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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Printmaking Palooza! provides time for alumni and students to connect over art

French printmaker Odilon Redon once said, “While I recognize the necessity for a basis of observed reality … true art lies in a reality that is felt.”

This statement rang true during the Art Department’s “Printmaking Palooza!” Homecoming and Reunion event held on Nov. 1 in the Hege-Cox Printmaking Studio.

An air of delight was present as alumni were reunited with friends from years prior. As those returning to Guilford looked around Hege-Cox, they were reminded of their own college experience. The layers of paint smudged on the walls like glimpses into the past.

Chatter and laughter were shared amidst a lesson on monoprinting, a form of printmaking where markings can only be made once.

Julia Hood ‘06 exuberantly demonstrated for onlookers, children, alumni, teachers and students as she rolled brightly pigmented acrylic paint onto gel printing plates.

After the plates were fully coated, textures were pressed with lace, stamps and stencils. This step was then repeated with a different color and texture, allowing the artist to create multiple layers of paint on a single piece of white paper.

“Hood had used the gel printing plates at a fall festival, and it was just great,” said Terry Hammond ‘81, curator of the Guilford College Art Gallery. “There were kids doing it as well as adults. I thought, ‘This would be great.’ It is nice to have art and different activities besides the football game (during Homecoming).”

While much of the intrigue was attributed to Hood’s printmaking lesson, the event was multifaceted as alumni and professors shared thoughts on life after Guilford with students.

The question of how to transition from an art major into an art-related career resonated with many attendees. While the conversation was based around art-related career paths, these concepts can be applied to other majors as well.

“(After college), I hope to get a job in graphic design and keep painting,” said senior art major Gloria Taylor Williams. “If I get lucky with some commission pieces, I will be very happy.”

Other alumni shared their experiences on transitioning into a world outside of the Guilford bubble.

“I work in an auction house in Cincinnati,” said Jack Arthur Wood ‘12. “I just look at art all day. My dad deals antique (artwork), so I had a name in a way.”

While Wood was privileged through his father’s success, for other alumni an immediate resolution was not found.

“Right after (graduating from) Guilford, I was in the healthcare field doing administrative work,” said Hood. “Within a year of working with people who were not idea driven, I knew I wanted to do something else. I then went to graduate school for the history of decorative arts.”

In the art field, one must have patience in their journey towards a career.

Sometimes in order to reach a place of satisfaction, multiple steps and failures must lead you.

“It is important to be open to the process,” said Hood. “Keep your feet moving while asking the universe what it is that you want. Circuitous routes are okay.”

Hood now works as coordinator of education at the Reynolda House Museum of Art in Winston-Salem.

“It is really important to be around creative people,” said Roy Nydorf, professor of art. “If you get rejected, work harder. You can’t just be an island, hiding and isolating in your own space. Get out into the community.”

Graduates entering the field of art should not let rejection bring them down, but rather use it as encouragement to work even harder.

“When I was in graduate school, at one point, I got rejected (from) 14 shows in a row,” said Nydorf. “Rejection can often be a teacher. Always continue to practice and work.”

The many inspiring moments and conversations that were shared on Saturday between students, teachers and alumni supplemented the spirited printmaking lesson.

There was much to take away as attendees said their goodbyes  and exited Hege-Cox at 4 p.m.

All glowed with delight, as their radiant prints lit the space. Above all, attendees were reminded of the effervescent community that continues to thrive here at Guilford: a place where feelings and intimate connections overcome the mundane.

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