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ISU Print Club to co-host free steamroller printmaking event May 16 at Perry’s Caboose Park

May 12, 2015


AMES, Iowa — The Iowa State University Print Club and City of Perry will co-host a free public printmaking event Saturday, May 16, at Caboose Park, located at the intersection of First Avenue (Highway 144) and Willis Avenue in Perry.

The "Portraits of Perry" event will take place from 10 a.m. until completed during the 18th Annual Hiawatha Classic Bike Ride, which also starts at 10 a.m. at Caboose Park, the Perry trailhead for the Raccoon River Valley Trail. In case of inclement weather, the event will be held in the Perry Street Department Building, 1301 W. Fourth St.

Jennifer Drinkwater, ISU adjunct assistant professor of art and visual culture, advises Perry High School students on which areas of their designs to carve away.
Integrated visual arts graduate students Alexis Dwyer and Jeff Miller demonstrate carving techniques for the high schoolers.

Since January, Iowa State printmaking students and art faculty members have worked with 20 beginning drawing students at Perry High School and 15 local artists and independent business owners to create relief carvings on 16-inch-by-16-inch wood blocks. The designs reflect the carvers' own interests and experiences—from a camera to a favorite maple tree to downtown signage to the high school soccer field—as well as more abstract images, said Jennifer Drinkwater, ISU adjunct assistant professor of art and visual culture and event organizer.

"There are some amazing carvings, and all of them will be beautiful once printed," Drinkwater said. "I think they're going to look much cooler than the participants themselves anticipate."

On Saturday, the blocks will be inked and printed onto canvas using the city's small steamroller. Multiple blocks likely will be arranged in a grid with 1x2 boards as spacers to create larger collage prints, Drinkwater said. The carved print blocks and completed prints are intended to be displayed later as public art on and around the Raccoon River Valley Trail, she said.

A smaller printing press will be available for participants to print their individual woodcuts onto high-quality paper to create artwork they can take home, she said.

Drinkwater and University Print Club members Alexis Dwyer, Columbia, Mo.; Jeff Miller, Beardstown, Ill.; Kat Schmidt, Van Meter, and Reed Siems, Granger, will assist with the printing process.

The public is invited to observe the process and interact with all the artists. Questions may be directed to Jennifer Drinkwater, (515) 708-2825,

Jennifer Drinkwater, Art and Visual Culture, (515) 708-2825,
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289,