The SGC International 2016 conference in Portland, OR was a blast as always, but it takes time to recover. It didn’t help I was stuck on East Coast time the whole 5 days and couldn’t sleep past 5:30 or 6 am. Yet, even with lack of sleep, the conference was a full on, high octane run from start to finish.
Wednesday started it off with John Risseeuw‘s Keynote Speech about his career and work. For those that don’t know, John was my committee chair for my MFA thesis and a big influence on me in graduate school. He and Joe Segura were the two that pushed me the most and got my creative juices flowing. John’s Keynote was a great retrospective of his career, from his transition from a chemistry to art focus in undergrad, through his experiments with edible printing ink into establishing ASU’s book arts program and printmaking focus as power houses in our field.
After his keynote, there was a reception for a retrospective exhibition of his work. It was really well attended and amazing to see some work I had not seen before and others I was well acquainted with. Two Maryland students who attended the conference were blown away just after that first day, so they were in for a surprise.
Thursday morning was the first realization I might not transition to Pacific Coast time, but I got up and started the day with a nice walk around Portland (as I did every morning). The Keynote Speech for James Rosenquist started off well, but became a little controversial with a comment by one of the panelists. I should say that James was unable to attend because of his health, so it was instead lead by a panel of two master printers who have worked with James, a local Portland print collector and lead by a PNCA art history professor. The controversial comment, to paraphrase, referred to one of the master printers saying collaboration was like dancing, so he know how it fell to be a woman and be lead. It sparked an immediate uproar of booing and was discussed multiple times over the weekend.
That was followed up by some demos on PSU’s campus before returning for the panel “Efflux: Contemporary Native Printmaking,” where my buddy, Jacob Meders, discussed his work alongside Gina Adams and Marwin Begaye.
Friday was mostly focused around a series of demonstrations that I wanted to see. Specifically the Innovation IncK Laboratory with Erik Waterkotte, Brian Gonzalez, Shannon Collis and Erik Brunvand. They were demonstrating a series of new experiments in printmaking using conductive and thermo-chromic inks. Conductive ink is an ink made with copper particles in it, allowing electricity to pass through the ink and printed area. Thermo-chromic inks are inks that can change color when exposed to cold or heat depending on how you create the initial ink. By printed a resistor ink base, the conductive on top, shaped to your image/pattern, the thermo-chromic ink and then a clear coat, you can pass electricity through the conductive ink to produce heat to cause the thermo-chromic ink to change color.
Saturday was focused around the open portfolio sessions and I was lucky enough to be in two because a friend had purchased a table, but ended up not using it. So for the first two sessions I was able to show off the new CMYK laser engraved woodcuts and the two Intersecting Methods portfolios. There were lots of positive comments on both and about interest in next years call for the 2018 Intersecting Methods portfolio.
Finally Sunday came around and though I had planned to take full advantage of being in Portland for a full day before my flight, the conference had wiped me out. As I originally said, it was a great time, but its exhausting.
Now that I am fully recovered from the conference its on to planning for next years! I will be chairing a panel entitled “Intersecting Methods” at the 2017 conference in Atlanta. Here is the panel description:
The panel, Intersecting Methods, will explore the intersection of science and printmaking from multiple angles. The scientific method; hypothesis, experiment, examine the results, move forward or alter a variable, is similar to the method printmakers use to create explore a new idea; imagine a work, experiment with techniques, criticize the result and either move forward with the edition or try something new. This relationship has been building in the past 20 years with the rise of digital technology has been brought into the studio and integrated with professional practice.
Intersecting Methods aims to explore this relationship between scientific research and printmaking through examples of collaboration, research, process improvement, technology integration and more. Can printmaking be expanded by collaboration with the sciences? Has it already happened? Can printmaking improve or alter scientific research through artistic exploration? These questions and more will be investigated.
Application is open until June 1st and can be found here: http://sgciatlanta.com/Apply-Tier-2-Panelists.html. So if you have any interest, please submit. All accepted applicants will receive half off registration for the Atlanta conference and I think it will be another good one with the Zuckerman Museum of Art at Kennesaw State University now housing the SGC International Archives.
I will be meeting with Ryan Hackett and Dr. Charles Delwiche in the coming week, so there will be another update in a few weeks to discuss how those collaborations are going and what else may be coming down the pike.