“The showcase reflects the collaborative, challenging process between printmaster and artist.” This is according to Wednesday’s Printmaking as a Collaborative Enterprise: Art Talks and Panel Discussion.
Inside the Horn Center, Self Help Graphics and Art Executive Director, Betty Avila moderated the panel that featured El Nopal Press printmaster and co-curator Francesco X. Siqueiros, co-curator Anita Bunn and artists Lisa Adams, Carolyn Castaño and Sandra de la Loza. The artists discussed the origins and the process of creating their pieces in the B.A.T State III exhibition.
“I knew a bit about printmaking but only [what was] self-taught and a very direct translation from being a painter to making these monotypes,” Adams said. “So they were basically like little tiny paninis and then I print one, get rid of it, print another. This idea of a key image was new to me.”
A monotype is a single print taken from a design created on glass or metal.
Castaño, whose father was a small print shop owner, echoed Adams’ sentiments on working with a new medium.
“Like Lisa, I was scared to death and didn’t know what I was doing,” Castaño said.
Evie Erickson, an audience member at the event, taught a beginning painting class at CSULB before graduating in May with a Master of Fine Arts degree in drawing and painting. She attended the event to see Castaño, whose use of femmage inspired Erickson to incorporate it into her own work.
Femmage, or feminist collage, is the usage of materials normally associated with women, like fabric for sewing.
“It’s interesting to learn about the different ways people work together to make art,” Erickson said. “Any day I can see art is a good day.”
Jose Loza, a second-year arts education major, was a student of Castaño’s at Long Beach City College. Loza appreciated hearing how she and all the other artists were new to the print process.
“Her sharing her personal work. Her studio work. It’s been inspiring to listen to the process,” Loza said.
Siqueiros founded El Nopal Press in 1990, working with artists whose themes touched on borders, from metaphorical ones to the physical border between the United States and Mexico.
During the discussion, the artists reflected on their experiences with Siqueiros, recognizing his efforts to create exhibition opportunities between Chicano and Mexican artists, as well as the variety of work that El Nopal Press produces.
John Fingerhut, a fifth-year graphic design major, and photography minor, is a graphic design intern at the museum. Fingerhut said that since he has been around the exhibition so frequently, listening to the artists explain the process of their work has changed his perception.
One similarity between the artists is how they normally work alone. When they worked with Siqueiros, they appreciated his guidance and willingness to experiment.
“For me, and I’m sure for all of us, what we do is this very solitary activity,” Bunn said. “And so then you work with a master printer and all of a sudden it does really become this collaboration. Francesco always talks about this thing where its like the artist, the master printer, and the press. And all three components come together to make the work happen.”