Milwaukee is center of printmaking world in March

Print MKE LogoPartnerships have played a major role in the Peck School of the Arts’ Year of the Arts celebration at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Thanks to a three-year collaborative effort by the Peck School and the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD), an international conference focusing on the art of printmaking will be held in Milwaukee March 20-23.

“Print: MKE 2013” is the title for SGC International’s 41st conference. SGCI is an educational, nonprofit organization representing artists who create original prints, drawings, books and handmade paper. SGCI also promotes printmaking as an artistic endeavor.

The SGCI website describes how printmaking can be explored through collections in museums and galleries, as well as the current scene of co-ops, independent presses, pop-up galleries, basement shows, print and zine fests, community events and street art.

“In these unique spaces, the power of print often gives voice to people facing economic, political and environmental challenges,” the website states. “‘Print: MKE 2013’ will celebrate all the people, from local to international, who contribute as makers through the print.”

“Milwaukee has a long history as a center for world-class printing, so hosting the conference here seemed like a natural fit,” says Jessica Meuninck- Ganger, UWM assistant professor of art and design. She is co-chair of the conference, along with Rina Yoon, professor of printmaking at MIAD.

Conference sessions will be held in UWM’s Zelazo Center, 2419 E. Kenwood Blvd., and include workshops, demonstrations, special projects, lectures and panels. Many of the events and exhibitions related to the conference are open to the public. “Print: MKE will help educate – and excite – local audiences about printmaking,” says Meuninck-Ganger.

On the UWM campus, the Union Art Gallery, 2200 E. Kenwood Blvd., features “Uprisings: Images of Labor,” an interactive printmaking factory produced by the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative. Co-sponsored by the Peck School’s Department of Art & Design, the exhibition opens March 21 with a reception from 5-8 p.m. and closes March 28 with a reception from 5-7 p.m. Artist talks about art and activism will be presented March 22-23, with a full lecture schedule at UnionArtGallery.uwm.edu.

At UWM’s Art History Gallery in Mitchell Hall, 3203 N. Downer Ave., “Dürer to Dine: 500 Years of Printmaking” will be on display March 7-28. Since the fifteenth century when Albrecht Dürer created masterful woodblock prints and engravings, printmaking techniques have evolved to include etching, mezzotint, lithography, silkscreen, and monoprint. Highlighting these developments, this exhibition includes prints by seminal artists such as Dürer, Rembrandt, Piranesi, Whistler, Picasso, Johns, Dine and others.

UWM’s Institute of Visual Arts (Inova) at Kenilworth, 2155 N. Prospect Ave., is currently showing two exhibitions in conjunction with “Print: MKE 2013.” “Makers in Print” features the work of artists from South Africa, South Korea and Mexico. Coordinating curators from these countries have selected artists whose work demonstrates a range of innovative techniques and meaningful approaches to this time-honored genre.

“SGCI Awards Exhibition: Lesley Dill, Frances Myers and Alison Saar” celebrates the careers of these artists. Each is represented by a concise overview of recent print works. Both exhibitions continue through March 24.

“Print MKE” organizers at UWM and MIAD have coordinated more than 50 printmaking-themed exhibitions at venues that include MIAD’s Brooks Stevens and Frederick Layton galleries, the Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee Art Museum and the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts.

More information is available at printmke2013.org/.