Whitman College Art Department

Printmaking and Book Arts

  • The Printmaking and Book Arts area provides students with an understanding of the processes, concepts, and issues that inform contemporary printmaking and book arts.

    Students develop a broad range of traditional and contemporary skills in the creation of editioned and one-of-a-kind prints, installations, posters, zines, broadsides, and artist books. Alongside their studio explorations, students examine the cultural and historical significance of the print and book while investigating ideas related to replication, representation, and distribution.

    As printed matter becomes an increasingly ubiquitous part of our visual culture, issues related to printmaking and book arts are positioned at the center of our daily lives. From the commercial world of publishing, advertising, and printed products to the fine art press and studio tradition, students are encouraged to investigate and borrow from all of these areas which are now encompassed in the broadening field of printmaking and book arts. We encourage young artists to ask how books and printmedia can continue to be powerful avenues for communication and artistic intervention. Ultimately, students realize the creative and expressive possibilities of printed images, text, and book forms in a studio that promotes collaboration, exchange, and experimentation.

  • Facilities

    The Printmaking and Book Arts area emphasizes the safest and most current practices to create the least toxic and most environmentally conscious studio possible. We maintain dedicated areas in traditional and digital applications in printmaking, bookbinding, and letterpress printing.

    The Printmaking Area offers two relief/etching presses, a Vandercook Proof Press, two lithography presses, a darkroom for photopolymer plate making and other photo-processes, water-based screenprinting equipment including a washout booth,  pressure washer, and a NuArc 9140 Halide Exposure Unit. The Book Arts Area includes an Anderson Vreeland Orbital Platemaker, a Chandler & Price platen press, several tabletop platen presses, Vandercook No. 4 Proof Press, Vandercook Old Style 219, bookbinding equipment, and a collection of nearly 100 drawers of wood and metal type. The studio also houses an iMac with the Adobe Creative Suite, a laser printer, and Epson 3880 for digital film production. All rooms are well ventilated and include pull-down vents next to presses and inking areas.

  • Visiting Artists and Collaborations

    The Printmaking and Book Arts area frequently hosts visiting artists from around the country. These artists work closely with students on special printing and book projects, give demonstrations, and talk about their studio practice. Here is a list of recent and upcoming visiting artists:

  • Each year the Book Arts area collaborates with the English Department to print broadsides for the Visiting Writers Reading Series. This year’s printer is senior Anna Conrad.