Works on Paper shows printmaking art

Students at Minnesota State University, Mankato can find a variety of on-campus clubs that spark their interest in different mediums of art, and Works on Paper is just one of them.

This registered student organization has been running for 10 years, being founded in 2012. Throughout the years the group has held weekly meetings where students are able to socialize and practice different printing techniques, including screening printing t-shirts, carving woodblocks, and printing patches and cards. 

The group’s advisor, associate printmaking professor Josh Winkler, says the goal of Works on Paper is to familiarize students with installing and exhibiting artwork on and off campus. 

“Club exhibitions convey a tangible understanding of artwork functioning within a community while preparing students for future artistic careers and graduate studies,” stated Winkler. “Traveling to galleries and museums in the cities, or to national academic conferences, opens students to the broad applications of print media in the fine arts and beyond.”

Despite the pandemic slowing the group down, they are determined to get back on their feet by hosting more meetings to gain more participants. 

“These meetings are run by students and are open to anyone interested. We hope to get regular Friday meetings going again after spring break and continue in full force this coming fall semester,” said Winkler.

Graduate student Mai Tran, a current member of the RSO, said they host a variety of workshops, art shows, and print and t-shirt sales to fundraise for their members.

“Our club helps make printmaking art more aware to those within MSU and beyond. We usually have sales, visiting artists, field trips and more [to offer],” said Tran. 

Works on Paper attends printmaking conferences whenever possible, and they have been to cities such as Knoxville, TN, Cheyenne, WY, and Portland, OR. 

“We have kept up with fundraising this year, selling prints on campus to raise funds for conferences. [Students] see amazing work and become part of the contemporary printmaking conversation by sharing their own creations. A few students will be traveling to the Southern Graphics International Conference in Madison, WI this March,” shared Tran.

Tran feels she has gained a larger perspective from being a part of the RSO. 

“Being involved in the printmaking club helps me gain much more confidence in everything. I made new friends who have different backgrounds, but share the same interests in art and print. Some of the members aren’t even art students,” shared Tran. “I got to be exposed to the art field more since we often go on field trips and conferences.”

Winkler, who has been the Works on Paper advisor for eight years now, loves many things about his position. 

“Seeing our students teach others, often non-art students, printmaking processes at club meetings while building community is one of the highlights of the club for me,” shared Winkler. “I also love it when print students are able to travel to conferences.”

MSU printmaking students will be hosting a public exhibition reception at the Grand Center for Arts and Culture in New Ulm, where they will be showcasing their newest prints on Friday, Feb. 25 at 6:30 p.m. The exhibition will also highlight a collaborative exchange project between Winkler’s printmaking students and MSU Professor Michael Torres’s poetry students. The exhibition is open Feb. 25 to March 25 and will be open to the public Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Header Photo: Works on Paper has been around for 10 years and allows students to specialize in different printmaking techniques such as carving woodblocks. (Courtesy photo)

Write to: Syd Berggren at sydney.berggren@mnsu.edu

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