My name is Jon Greene and this is my first blog post. I am a studio art major who graduated from Skidmore in May. Since August, I have been participating in the Printer Training Program at Tamarind Institute. Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Tamarind is “a nonprofit center for fine art lithography that trains master printers and houses a professional collaborative studio for artists.” Tamarind is the only institution in the world that trains lithography in an educational format. It is credited for reviving the medium of lithography in the United States and around the world.
In the first four months of the program, the other seven students and I were directed to complete many rigorous projects that exposed us to the many processes and techniques of printing professional quality art with aluminum plates and Bavarian limestones. Concurrently, twice week, we attended a University of New Mexico arts business class, where we each created a three-year business plan for a lithography workshop. And, each weekday, one of us was assigned to work on the professional side of the workshop, assisting the master printer and her two apprentices in creating lithographs for professional artists.
Playing the roles of printer and artist, last semester we simulated collaborative printmaking in four collaborate projects. This semester brings this process to a new level. In the past three weeks, I have collaborated with two MFA students from the University of New Mexico. I have been given the challenge of introducing the processes without overwhelming them. I worked to translate each artist’s conceptual motivations to lithography, giving them tools and materials that would bode well with their studio practices. Additionally, in two weeks, a professional artist will be flying from the East Coast to work one of my peers and me. Instead of the business class, this semester, the PTP students are taking a fantastic art history course that focuses on printmaking.
This experience has already given me access to the supportive and close-knit Tamarind, lithography, and printmaking communities. Tamarind’s name alone will support my ventures in the future, and the connections I am in the process of making are priceless to me. I am learning in nine months what would have taken years apprenticing and working to obtain. In the years follows this program, I hope to apprentice at Tamarind, work in a professional shop, or get my MFA in printmaking.
Thank you to the Summer Experience Fund, the donors who support it, and the CDC for funding my attendance of this incredible program. And, thank you to Skidmore’s Art Department for directing me to Tamarind and preparing me for this experience. I will continue to provide updates in the final months of this program.