Printmaking at the U of S: MIX Print Collective showcases student artists

By in Culture

Showcasing the talented work of University of Saskatchewan students, the annual MIX Print Exhibition and Sale is back again for another year.

While acting as a fundraiser, this event features print artwork — including original screen prints, lithographs, etchings, relief prints, collagraphs and monotypes — by both past and present undergraduate and graduate students at the U of S.

Nguyen Tran, a third-year drawing and printmaking major and president of the MIX Print Collective, sat down with the Sheaf to discuss the event.

“I participated in this event last year and it was a success, so I decided to take over this year’s exhibition … It’s a group thing and other members do contribute in works to make it happen,” Tran Mix Print Sale - Suppliedsaid.

Any student that is registered in printmaking classes can participate in this event, which adds up to a lot of pieces being included in the show. Including different editions of pieces, Tran estimates there are around 400 pieces in total included this year.

There are many techniques used in printmaking, all of which have different processes. However, Tran outlined a very basic process used for many of the techniques, which could take anywhere from a couple of hours to a month to complete.

“Generally, you create a stencil of your image, ink it up and print it on paper or other surfaces into multiple editions. It is the most efficient way of creating a mass amount of the same artwork,” Tran said.

Not only can students check out the artwork, but there is also an educational component to the event, where students will be able to see some samples of the methods used, as they will be displayed on tables.

“Printmaking students will be providing information on the techniques and processes on a print for other students who would like to learn a bit about printmaking, in order to understand and appreciate the hard work and efforts of printmaking,” Tran said.

With prices ranging from $20 to $140 per print, the funds raised from this event are split — half will go back to the artists themselves and half will go back to the studio to cover expenses, maintenance and repairs to the equipment, as printmaking can be an expensive process.

This is a great chance to not only support local artists, but also for student artists who are branching out and sharing their artwork with the community.

“I hope students at the U of S and non-students will appreciate the art of printmaking as a traditional art in the same way as that of a painting. Also, I hope for people to own a piece of art that was made by a fellow student here on campus instead of just a digitally printed poster that you could just get anywhere,” Tran said.

As art is being viewed more and more on digital platforms, Tran hopes students will take this opportunity to engage with art in the realist sense.

“Fine artists who practice in traditional arts like painting, [sculpting] and especially printmaking are reviving the idea of viewing art in real life, not through a phone screen. There is a relationship between you and a piece of art when you look at it in person that a digital photo does not have,” Tran said.

You may find the perfect piece of art that complements your room, or perhaps find a gift for someone special. Either way, this event is definitely worth checking out.

Bridget Morrison / Culture Editor

Photo: MIX Print Sale / Supplied