Makers, teachers, and spring, oh my! This morning, as I mixed my third color for a print I’m working on for the 2021 Last Best Print Fest (LBPF) portfolio exchange, I looked out my window hoping to see an early bloom or two. Nothing yet of course, but soon. The first blooms to pop up in my yard are grape hyacinth and crocus, so I have a couple more weeks to wait. And as I wait, I work. The anticipation of spring is a strong motivator for me, it gets me thinking about fresh air, time with friends, and all the wonderful things Missoula does when the snow melts. My favorite projects to work on this time of year are community-based, like LBPF and the ZACC Mini Show. I love to make art that helps support the ZACC in general, and our public print shop specifically. I take pride in knowing that my work will help to provide scholarships and access to printmaking for people of all ages. As the deadlines for both events approach I feel a sense of camaraderie knowing local, regional, and national artists are working on their own interpretations for these shows. I’ve been showing with some of these artists for many years. Some are new to me. I am grateful for both. I learn from all of you.
I also learn by taking classes. For the last nine months I have been learning virtually. I’ve attended screen printing demos through Zygote Press, lino cut demos through YouTube, and both a five and ten week multicolor woodblock class through Zea May’s Printing — taught by the amazing Julie Rivera. Julie has a following of dedicated students, and I learned a ton from all of them. The student that most impressed and inspired me started taking printmaking classes in her early 60’s. Twenty years later she is making beautiful multi-colored woodcut prints. Late Bloomers Unite!
Through the next few months I look forward to sharing all I have gleaned from virtual classes with you! I’ll be teaching printmaking workshops and classes through April, and would love for you to join me. Visit zootownarts.org to register, and remember to ask about our scholarship program if you need assistance. In addition to learning about printmaking through my classes, you can view the Last Best Print Fest opening event on April 2 in our Main Gallery, which will feature my prints along with new work by many other local and regional printmakers. That day (and the next) yours truly will perform the ZACC’s first ever Print-a-Thon. My goal is to print 250 posters that Friday and Saturday, and you can sponsor my efforts. Visit the Last Best Print Fest page on our website to learn more.
I really do hope to see a crocus soon, and I hope to see you in class or at LBPF 2021!
ZACC Gallery Director & Printshop Manager