Arts and Theater

Assistant Professor Aims To Bring Printmaking Out Of The Dark

“Under Pressure” a printmaking exhibition, took place Feb. 4th in the Black Box Student Gallery.

The show featured works from assistant professor Jessie Hornbrook’s Fall 2015 Printmaking classes. The gallery walls were adorned with elaborate prints from intermediate and advanced printmaking students.

The Printmaking Program at UCA has been flying under the radar for the past decade, and Hornbrook has high hopes for turning the program around. She explained that due to circumstances that previous professors of the discipline could not prevent, there was a decline in the attention the printmaking program received.

After gathering experience in working in art galleries and teaching at universities in Louisiana, Hornbrook took the position at UCA, and is elated to see her students trying so hard.

“The students could have been really resistant, to me personally or my teaching methods, but everyone has been welcoming and wonderful and trying really hard at building printmaking back up,” Hornbrook said. “The students have been both vigilant in their work and extremely creative.”

With the assortment and variety of the prints displayed in the gallery, Hornbrook’s teaching philosophy is evident. She utilizes the strengths of each individual artist when they walk into the printmaking studio, and pushes their skills in order to produce portfolio worthy artwork.

“If someone has a specific strength already from another medium, I want them to be able to use their skill set for what they like to do, so not just a nice print, but nice art work,” Hornbrook said. “Overall the students have been really wonderful as far as getting through the tricky parts of printmaking and making beautiful art work in general.”

Junior Kate Bramante’s piece in the show used an intricate silk screen process and was inspired by lichen she observed. Bramante is pursuing a BFA in printmaking and said that she’s always been interested in the medium.

“I’ve always liked printmaking because it’s one of these mediums where you don’t have complete control over the outcome,” Bramante said. “I find that things you don’t plan on that you can’t plan for end up being very beautiful and very interesting.”

Bramante said that there is huge variety of imagery that artist can get from different printmaking techniques.

“People think about printmaking and think about etching or engraving, which is a very precise kind of technique,” Bramante said. “You can combine them and you can make them multi-media and you don’t have to constrain yourself to an oldfashioned print.”

Sophomore Lindsey Colston spoke about her process in creating her piece, titled “Bedroom Floor,” which she created with a Soft Ground Etching process.

Colston said that people don’t realize how much time goes into printmaking. Her piece took her a week and a half to plan out, and then another week to actually complete the piece.

“The process is so intense, and it’s not just with Intaglio, or silk screen, it’s with all of them,” Colston said. “Every single aspect of printmaking is time intensive.”

With the effort of the artist aside, Hornbrook is training her students to let the artwork speak for itself.

“For me, what I want to do as an artist and a teacher is pull people in with the ‘Wow’,” Hornbrook said, “Educating people about the amount of work that goes into it is not necessarily part of my duty, but hopefully the work speaks for itself, like the beauty in the work and the juicy colors and the juicy inky velvety quality. I want the effort and the time to be visible, but mostly the wonder of the image.”

With the combined efforts of the students and Hornbrook’s dedication to the printmaking program, she is hoping to expand the program.

Hornbrook said she wants more students, more levels of printmaking and more equipment. She hopes that Print will be a major thing at UCA where professional artists are enticed to visit.

“We have a small collection of prints,” Hornbrook said “I would like it to grow and have this be a place where printmakers want to come and make work with the students, and have it be more important in Arkansas in general.”

The next event taking place in the Black Box gallery will be an upcoming collage show, with exact dates and time of the event to be released within the next two weeks.

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