2020/21 Art Practice & University Library Printmaking Award Winner: Ezra Sato

GALC Website

Ezra Sato is an Art Practice major at the University of California Berkeley. His visual and written work is often experimental and emerges from a desire to play— of wanting to entertain himself throughout the process and to engage with his prospective audience. While he has been drawing from a young age, he started taking it seriously as a practice in high school and has continually worked to maintain that skill.

Two of Ezra’s prints, I MET A GHOST WALKING BACK FROM THE FOG and (Cross-section), have been added to the Graphic Arts Loan Collection, and are available to students at UC Berkeley to borrow. Below are some thoughts on the prints from Ezra.

Ezra Sato print FOG                    Ezra Sato print Cross-section

I don’t know that I have much to say about these two prints beyond the fact that I enjoyed producing them and that I hope they can be similarly pleasurable to observe and sit with. The joy of making art, for me, is often in the revisions— when I’m able to hone in on some detail or apply a method that’ll make the image “complete.” Something that I love about the process is that there is a record of the image as it was being worked through in the form of test prints and prior editions. While those artifacts of the process are not available here, please consider what they might be and play around.

The Art Practice & University Library Printmaking Award is given to the undergraduate student in the Department of Art Practice who has demonstrated an astute understanding of printmaking techniques, as well as an advanced ability to express themselves through the medium of printmaking. This award was established in 2018 by the Department of Art Practice and the University Library, and is given to one or two students each academic year. 

GALC Website


2019/20 Art Practice & University Library Printmaking Award Winner: Madison Nelson

Madison Nelson is a 2020 graduate from the Department of Art Practice at UC Berkeley. She grew up around horses, and as a result, horses have inspired her from a young age. In her work, Madison aims to capture reality in its purest form through highly rendered, representational drawings. Whereas oil and acrylic paint on canvas informed her work in the past, more recently she has refined her practice to drawing mediums, such as graphite and ballpoint pen, as well as intaglio printmaking. This printmaking technique appeals to her because it requires the artist to patiently plan an entire piece in advance before embracing the many unpredictable outcomes involved in the printing process. Most of Madison’s work is based on photographs she takes, as she believes photography is as close to objective reality as you can get. The translation process from photo to drawing/print then creates an environment in which her viewers can see what she sees, in turn bringing light to parts of reality that are often overlooked.

Two of Madison’s prints have been added to the Graphic Arts Loan Collection, and are available to students at UC Berkeley to borrow. Below are some thoughts on the prints from Madison.

                      My Mustang                             Dark Horse

In my two prints, I used subject matter that I am very passionate about: horses and cars. I felt that the Intaglio printmaking process was especially well fit for the image of my personal vehicle because of how much work and planning it took to achieve the final image. Since before I can remember, I had always wanted to own a mustang. With a lot of financial planning and hard work throughout college, I was able to purchase one on my twenty-first birthday. I wanted to commemorate my dedication to achieving that dream with a print of the car. The process and planning it took to reach the final print quite closely mirrors my path to purchasing the real car; for that, this piece holds a special place in my heart and is a reminder to myself that you can do anything you truly put your mind to.

The horse print started out more as an experiment, and having ridden horses for fifteen years of my life, they provided me with a familiar subject that I could comfortably experiment with through a new technique. I put an aquatint on the plate and submerged it in the acid for a full twenty minutes, thereby creating a black print that I then scraped away to reveal the image. This was quite challenging at first because it is difficult to gauge how much pressure is needed to take away the desired amount of the etched surface. Although I am pleased with the final product, I learned how little pressure it takes to achieve more mid-range shades and would go lighter handed the next time I used this method.

The Art Practice & University Library Printmaking Award is given to the undergraduate student in the Department of Art Practice who has demonstrated an astute understanding of printmaking techniques, as well as an advanced ability to express themselves through the medium of printmaking. This award was established in 2018 by the Department of Art Practice and the University Library, and is given to one or two students each academic year. 

2018/19 Art Practice & University Library Printmaking Award Winner: Alexandra Grabow

GALC Website

Alexandra Grabow is a fourth year double major in Art Practice and Theater and Performance Studies at UC Berkeley. Even though she took her first art class during her senior year of high school, she has had a drive to create from a young age. As a young girl, Alexandra was taught how to needle point by her mother and quickly became obsessed with the craft; so much so that it has influenced her current work at the university. The block like x stitch of the needle point has grown to become a style of creating images that Alexandra has continued to use in her works. Her unique style can be seen in some of her portraits as well as landscape paintings done during her time at UC Berkeley.

In her fourth semester, and as part of her thesis project, Alexandra wanted to explore how these two forms of creation are connected. Through experimenting with printmaking and needle pointing, Alexandra discovered that the imagery in which these pieces were created were coming from two different forms of memory. After this discovery, Alexandra explored the connection between how the digital world of technology processes memory, and how the human world does it in similar and different ways. In the senior thesis show Alexandra created a free standing frame that depicts a map of how memory is processed and how the types of processing this information weaves in and out of one another. This style has been described by many of  her peers and professors as digital or pixelated; however, these descriptions differ from her print work which is described as more organic and atmospheric.

Two of Alexandra’s prints have been added to the Graphic Arts Loan Collection, and are available to students at UC Berkeley to borrow. Below are some thoughts on the prints from Alexandra.

EXPNDS 

EXPNDS is my latest intaglio series. I am continuing to work with the same types of etching process in previous print series. The reasoning for the title EXPNDS is because I am working with the largest size plate I have ever worked with. As of now this series is a two plate aquatint ground step etching. I have etched each plate once in the acid, with a box dusted aquatint ground. I used the same abstract brush technique to apply the stop out as my other plates, giving it the cloud like texture it has. Some of the prints from this series have been used in other parts of my work, such as my senior thesis project, and will continue to appear in mix media forms of my work.

EXPRMNTS

EXPRMNTS was my first print series that experiment with a new abstract style of printmaking. Instead of trying to recreate imagery from what I saw in reality, I let myself create images that came from places inside my own mind. In many of my other fields I am completely about control and planning, while in printmaking I have been moving away from control and expectations of reality. Not only is the imagery created in this series different from what I have created before, but the process and techniques are also different. This plate series is a three plate aquatint and spray paint aquatint ground step etching. I etched each plate with a box dusted aquatint and used an abstract brush technique when applying the stop out. After the first round of the plates going in the acid, I box dusted the plates a second time and etched them in acid. The last time I sent the plate into the acid, I did a moderate application of the spray paint aquatint. I have printed multiple series of this three plate, three color, print and plan to continue to experiment with the series.

The Art Practice & University Library Printmaking Award is given to the undergraduate student in the Department of Art Practice who has demonstrated an astute understanding of printmaking techniques, as well as an advanced ability to express themselves through the medium of printmaking. This award was established in 2018 by the Department of Art Practice and the University Library, and is given to one or two students each academic year. 

GALC Website