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Students squeegee ink into art at MOCA

The UNF Printmaker’s Guild — a collection of graphic design majors, studio art majors and at least one photography major — will be exhibiting their printing prowess and giving away customized artwork at the prestigious museum.

“It’s going to be a production,” said Amber Richards, senior graphic design major and Guild secretary.

The live printmaking demonstration, running from 7 to 9 p.m., complements the opening of MOCA’s Robert Motherwell exhibit. A renowned printmaker and abstract artist, Motherwell’s work is carried on in the Guild members’ creations.

Kingsley Spencer, senior graphic design major and Guild treasurer, expects to have about 15 screen-printing stations.

“We’re going to have stacks of paper lying around. People can pick up paper, and the artists will print their image onto the paper in any way you want. It’s basically free personalized art,” Spencer said.

Rotating between 20 to 30 screens, Guild members will be using mesh screens, prepared before the demonstration. MOCA attendees will see the final steps in screen-printing where the printmaker pulls a print — taking the design from the mesh-covered frame onto a sheet of paper by squeegeeing ink over the burned designs.

These skills that students learned in the classroom are now being applied to their lives in the Jacksonville community through the channel of the Guild, said Emily Douglass, the Guild’s faculty advisor and assistant professor in the department of art and design.

UNF students, faculty and MOCA staffers are thrilled about the MOCA-student collaboration.

“We are so pleased that the Printmaker’s Guild is going to be here,” said Cathy Fitzpatrick, associate director of education at MOCA, and added that student participation helps to make MOCA more vibrant.

MOCA extended the invitation to the Guild following the Guild’s recent, well-attended, outdoor printmaking event, complete with free prints on paper and shirts, in Atlantic Beach.

If screen-printing demonstrations and the work of a famous abstract artist-screen-printer combo isn’t enough to get you out of your jammies and out to MOCA, there will also be snacks and alcohol. Refreshments will be served, and a cash bar will be operating, Fitzpatrick said. Entrance to the museum is $10.

Printmaking is not only blossoming in the artistic community, it is breaking onto the academic scene at UNF in major form. Shelly Boyd, a senior photography major, kids about having a printmaking minor. For beginning students, this will be no joke.

“The BFA, BA and minor in painting and drawing have been recreated to include Printmaking,” Douglass said.

Douglass thanks student enthusiasm for the improvement. Events, such as Sept. 17’s, help expand student knowledge and awaken new passions for printmaking, she said.

“[The events are] basically just a fun way to show what printmaking really is,” Boyd said.

Printmaking is going strong at UNF, and Douglass is optimistic that this will continue.

“This year is an exciting and wonderful time for our department as we grow with new curriculum, grow with new art and design majors of painting, drawing and printmaking, and grow into the MOCA downtown community,” Douglass said.

“All of these important and carefully cultivated aspects of teaching as a department continue to distinguish UNF in the city of Jacksonville and within the larger educational community,” she said.

For more information, look for the “UNF Printer’s Guild” on Facebook and send a message to a Guild officer. If you’re looking for some face-to-face interaction, stop by the print lab, in Building 45, room 1604.

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