Sunday, May 13, 2012

Artisphere 2012 The Print Factory

On the Main St. Bridge, Mark had the patience to wait while I stood in line to make a free print at the
Print City Team, Wheelock left and Burnip right from Kansas, MO
Kansas, MO based Print City, part of  Creative Concepts an enterprising team which evolved from three founding members of C&C, Jesse McAfee, Zach Springer, and Will Burnip, who met while studying at the Kansas City Art Institute. Creative Concepts believes in traditions, building and practice and one way they put their money where their mouths are in the art intervention known as the Mobile Print Factory. Shown in this photo from the 2011 Maker Fair depicting a similar setup which we were lucky to have on hand in Greenville. The two artists in aprons in the foreground, Will Burnip and Cory Wheelock, were helping us use the press. All the presses and tools are handmade by the print shop techs, as well as the carts, crates and backpacks designed to use or transport to various cities around the country. .

Wow, they let us print out own piece of art!!!  Not completely our own, afterall the woodblocks were already carved by artists and donated to Print City. I chose a long horizontal city scape carved by Will Burnip, then another print shop tech/artist inked it with black ink. Wheelock placed it gingerly on the lovely heavy textured paper (already signed by Will on the back) and inserted it between two layers of foam. I was invited to turn the wheel to roll the paper and woodblock through a press made by a machinery student who built it for his senior project and voila out came my print!!  I want a roller press now!!  But I have to be practical with my arthritis, lack of carving talent or precision, I doubt I'd ever be able to carve wood blocks or maybe even lino blocks. But what fun it was for a person who is addicted to presses. Those who know me, are aware of how nuts I go - to the point I bought a 1920's flat press weighing 90 lbs and had it hand delivered by my friend Donna from the wilds of New Hampshire, to use when I published poetry chapbooks with Shadow Archer Press, which leads me to another story...

Artisphere 2012 part 1 Jullie and Kent

I made it out today, after a few weeks of having to take it easy and read or spend time with my granddaughter due to flare ups in my arthritis and what a great day it was.  I met Mark downtown (Greenville, SC) for the Farmer's Flea Market where we enjoyed West End Coffee, homemade apple coconut bars and more, and strolled through the booths salivating over the displays of gorgeous vegetables and fruit and tasting goat cheese, salsas, breads and more.  I could have filled my bag with goodies, but didn't want to carry much since our next stop was only a few steps away to the massive annual Artisphere festival.  Artists, bookmakers, potters, ironmongers, printers, photographers, fiber artists, jewelers and more were on display and this was the best festival ever since so many local artists had booths or were doing Art in Action along the Main St. Bridge, including Ryan Calloway from Creative Ironworks along with glass blowers, and my absolute favorite part a print shop from Kansas!  It was great to see Julie Shakbie Hughes (photo by Patrick Cox), a nationally known impressionist artist and good friend who has a studio in the Pendleton Street Arts District right down the street in the West End, from where I lived in my art studio at the Village Studios and Gallery - Boy do I miss those days!  I'm lucky enough to own one of Julie's incredible figure drawings and this time she had many of her cyclist paintings on display, since this is a cyclists town. Kent Ambler was also there with his woodblock prints which are such a feature of the Greenville art scene.  He had a great book on display on how he completes each woodcut then creates the prints but he only has one copy!!  I talked to him about the company which produces art books the way Amazon's Create a Space produces novels and non fiction books, so hopefully he'll look into it because I'd love a copy of this stunning informative book. 
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