Island Press Benefits Artists and Students at the Sam Fox School
Noted artists and printmaking students alike expand their horizons at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts’ Island Press, known for complex, large-scale works by a range of nationally and internationally renowned artists. A unique program brings in artists for an intensive and productive week’s work with graduate and undergraduate students and Island Press Master Printer and Senior Lecturer Tom Reed, MFA.
“There’s a benefit for the artists that are coming in, because they get to do something experimental, adventurous and ambitious with a lot of help,” Reed says. “The students get hands-on experience in all different kinds of printmaking methods. As well, they get to see firsthand how artists think, how different artists work through problems, and how they negotiate their ideas in a printmaking medium. The students play a very active role in the artist’s residency and are not just bystanders but very engaged participants. They are the main reason Island Press is able to work in an ambitious and experimental way.”
Most recently, Ann Hamilton, the inaugural Arthur L. and Sheila Prensky Visiting Artist, worked with Reed and students on an installation encompassing experiments in cast paper, newsprint, carbon paper, letterpress, laser-cut printing, digital printing and photolithography.
The print methods, Reed says, range from intaglio-based processes such as etching and collagraph to woodcuts, photolithography and digitally based print media. The artists themselves vary across a range of media.
“Traditionally, we don’t bring in printmakers to make prints. We bring in painters, sculptors and those outside the printmaking world,” Reed says. “My job is to help someone unfamiliar with printmaking realize they can do their work in prints.”
Since its formation in 1978 by Professor Emeritus of Art Peter Marcus, Island Press has hosted artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, David Nash, Joyce Kozloff, Michael Berkhemer, Annette Lemieux, Hung Liu and Tom Friedman.
In January 2011, the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum explored that storied history with the exhibition Island Press: Three Decades of Printmaking, directed by Assistant Curator Karen K. Butler.