Printing Propaganda

This week students refined their plates and began printing in earnest.  There are many creative experiments being undertaken including printing on acetate, screening, double printing and split fountains.

Prints will be installed around the school to complete the “propaganda” part of the assignment.  Shown below is Lindsey’s handsome print publicizing the Malala fund.


Homework due Monday, 11/2

Please choose one of the following:

  1.  Design and sketch  a halloween costume using at least three of the items from the drawing below.  You may reorient and/or resize the object.  Special bonus if you can use the tuba!  The image shown is from


2.  Finish the sculpture.  The photo below is one half of an existing sculpture on campus.  You are to complete the sculpture by drawing the first half and adding the other half that you design.  If you have seen the finished sculpture, try not to be influenced by seeing it in your design.  You may reorient and/or resize the object.


3.  Create an entry for the Itsy-bitsy show at the Link Gallery outside Krannert Art Museum.  Prizes awarded.   Read the specifications sent to all students in my email dated 10/28/15.    All art must be of your own original design.  6x 6 inches is the maximum size.  This is a great opportunity for those looking to build their art resume.  And speaking of this, read below to learn about more opportunities.

REMINDER:  Contest of Fine and Applied Arts Dept. at U of I. This could be a great opportunity for scholarship money!


Propaganda Printing: Selecting Photos and Carving Plates

This week we began a new unit involving propaganda and printmaking.  Each student is promoting a humanitarian cause by creating a propaganda piece.  This propaganda piece should feature a spokesperson for the cause (either the student or an appropriate other person).  The imagery will be carved into rubber plates and eventually printed on word clouds and other backgrounds.  Below is shown an image entitled, “Sharecropper” by master print maker Elizabeth Catlett.


Also this week, Melissa Pokorny will be speaking to students about her sculptures and her participation in the exhibition, “Attachment” at Krannert Art Museum.  Her work dovetails very nicely with our own projects involving collections.  Students are very fortunate to have this opportunity to hear about her work as an artist and professor at U. of I. School of Fine and Applied Arts.

Homework:  Propaganda background due Monday 10/26

Create and print two more background texts to be used for your propaganda print. You should come up with two (or more) distinctly different solutions. Take into consideration font, font size, placement and if possible color.  (Remember to leave a 6″ x 6″ area for your actual print.)


This short week we finished our watercolors of trees and collections and prepared for the next unit.  Below Angela is pictured finishing up her amazing collection of spheres.


Lyle’s colorful autobiographical tree depicting his life experiences is shown below.


Homework due Monday 10/19:  Attachment – 3 options

In preparation for Melissa Pokorny’s visit next Wednesday 3rd hour I would like you to think about the subject of attachment, namely how we attach meaning and memory to things.  You have 3 choices:

  1.  Go to Krannert Art Museum and draw an object in the Attachment exhibition, noting the artist.
  2. Read the article, Are Artworks More Like People than Artifacts?  Individual Concepts and Their Extensions.  After reading about the authors’  experiments to measure “identity continuity”, design an experiment (and type it up) to measure human attachment to inanimate objects.  This should be no longer than 1 page, double spaced.
  3. Draw the thing (no brain) in your house that you are most attached to, using full values and textures.

Collections and Trees Like Me…

are the focus for the next assignment.  We are adding watercolor to the mix of media choices.

Below is a Morandi still life of a collection of bottles.


Collections range from the humorous (e.g. Lego characters) to the serious (e.g. Buddhas) but each says something about the collector.  The other assignment option, Trees Like Me, seeks to illustrate key moments in the maker’s life, but in the language of trees.

Either option requires the artist to create a sense of depth in their work, possibly by overlapping or relative scale.

Homework due Tuesday, Oct. 13:  Word clouds based on Humanitarian Cause

Create and print two or more word clouds for use in the next unit.  Experiment with font, color, placement.  In the next unit, students will pick a humanitarian cause of their choice and create a piece of  propaganda art to publicize their cause.  The relief print can either be of themselves, shouting out or an appropriate spokesperson associated with that cause.  We will be making many experimental prints, but a few of them should be on top of word clouds.

To create word clouds try Wordle or Tagxedo.   Tagxedo allows you to pick specific shapes for your clouds, which may or may not be an advantage.  The tricky part with using either is printing them out.  In order to do so, you need to take a screen shot of the part you like, save it, and then open the screen shot to print it out.

Below is shown Tarik’s project, his plate and  print on a Wordle.