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July 16, 2018

Make the Road NY, K. Sarrantonio, MFA Printmaking 2018

by ksarrantonio

I have settled back in New York City and jumped right in with Mateo, the organizer at Make the Road New York who is hosting my screenprinting project. I worked with Mateo last year to build a screenprinting shop in the basement of the Queens office of the organization. One of the most exciting and challenging elements of this years project is that we are planning to expand across the boroughs to teach screenprinting workshops to the Youth Power Project participants in Brooklyn, Staten Island and Long Island as well as Queens. Screenprinting is not the most typically the most mobile art practice so this will be an exciting endeavor.

In addition to the Youth Power Projects we have plans to print with Make the Road’s adult leadership school and to do an outdoor print event at Bushwick pride.

So far I have spent my time working from Queens connecting with the various youth leaders to help them develop designs with the youth at the various locations. The biggest challenge has been scheduling with so many different people in different places. I imagine as the project develops we will end up taking different approaches depending on the the number of youth at each location and the amount of time they can spare.

One of the highlights of this week was attending the 7th Annual TransLatinx march hosted by Make the Road. Last year I did a screenprinting workshop with the TransLatinx group that meets at the office so it was great to see familiar faces and feel the energy of that powerful community. Many of the Youth Power Project members also attended the march and it was a good space to talk to them about the designs they are working on for our project.


As designs slowly come together Mateo passes them along to me so I can prepare them for printing. For example this image was made in pencil by the Adult Leadership school. In order for us to eventually expose it to a screen before our printing day with them in two weeks I opened the image in photoshop to make it grayscale, to bolden the lines, capitalize the “D” at Mateo’s suggestion and space the words apart a little. I have been doing a lot of similar work the past few days.

I am looking forward to next week when I will begin preparing the silkscreens in the basement printshop. This will require stretching new mesh around the frames with a staple gun and coating them with photo-emulsion. Depending on the availability of the Queens youth, those who are especially interested in learning the complete process of screenprinting will join me to stretch and coat screens.

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