay’s awesome design skills are evident in every part of the game, including his own laser-cut Prius-shaped playing pieces. 


    Apinya Srikhwanthong used skills she developed by taking the Paper Sculpture class (taught by Jeff Nishinaka) to create her sculptural altered book entitled “Life’s a Beach so Relax and Eat More Lobster!” She colored, shaped, and built her lovely lobster and his garnish, which she then placed into an old, obsolete coffee table book she’d hollowed out and painted – a process that, as Apinya will attest to, takes a whole lot longer than you’d think! The end result is a sculptural book transformation that is simply magical. 


    Celia Cueto Morilla used her own photographs assembled in layered collage compositions reminiscent of the Dadaists in her three tunnel books entitled “Air, Earth, Water”. The tunnel book structure utilizes depth and layering, and must be handled and manipulated to be fully experienced. This interaction is mesmerizing because it is so toy-like, and is the perfect vehicle for Celia’s delightfully whimsical compositions. 

    This is just a small sample of the exceptional work produced by Book Arts students each semester. The Book Arts class (in the Printmaking Department, which is in the Fine Art Department) is open to all majors and all skill levels, with no prerequisites. Do come join us! Thanks to Itay, Apinya, and Celia for the use of their images, and congrats to all on a job well done! 

    Alumni Excels at Roadworks Printing Festival by Meri Brin

    Each year, the San Francisco Center for the Book hosts the Roadworks Steamroller Printing Festival. Artists, Printmakers, Book Artists and enthusiasts all come together to visit with vendors, play with equipment, make pieces of art at do-it-yourself tables, and watch as a 7-ton 1924 Buffalo Springfield steamroller prints 3 foot by 3 foot large hand-carved linoleum blocks. This was the 12th year of the event, and quite a few of the Academy of Art’s alumni were there participating and celebrating. 

    Vendors and shoppers enjoy guitar playing as well

    Vendors and shoppers enjoy guitar playing as well

    Leah Jachimowicz, Coffee n Cream Press

    Leah Jachimowicz, Coffee n Cream Press

    MFA Printmaking Alumni Leah Jachimowicz, owner of Coffee n Cream Press, is a one-woman printmaking powerhouse. Leah designs and prints greeting cards and artwork. She also enjoys working directly with clients creating custom wedding invitations. Leah participates in many street fairs and art events around San Francisco, selling her unique designs directly to art lovers. She also has over a dozen stores in California, and even one in Louisiana, that stock and sell her cards. Leah enjoys working directly with clients creating custom wedding invitations


    Ryan Vicente

    Ryan Vicente

    Ryan Vicente’s print.

    Ryan Vicente’s print.

    This year BFA Printmaking Alumni Ryan Vicente agreed to carve of Steamroller’s large scale linoleum blocks. He transferred his drawing to the “battleship” linoleum, then spent about a week of long days and evenings carving the image into the block. Ryan proofed the block in small sections as he was carving it in his studio, but had to wait until the day of the event to see the whole image. Using the surface of the street as the press bed, a team of San Francisco Center for the Book volunteers inked up the block, laid it on the ground in a designated spot, and watched as the steamroller ran over it, transferring the ink from the block to the paper that was laid on top. The prints, once dry, are then available to purchase through San Francisco Center for the Book. If you missed this exciting event, be sure to mark your calendars for next year’s Steamroller! 

    The steamroller.

    The steamroller.

    Volunteers remove the paper from the inked linoleum.

    Volunteers remove the paper from the inked linoleum.

    The final print.

    The final print.

    Academy Students Shine at the Book Club of California

    Article by Chris Rolik

    On Monday April 13th The Book Club of California hosted their annual Student Showcase and Pop-Up Exhibition featuring Bay Area Book Arts students from SFAI, Mills College, City College of San Francisco, and the Academy of Art University. Participating Academy students in this year’s event were Grad student Yishu Wang and Undergrad Keisha Mrotek, both Printmaking majors.

    Students were asked to each present a formal five-minute PowerPoint slide show representing an overview of their current work. 


    Each student was also given table space to set up a display of their bookworks and related art. The students were able to chat informally with guests and show their work both before and after their presentations.

    The work shown was varied and fascinating. Among the works AAU students displayed were Keisha Mrotek’s politically satirical “Humiliate Them”, a mix-and-match card game based on the Dadaist “Exquisite Corpse”, images separated into segments that can be rearranged to create new, absurd combinations; and Yishu Wang’s 

    L’Isle Joyeaux”, an approximately 6-foot-long accordion book structure comprised of her series of complex, multi-layered screenprinted images inspired by the musical composition of the same name. Our Academy students gave stellar presentations.

    Read More »

    Fine Art Printmaking Guest Lecture Series continues with a visit from Paul Mullowney

    by Carrie Ann Plank, Director of Fine Art- Printmaking MFA & BFA


    Paul Mullowney of Crown Point Press and Mullowney Printing came to the Fine Art Department for a lecture and workshop on to demonstrate traditional Japanese chine-collé techniques and refined approaches for intaglio printing.  Mullowney lived in Japan for an extended period and is considered a master at eastern chine-collé techniques. In the informative workshop, he discussed conservation issues relating to adhesives, eastern paper properties, and he demonstrated proper approaches to chine-collé.  Students were also given a tutorial on Mullowney’s master printer approach to wiping plates to achieve the richest image. Mullowney also gave a lecture on the exciting array of projects executed at Mullowney Printing including examples by well-known contemporary artists such as Sandow Birk.

    Students were given the opportunity to ask questions and receive feedback on their own printmaking projects. 


    Students reap the benefits of annual printmaking conference

    by Dennis Peterson. Printmaking Faculty/Printmaking Studio Manager


    Coming off the heels of last year’s Southern Graphics Conference International hosted by the Academy of Art University, printmaking and graphic design students ventured to Knoxville, Tennessee, the sight of this year’s annual event.

    “SGCI was a really great opportunity to meet other printmakers, see what's being produced in the community, and learn new techniques,” states Jen Wright, undergraduate Printmaking Major in the Fine Art Department. 



    “Between demos, lectures, and gallery shows there's so much happening that it can be overwhelming, but in the best way because it's something I love. In essence, SGCI is like ComiCon for printmakers,” says Wright.

    Several printmaking students were able to attend this year’s conference thanks in part to their hard work at last years S.F. event. A letterpress and bookmaking project at last year’s event, entitled SPAN, was the brainchild of printmaking and book arts 

    Read More »