English and art double major works with professor Curlee Holton in the Experimental Printmaking Institute
Lindsay Gonzalez ’09 (Towanda, Pa.) is learning the ins and outs of printmaking this year as an EXCEL scholar. The English and art double major is working on a number of projects under Curlee Holton, professor and head of art, at the Experimental Printmaking Institute (EPI).
Gonzalez is currently working on a textured serigraph by major artist David C. Driskell. She is also assisting in organizing a traveling artist book exhibition that will run at Lock Haven University, Slippery Rock University, and Edinboro University.
While working at EPI, Gonzalez plays a role in directing each project that is being produced by the studio. She also performs everyday tasks, such as pulling prints on the silkscreen press, caring for finished prints, and mixing ink. She is also asked to spread emulsion on specific parts of prints. When the emulsion dries and a number of colors are printed over top if it, the print carries a quality similar to a painting, gaining texture and depth.
“Working with such a specific and organized art helps keep me focused on what I need to do next and think more thoroughly about my own work before I begin a project,” says Gonzalez. “Printmaking is a process that requires a strong naked eye, good organizational skills, and a lot of focus. The process as a whole carries over to my own school work and helps me manage my time better.”
The process involved in printmaking includes numerous steps. Before beginning a print, the artist must often work with an image digitally, create the screen using a light exposure table in a dark room, tape the screen perfectly so ink does not leak onto the print where it does not belong, register exactly, and then carefully rack the work until it is ready for its next layer of ink.
Gonzalez says that while she may not want to work in a printmaking studio for the rest of her life, the experience has been worthwhile and will help her after she graduates. “I understand the business of the art world and how seriously the handling of artwork must be taken. I have also gotten to meet a number of great artists and printmakers who I can later connect with.”
Holton says, “Lindsay is very detail-oriented and is a well-rounded artist whose artistic gifts compliment the projects we are involved in. She is a dedicated student who takes on all her responsibilities with a mature attitude beyond her years.”
He also thinks that the EXCEL program will benefit Lindsay in many ways. “This experience will identify her as an exceptional student who can take on responsibilities that are normally assigned to more mature artists. She will be well prepared for the demands of a professional studio in the future.”
Last semester, Gonzalez worked as an apprentice to professional printmaker and artist Jase Clark. She has also learned a lot about printmaking from art major Carolyn Burns ’09 (Wallingford, Conn.), another EXCEL scholar at EPI.
Along with being an EXCEL scholar, Gonzalez serves as the co-director of Swim to Succeed, the president of the Ceramic Society, and the director of member education for Alpha Phi. She is also a member of numerous campus groups, including QuEST.
“I am an art major because it is something I would do regardless of whether or not I received credit. Without the creative process, I would be one frazzled student that no professor would want to have in class.”