Self-described “printmaking nerd” finds paradise and a perspective shift at the ASU Art Museum
ASU School of Art senior Emma Ringness, who will graduate this December with a degree in printmaking, worked with ASU Art Museum curator Jean Makin to put together the exhibition Plate • Silk • Stone: Impressions by Women Artists from the ASU Art Museum Print Collection, which is on view at the Museum through Dec. 8.
In these figurative prints selected from the permanent collection, women artists take on social and domestic issues, as well as themes of history, culture and identity. For more information about the show, click here.
Here’s a post from Emma about her experience working on Plate • Silk • Stone:
For printmaking nerds like myself, there is no denying the thrill of sitting down to work next to a famous print by the French satirical printmaker Honoré Daumier, or viewing Roy Lichtenstein’s interpretation of the Oval Office on a daily basis.
But enough with the nerdiness: Last year I had the pleasure of serving as a research intern in the ASU Art Museum’s Jules Heller Print Study Room under its director, Jean Makin. This glorious place is home to the museum’s print collection (including that Daumier and Lichtenstein), and is heaven for print nerds and art appreciators alike.
As part of my internship, my job was to curate an exhibition of prints by women artists in the collection. This meant going through the many drawers and cabinets in which the collection is stored and getting hands-on with prints from the 16th century to today. It was a humbling experience, and for the first time made me feel connected to something bigger than myself as an artist: both to a long line of female printmakers, and to a cultural discourse in which I am a participant.
Through the process of handling the work, selecting pieces for the show, researching and writing about the artists, I was also given a perspective other than that of the creator — of someone who maintains artwork for future generations. I now fully understand the long-term care and storage required by the print medium, as well as the amount of time and energy invested by museum professionals and art historians to research and share with the public the history and social relevance of work created through the print processes. This perspective shift has, in turn, altered my approach as a creator. The beauty of having an institution like the ASU Art Museum is that this unique learning experience was available to me on campus, and during my undergraduate education — rather than during graduate school or beyond.
I am so grateful to Jean Makin for giving me this opportunity, and to the many people who make the museum’s collection available to the public on a regular basis.
Entry filed under: Artists at the Museum, ASU Art Museum, ASU Art Museum: Behind-the-scenes, People at ASU Art Museum, Random Acts of Art, Uncategorized. Tags: Arizona State University, Arizona State University Art Museum, art, artist, artists, Artists at the Museum, ASU, ASU Art Museum, ASU School of Art, behind the scenes, curator, Emma Ringness, exhibitions, free, Herberger Institute for Design and The Arts, Honoré Daumier, Jean Makin, Jules Heller Print Study Room, museum, non-profit, Plate • Silk • Stone: Impressions by Women Artists from the ASU Art Museum Print Collection, printmaking, Roy Lichtenstein, students, women artists.