UWG Artists Prepare for Print Big! 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Art students from the University of West Georgia are taking part in Print Big! 2011 in Atlanta. The project, coordinated by the Atlanta Printmakers Studio, commemorates Arbor Day.

UWG joins a host of other participating schools. On April 30, at the Atlanta Printmakers Studio on Metropolitan Avenue, a steamroller will press the designs that were carved 4x8 foot woodblocks. Trees and environmental issues are themes of the designs.

Before Print Big, students in Debrah Santini’s two introduction to printmaking classes had to come up with an idea.

The classes created a two-fold design. On one end is a giant tree; on the other is a nuclear meltdown.

“One class began their drawing and the other one really responded to that drawing,” said Santini, an associate professor of printmaking.

The collaboration between the classes “made it more successful,” Santini said. “That’s why we have that yin and yang.”

In the middle of the design, hands are holding the Earth. As it moves toward the nuclear meltdown, there is sludge, smog, a U.S. flag melting into the wasteland, a head devouring the tree, a T. Rex and a symbol of American suburbia: a garden gnome.

“This is an awareness piece,” said Michael LeBlanc, a junior who is majoring in sculpture.

“What happens when we don’t plant? What happens if we keep on going? It’s pretty exaggerated. There’s sludge spewing everywhere,” LeBlanc said.

“It’s something really exaggerated to show what happens – to be aware of what we do. Maybe it’s just turning on a light switch and not realizing the little things, when they build up, what can happen,” he said.

The students recently put final touches on the block for test prints. At Print Big, their design will be printed onto a large piece of cotton cloth, Santini said.

The prints made from the steamroller event will be available for sale at a silent auction on May 14 at Trees Atlanta.

Other participating schools include: Kennesaw State University; Georgia College; SCAD-Atlanta; and North Georgia College and State University.

The logo for Print Big was designed by Joey Hannaford, UWG assistant professor of art. Stephanie Smith, gallery coordinator and lecturer, was one of the co-founders of the Atlanta Printmakers Studio. Smith, a past president of APS and a member of its board of directors, helped create and organize Print Big.

According to its website, the Atlanta Printmakers Studio was founded in 2005. Its mission is to “nurture the practice of printmaking as an original art form among professional artists and anyone who wants to learn.”

APS provides studio space and equipment for rent to artists. It also offers classes and workshops and hosts exhibits.

For more information on the Atlanta Printmakers Studio and Print Big! 2011 go to: http://www.atlantaprintmakersstudio.org/index.html.