Eighth-grade students in Ms. Byers’ Studio Art class recently participated in Print Day—an in-house, all-day learning experience, focused on the printmaking process.
Students explored and analyzed the prints of German artist Käthe Kollwitz, widely known for her theme of war and its effects on the human condition. Students were tasked with constructing imagery that communicated their interpretation of the words loss and found, using subject matter inspired by WWI, personal experience, or current world events.
Using relief printmaking materials, students created a three-part, editioned series of prints that demonstrated artistic benchmarks: careful inking, registration and lifting, planning and execution of an engraving, knowledge of signing and numbering an edition, and exploration with visual texture. Students also had the opportunity to experiment with the symbolic quality of color theory as well as experimentation in paper layering, chine-collé, and alternative materials.
“Allowing us to print for a whole day gave me the opportunity to walk away with about twenty prints,” said Riley, a student who participated in the day. “I learned an awesome new medium of art.”
“Print day helps you develop yourself as an artist and as an individual,” said Julia. “Your mistakes teach you how to cope with failure and stress.”
“Print Day was a day to bond with classmates and it was fun,” said student-artist Kate. “It was a great experience to work with different materials, styles, and people.”
"This unit is something I have been working passionately on for years,” said Ms. Byers. “Kollwitz's work was, and still is, powerful and relevant in today's world. I feel so fortunate to be able to bring this real-world experience to our children here at Howitt.”