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Printmaking

Make spectacular art that blends cutting-edge technology with centuries-old printmaking techniques. Grow your technical skills, develop your formal and material sensibilities, and study the history of print as a fine art form, a vehicle for vernacular culture, social dissent, and cultural identity.

Printmaking majors at MECA master a physical process that demands patience, skill, and limitless experimentation. You’ll work with a wide range of materials, methods and alternative forms of print including installation, digital fabrication, fine art editions,collaborative projects, public art, and entrepreneurial endeavors.

As a Printmaking major you’ll have the opportunity to work with screen printing, relief printing, lithography, etching, and photo and digital print processes. Graduate with a strong professional foundation and the confidence to convert your passion for printmaking into a life long creative practice and a broad range of career pathways.

Spotlight

  • Faculty
  • Alumni
  • Student
  • James Sylvester '18

    MECA and Portland's community is ever inspiring to live within; it's a city filled with artists, small . . .

    I’ve loved to make art as long as I came remember.  Mostly drawing.  I came to MECA after graduating high school, and growing up with fantastically creative friends who helped me to exercise my imagination through everything from large scale drawings of the comic book heroes we’d designed together to DIY 3 person skateboard mobiles . . .Read More

  • Carter Shappy '15

    Our goal is to shed local light on the cutting-edge and incredibly important research that Bigelow has been . . .

    Printmaking alum Carter Shappy Printmaking ’15 is the Artist-in-Residence at Bigelow Lab. After graduation, Carter wanted to expand his practice to incorporate a science component; MECA connected him with Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay. You can follow his blog at art.bigelow.org. Bigelow Laboratory for . . .Read More

  • Sarah Milkowski-Dahlgren '17

    Public Engagement Fellow Sarah Milkowski-Dahlgren '17 has been selected to receive the Maine Campus Compact . . .

    Public Engagement Fellow Sarah Milkowski-Dahlgren ’17 has been selected to receive the Maine Campus Compact Student Heart and Soul Award at their 15th annual awards ceremony, hosted at the Hall of Flags at the Maine State House in Augusta. Maine Campus Compact recognizes six undergraduate students who have been actively involved in . . .Read More

  • Sara Inacio '17

    MECA has played a major role in shaping me as an artist.

    In 2015, Sara Inacio was awarded a Professional Development and Entrepreneurship Grant, which helps BFA, MFA, and MAT students to advance their studio and professional skills by accessing opportunities and experiences beyond the MECA classroom. She is using her funds to participate in a project conducted by Braddock Tiles, a community . . .Read More

  • Edwige Charlot '10

    In my eyes, artists from the beginning of time have been thought of as leaders and activists.

    Born and raised in Paris, France of Haitian heritage, Edwige Charlot emigrated to the United States at the age of 9. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in printmaking with honors from the Maine College of Art. Recently, Edwige led a printmaking art project with the Edmunds Consolidated Schools in Edmunds, ME and participated in . . .Read More

  • Faculty Elizabeth Jabar & Colleen Kinsella

    Utilizing collaborative artmaking as a tool for equity, social justice and public action.

    Two faculty members, Elizabeth Jabar, Assistant Dean, Director of Public Engagement & Program Chair of Printmaking, and Colleen Kinsella, Printmaking Instructor & Printmaking Studio Technician, recently were interviewed for their art collective Future Mothers on CSArt: Maine. “What / who is currently inspiring you locally?” . . .Read More

  • MFA Faculty Adriane Herman

    'To do' lists highlight the ever-evolving line between wants and needs.

    What differentiates MECA from your own college and grad school experience? MECA’s intimate scale facilitates symbiotic flow between faculty and students. Of course, significant connections evolve at all schools. However, I doubt I had nearly the influence on my instructors in college or grad school that my extraordinary students have . . .Read More

  • Elizabeth Jabar

    I am convinced that this pedagogy and socially engaged art practice are the core to art education.

    ON THE PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM From my very first Public Engagement course I witnessed my students experience deep learning when they were given the opportunity to apply their creative imagination and skills in a real world context. Through this work students grapple with an expansive set of social, cultural, political and . . .Read More

  • Bennett Morris MFA '07

    How does the quote, 'Who will guard the guardians?' relate to your work, if at all? It raises questions about . . .

    How does the quote, ‘Who will guard the guardians?’ relate to your work, if at all? It raises questions about our intentions around autonomous machines and how much we intend to control them. Is surveillance a form of public engagement? Why/why not? Yes, to the degree that it has a psychological effect on the population . . .Read More

  • Michel Droge MFA '10

    Adjunct Assistant Professor of Printmaking Michel Droge and students in her FY-In class, Climate Change and . . .

    Adjunct Assistant Professor of Printmaking Michel Droge and students in her FY-In class, Climate Change and Maine Island Communities, partnered with The Island Institute to study climate change and its impact in Casco Bay. The goal was to bring local fishermen, artists and scientists together through a mutual concern for the future . . .Read More

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Outcomes

  • Formal

    Students exploit the print matrix in purposeful experimentation of variation, permutation, and theme and explore the impact of series, sequence and multiples on visual imagery.

    Students use print as a means to rethink and expand drawing practices and question formal habits or preconceptions about making images.

    Students learn matrix development using a range of materials and media, and understand the capabilities of them in terms of surface, texture, depth, and graphic range.

    Students have a general understanding, across all techniques, of the principles of layering, transparency, color separation and integration (clear grasp of optical and physical mixing of inks).

    Students are versatile in integrating fabricated (hand-drawn) imagery with sampled (photo/digital) imagery with high degree of visual coherence and material integrity.

  • Technical

    Students gain technical proficiency in a broad range of print techniques including, but not limited to, relief, intaglio, monoprint, screenprint, book arts, stone and positive plate lithography, digital print, and alternative/experimental processes, including, paper plate lithography, photo transfers, pronto plates, solar plates, cyanotype and CNC technologies.

    Students acquire understanding and technical mastery of editioning (ability to generate a series of hand pulled prints from multiple matrices) as a professional, creative, and collaborative practice.

    Students develop the ability to integrate photo/digital media, either into print-based works or as purely digital output and are facile with current software programs and pre-press processes necessary to integrate sampled imagery.

    Students develop the ability to integrate disciplines from outside traditional print into studio practice: examples include drawing/ painting, installation, photo processes, sculpture/casting/3D printing, web-based applications and proficiency in exhibition practices and conventions.

  • Conceptual

    Students develop a basic understanding of print’s history and current relevance, and an understanding of printmakings role within the canon of fine art and as a vehicle for vernacular culture, social dissent, and cultural identity.

    Students gain a familiarity with how contemporary artists have exploited the “high-art“ and “low-art” legacy of printmaking and learn to draw conceptual inferences from formal or technical decisions.

    Students explore layering as a tool to create visual and conceptual hierarchies within a given piece, come to grasp critical context for sampling and appropriation within a postmodern paradigm, and develop the ability to integrate self-directed research practices into studio work.

    Students learn to critically discuss and interpret studio works within the context of historical and contemporary print and to articulate printmaking vocabulary into other disciplines (examples: investigations of multiple form in sculpture and installation, strategies of dissemination or alternative delivery in web-based or graphic design, investigations of the social dimensions of printed matter in public engagement and community based art.)

    Students come away with the ability to write clearly about their personal artistic practice and to examine methods of inquiry for art making and research, artistic influences and relationships to historical and contemporary printmaking.

  • Professional

    Students come away with a full grasp of editioning conventions, presentation, and curation of printed works. Examples include designing, organizing, and producing an exhibition of prints for a gallery, collaborative event, or publication.

    Students are given the opportunity to work in a variety of collaborative situations and contexts including public and private schools, nonprofit organizations, community programs, and with visiting artists.

    Students engage with conventional exhibition practices as well as alternative means of distribution and access to printed imagery (public engagement projects and installations, publications and exchange portfolios, correspondence art, etc.)

    Students develop competency with general professional practices: resume preparation, press releases, promotional materials and portfolios, and documentation of work .

FAQs

  • What are some of the career paths for someone who majors in Printmaking?

    Master printer, studio artist, teacher at the K-12 and college level, independent publisher/professional fine art press, organizer/teacher in nonprofit community organizations and education organizations, and graphic design.

  • How do you prepare your students for the real world?

    Students take required the Professional Practices course and prepare a professional artist packet complete with resume, artist statement, and portfolio of images. Students participate in exhibitions, including curating, mounting work, preparing press releases, and design and print promotional materials. Students participate in at least one Public Engagement collaborative project with a local community partner working with students from K-12 schools and/or other art colleges, and nonprofit organizations. Students learn project planning, work with community members in real world settings, and lead community workshops. Many of the printmaking courses are part of the new Public Engagement Minor at the college. The Printmaking Department is a leader in incorporating public engagement projects in the curriculum. Students learn how to write for different professional applications including, project proposals, artist statements, and thesis papers. Students are also skilled at articulating ideas verbally, and participate in rigorous studio critiques with their peers and faculty. Students are also given the opportunity to attend professional conferences in the field, including the Southern Graphics Council, a national conference of professionals and students in the printmaking world. The print department also invites national artists to the college to introduce students to the rich and varied field of printmaking practice and professional opportunities, and provide the students with an expanded network of artists.

  • What are some examples of what your alums are doing?

    Master printer, teacher in K-12, teacher at the college level, graphic design, nonprofit community workshops, community outreach, studio assistant, studio artist, and gallery associate.

  • What are the prerequisites to major in Printmaking?

    Two electives in printmaking, and/or photo, digital, or drawing elective.

  • What unique skills do your students get?

    Formal, technical, conceptually proficient in both traditional and digital printmaking, experience in collaborative work, project planning, public engagement practices, exposure to teaching though partnership work, and collaborative projects.

  • Will I be able to incorporate other media or interests with my work as a Printmaking major?

    Yes! Printmaking is a multi-disciplinary field and incorporates a diversity of materials, methods, and ideas. Students are encouraged to work across disciplines and incorporate ideas from outside the traditional boundaries of printmaking.

  • What are some of the classes that are offered in your department?

    Classes that combines media include Pixels to Ink and the Printmaking Workshop. There are also a full range of traditional technique classes including Relief, Etching, and Lithography.

  • What are some of the unique aspects of this program?

    Integration of Public Engagement curriculum, community partnership work, projects, and exhibitions.

  • What are the faculty like?

    Our faculty includes diverse, active artists in the local and national community; all the faculty use printmaking in very different and dynamic ways. This diversity provides the students with multiple models of printmaking practice and teaching methodology.

  • What are your facilities like?

    Our large, well equipped facilities provides student-access to all traditional and digital print technologies.

  • What are some examples of internships your students have done in the past?

    King Middle School, Cathedral School, Cultivating Multicultural Alliances, Wolfe Editions, Pickwick Press, as well as internships as a studio assistant or a gallery intern.

  • How many students (juniors and seniors) do you typically have in your major?

    14-20

Program

Preparation (1st & 2nd Year)
(2) PR Studio Electives

Junior Year (3rd Year)
Printmaking Majors Studio (PR 301-PR 302), Pixels To Ink (PR 305), Introduction To The Discipline: Printmaking (PR 351), Junior Seminar (SEM 352-3-4), and (1) Approved Studio Elective

Senior Year (4th Year)
Printmaking Majors Studio (PR 401-PR 402), Senior Synthesis (SEM 451-SEM 452), and (2) Approved Studio Electives

Workspace & Tools

  • Digital Fab Lab equipped with laser engraver and CNC technology
  • Wood type and Showcard Press for basic letterpress techniques
  • Facilities and equipment for traditional stone lithography and photo-litho techniques
  • Intaglio and relief area with three etching presses
  • Screen print facility with exposure unit and darkroom for photo processes
  • Two large iron hand presses for relief printing
  • Digital workstation, software, and scanner for photo print processes
  • Color and B & W archival digital printing equipment
  • Etching facilities for copper
  • Large, spacious studios with incredible natural light overlooking Casco Bay
  • Non-toxic materials and methods
  • Strong network of community partners, alumni, and artists for professional development opportunities including internships, exhibitions, and special projects

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  • MECA has impacted me to pursue what I love... that I should pour into it with all of who I am. Not to be afraid of failing. Not be afraid of falling down. From my friends and peers to the faculty and staff, I've really been surrounded by a community of people who encourage me to learn, encourage me to take a leap of faith— to try something new, and to fall down, but then to get back up.

    Hannah Howard '17  2017  //  Jaffrey, NH
  • Professors in the Printmaking Program are resourceful—every one of them is continuing to develop their own practice. They aren’t timid about bringing their own failures and successes into the classroom. The facilities have developed in just the two years I’ve been in school, and it’s exciting to have room to play and explore without ever running out of new processes.

    Kristina Buckley  2015  //  Printmaking  //  Hollis, NH

What do our alumni do?

Statistics from the 2015 Strategic National Arts Alumni project (SNAAP)

Did you know?

55% is the national average for arts alumni that work as professional artists.

45% is the national average for arts alumni that are self employed, independent contractors, or freelance workers.

63

Work as professional artists

23

Work as graphic designers, illustrators, or art directors

16

Founded a business

23

Work as craft artists

38

Work as fine artists

29

Work as art teachers

17

Pursued an MFA after graduation

47

Are self-employed, independent contractors or freelance workers

91

Make art in their personal time

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