Youth Power Printing Day, K. Sarrantonio, MFA 2018, Printmaking
The most exciting moment of a printmaking project is always when the first proof is pulled. Last week we spent an afternoon printing designs that the Youth Power Project members designed. The youth worked in groups on five designs that inspired them in various ways. Some groups had drawn pictures of someone they admire for their social justice work and included a quote. Others had graphics and messaging they came up with themselves.
I asked the youth to work in groups of 4-5 each at a table and to collaborate to choose colors. The groups were in charge of designating tasks so that while one person printed someone else would re-ink the screen and another was in charge of placing new patches and posters under the screen to be printed.
It’s always excited to see the experimentation new printers are willing to take, inking areas individually, mixing new colors, embracing the variation in the otherwise repetitive process.
This red and black split-fountain style print on the #AbolishICE print would have been something I advised against because the ink can so easily become muddy when you add black to a screen with a color, but in fact the outcome was some of the most beautiful prints made that day.
It was also interesting to see the ways certain youth took to the process immediately with excitement and others were slower to become enthusiastic, but by the end each group had a pile of prints and was excited for the next printing day so they could bring in shirts and tote bags.
The photos in this post don’t quite capture the level of mayhem and messy inkiness in a room with 30 young people mixing yogurt cups of ink but that mess is always a sign of a successful printing experience.