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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Thank you to Intern Annavittoria Conner!

Annavittoria Conner working at the press
P.R.I.N.T Press thanks Annavittoria Conner for serving as an intern in spring 2015. A BFA candidate with a major in Printmaking, Annavittoria worked on several projects:  
Few academically affiliated fine art presses exist in the United States, eight to be exact, and I am honored to have spent the past few months here at the Print Research Institute of North Texas. I have picked up many good habits and left some bad ones behind. P.R.I.N.T inspires you to develop a certain kind of care for prints that otherwise one might not take into consideration. I have learned to take a step back and appreciate the delicacy of prints and their importance while gaining knowledge of how print collaborations work.

When I started my internship I was immediately submerged into the atmosphere here at P.R.I.N.T. I began by learning how to professionally prepare framed artwork so it could be sent off to the exhibition at UNT ArtSpace Dallas, Five Years of Collaborations . . .

Students show prints at the P.R.I.N.T booth at the Flatbed Print Fair
. . . I then learned more about packing work when P.R.I.N.T got ready to go to Austin for the Flatbed Print Fair. Learning how to pack artwork safely has changed how I store my own artwork. Amongst jobs of packing and handling work I was also able to restore a screen print vacuum table and carry out other shop improvement jobs. These examples and others strengthened my confidence with fixing and installing press tools and equipment around the shop. One of my favorite endeavors however was getting to run BIG etching ground tests. Lari, who is an advocate for safer printmaking techniques and options brought this amazing ground into the shop to be tested. I had the privilege of carrying out this task. BIG is considerably safer than most etching grounds however earns it’s respect amongst them. Drawing into BIG is freeing because you don’t have to worry about chipping the ground and the line quality is fine and clear of stubble. I was given the opportunity to test and experiment with this product beginning to end and I already own a personal tube for my future etchings.

Annavittoria creates an image mask 
with the guidance of Brian Garner

The most exiting facet of my internship was getting to be a part of the Brian Garner and Sedrick Huckaby collaboration. This project is what the semester had been counting down to, what we were all preparing for. I became very familiar as to how a collaboration works between artist and master printer by experiencing it first hand. Getting to meet these artists and work so closely to them will be an unforgettable lesson. I picked up Brian from the airport the day he arrived and was lucky enough to get to have lunch with him and learn more about the Master Printer. He had brought a portfolio of past collaborations for us to view which was very educational as well and learning about his journey in the printmaking world was enlightening. During the collaboration Brian gave me the task of painting a block-out for one of Sedrick’s photo litho plates which might have been my favorite part of the process. Getting to work so closely with Sedrick’s drawing was an amazing opportunity. I was also given the task to document the collaboration through photography. Many of the photos I took will forever be tied to this project and have been posted on the P.R.I.N.T Press blog and Facebook page.

Annavittoria's complete image mask
The best aspect of P.R.I.N.T Press is the people who run it. None of this would be possible without Lari Gibbons (Director) who came to the institute's rescue in 2011 and revived it. If you know Lari and her dedication to printmaking this comes at no surprise, however an easy feat it was not and because of this I have only known the fine tuned P.R.I.N.T Press. An institution who takes pride in every single aspect of the shop and proves its dedication time and time again. Laura Drapac (Assistant to Director) was an inspiration to me as well. I some times wondered how she had enough energy and time to care so tremendously for P.R.I.N.T, teaching, her own career as a fine artist, and Triple Threat Press (her own press). She really instilled the virtue that putting the effort in to do something right the first time and not cutting corners is the one true way. I also had the pleasure to work side by side with one of UNT’s finest graduate students Jessie Barnes, who took me under her wing and showed me the ropes, having been at P.R.I.N.T for a semester already when I joined the team. She guided me through my first hand made portfolio, taught me a thing or two about photo litho, and overall was just a really wonderful person. To me this is one of the best aspects of P.R.I.N.T Press, the people who run it. Rarely will you get to spend so much time and learn so much from people this talented in your undergraduate career, let alone life.