Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

‘Ensemble’ exhibition celebrates UT printmaking community

Allie Castaneda

Tucked away on the top floor of the Visual Arts Center, a display of letters unique in color and size flows across two adjacent walls, inviting viewers to follow. The characters spell “ENSEMBLE,” the exhibition title, alluding to the communal nature of printmaking.

The collaborative student and faculty print media exhibition took place from Feb. 16 to March 2. Co-organizer Erin Miller said she and her co-organizer Annie May Johnston asked artists to submit prints consistent with color and size guidelines but encouraged artistic freedom otherwise. To spotlight each piece and encourage viewer interpretation, Miller said they purposefully excluded didactic information about the works from the show.

“I just want everyone to really see all that you can do with print and see how our students are using it in unique ways,” Miller said.

Echoing Miller’s call to creativity, studio art senior Mai Deguchi said she embraced the experimental printmaking process in her three abstract pieces on display. Creating stone lithography and risograph prints, contrasting sharp lines against fluid marks, Deguchi said the composition mimics the motions of preparing dinner, like chopping on a cutting board or water droplets.

“I hope that people look at it and it inspires them to experiment,” Deguchi said. “Because I feel like in art, there is a lot of pressure of always (making work that’s) meaningful or work that has purpose.”

Studio art senior Ang Ruiz also exhibited her risograph prints in the show. Titled “San Antonio, protector de los enamorados,” Ruiz said they modeled their design after statues of Saint Anthony. The two identical editions hung side-by-side, with one displayed upside-down, mirroring the legend of the saint.

“They say that this saint, if you turn him on his head, he finds you love,” Ruiz said.

Miller said they organized the exhibition to celebrate the array of work produced in the printmaking studio and underline the communal nature of the printmaking process.

“It feels a bit different from a painting studio. That feels isolated like you can be more private in those moments,” Miller said. “Whereas in print, you’re forced to work around other people. In that way, unique collaborations happen … you find ideas through working next to somebody.”

Miller graduated from UT as a studio art major in 2016. Now reintegrated into the UT print community as printmaking lab manager since August, Miller said projects like “Ensemble” provide opportunities to bring the department closer.

“I was in their shoes 10 years ago,” Miller said. “So it’s fun to sort of be on the other side of it and also get to collaborate with the students.”

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