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Re: req: Lynd Ward

Well as someone said "there are pixils and there are pixils".  Please note
that Lynd Ward is a featured topic in our upcoming symposium.  The
printmaking programs I am familiar with, and I have been teaching
printmaking for 26 yrs,  are usually beat up on for emphasising technique
too much rather than not at all.  When I teach I teach those received
values from University print instructors/artists.  I am more familiar with
those programs in the Mid and SouthWest, but I know on none that are
adverse to tradition.  Each year at the Southern Graphics Council Meeting
(a national org. ) There is major emphasis on papers, technical demos, new
technology presentations, in short, building on the past to create work
that relates to the present.
I have found that Artist/Printmaker/Teachers generally share the philosophy
that:"knowledge and control give freedom," rather than stifiling it.  There
are wonderful mezzotints, woodengravings, intaglios, and lithographs, even
an occasional silkscreen (just joking!) being produced in many Univ Art
Depts.  Look at the students of Richard Black at Drake, Art Werger in
Georgia, Rudy Pozzotti in Indiana, Lasansky, there are too many to mention.
Most encorporate history of the print and include the art of the book. It
is almost impossible not to.
I believe that it has been through the Univ Art Depts that the "faith has
been kept".  Vagaries of time and market play a role in commercial
ventures, note how many of the Tamarind inspired Master printer workshops
have had to close in recent years.  Flat Bed Press in Austin, TX is the
only one I know of still struggling along in TX.
That said, I will be the first to admit that It is not easy to maintain a
viable print major given today's social climate and  youth culture.  When a
majority of beginning students have not had any kind of tool and are afraid
of things that will "take too much time," it is a major seduction to have
them move to the more technically challenging print media.  I have been
having them use the computer, producing right reading negatives and
positives on a laser printer, doubling up on the transparencies to achieve
the needed density, and using them on photo emulsions on silk screens,
etchings and  relief prints.  We do silver nitrate on albumun for wood
engraving.  This leads them into the world of paper, type, in short
responding to the innate properties of materials.  If they don't respond, I
fall back on monoprint-monotype, copiers, one of a kinds, you name it.  If
I don't have 10 sign up for a class, and if this happens several semesters
in a row, I am in danger of losing it all.
Who knows what time will bring.  The computer is a great tool and most
printshops working today have made to switch to digital.  I hear that the
up-market "thing" today is for the look of letterpress.  The owners of
Monarch Press,  Dallas,  were visiting during the recent Baskin Ex.  As
they toured the print rm the owner said they had several upright presses
and several banks of type.  I made my usual pitch for the department, he
laughed and said no, they were going to start using it again.  He also
lamented that the new hires that they had made "knew computers but didn't
know type."  That is my latest pitch to the Ad Design teachers, add
printmaking to the reccommended courses.
Sorry for the rant--I just don't like to hear my field being beat up on
when I know so many really great Artist/Printmaker/Teachers.
Charlie Jones
Art Dept.
Stephen F. Austin State Univ.
Nacogdoches, TX. 75961

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