Since 2007, the Monterey Peninsula College printmakers have devoted the first Saturday in May to printmaking. What began in the Monterey Bay Area of California has become a worldwide event, with printmakers participating from over a dozen countries, on five continents. We didn’t even know this as we planned to print fifteen large (24″ X 36″) linoleum blocks at the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown, MA on May 2nd, 2015. A class taught by Julia Talcott was culminating in a Big Print Day where we were using a steamroller as a printing press. And we were accidentally part of an international day devoted to printmaking! My two prints were designed as an homage to Audubon’s large-scale bird paintings. One is a wading bird and the other is a flying bird where the wingspan fills the three-foot length of the linoleum block. The backgrounds of the two prints are filled with swirls and patterns and circles and stars and comets.
Fifteen artists worked together rolling out ink and wrangling huge sheets of paper and cleaning all of the blocks and rollers over and over throughout the day. All thirty prints that we made on May 2nd were big and bold and black and white.
We also printed a Charles River Alphabet organized by Leslie Evans, with 26 artists participating. We each chose a letter and created an image of something associated with the Charles River.
The individual prints from the alphabet are available for $30 each at the shop at the Arsenal Center for the Arts.