“The students, through grit and persistence, worked with this limited set of materials and managed to make beautiful things.”
When Macalester began distance learning on March 30, students in DeWitt Wallace Professor Ruthann Godollei’s Printmaking II course were “without our equipment or our printing presses or the space to work in our beautiful building,” she said. The class was just about to begin work on their final assignment: putting together an edition—a set of prints as alike as possible so that students can exchange with each other a full portfolio of class work.
Godollei quickly improvised. She mailed out a mini home-printing kit to each of her students containing paper, water-based ink, a carving tool, a baren (a Japanese printing tool), a brayer, a prepaid mailer, and a hand-printed card of encouragement. She also created a WordPress page for the class to share works in progress and provide feedback. “The miracle was that the students, through grit and persistence, worked with this limited set of materials and managed to make beautiful things,” she said.
“It has definitely been a challenging class to translate into remote learning, because we weren’t able to get to many of the printing techniques we were going to learn this semester requiring studio/equipment access,” said EJ Coolidge ’20 (Lexington, Mass.), a history major. “That said, I’ve felt very well supported to make prints at home using more portable techniques like relief and screenprinting. I am so glad that our class is still able to do an edition and print exchange via mail. It will be great to get to see—and keep!—a print from everyone in the class.” They created the piece Bagel Man for the edition.
Once all of the pieces are in, Godollei will send everyone in class a copy of the edition, and she’ll keep one set for the college archives. “My colleagues in art are doing equally wonderful projects with wonderful results under such constrained circumstances,” she said. “Our department has worked really hard to provide students with a quality experience in challenging times.”
May 1 2020Back to top