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The Unstill Life

Posted October 29, 2013 in Prototype (student spotlight)

In this installment of Prototype, we profile Sofía Ramírez Hernández (Senior, Drawing/Printmaking)

If it’s true that time is money, then Sofía Ramírez Hernández’s time is priceless. However, she didn’t always see it that way. Having originally enrolled in the Art Education program, Ramírez Hernández spent quite a bit of time contemplating her direction. Ultimately, it took an encounter with the local artist collective Dinderbeck to inspire her to creative action.

“I saw that they (Dinderbeck) were active and engaging in printmaking in the community,” she said. “That’s when I first knew that it was still alive and that young people are still doing it and growing in it.”

Now in her senior year, Ramírez Hernández is a Drawing/Printmaking superstar who spends the majority of her time creating lasting impact inside and outside the halls of KCAD.

Student Sofía Ramírez Hernández

Sofía Ramírez Hernández

“Something that took me a long time to learn is that the more you do the more you can do,” she said “The more time you make to make things, the more you’re used to being incredibly productive. I get this high from seeing how much I can produce.”

What makes Ramírez Hernández so effective as an artist and a student is her keen sense of perception, her ability to identity an opportunity and act on it quickly. This past January, she and Graduate Printmaking student Steven Rainey took it upon themselves to energize the KCAD student printmaking club, Collective Pressure. Ramírez Hernández recognized the club’s potential to unite students across disciplines.

“We’re all so focused on our own disciplines that it can seem like there’s a lack of community across majors,” she observed. “I knew that so many of my friends didn’t know anything about the print shop or were intimidated to come down here, so I just wanted to involve everyone.”

Student Sofía Ramírez Hernández working in the printmaking shop

Sofía Ramírez Hernández at work in the Printmaking shop

And get involved they did. Quickly. The leaders of Collective Pressure and the fluid interdisciplinary supporting cast hit the ground running, selling custom, screen-printed Valentine’s cards for a buck apiece during the annual KCAD holiday sale. They sold 100 cards the first day.

“That was the fire beneath our butts that showed us that we were capable of doing something," Ramírez Hernández recalled.

As the club set their sights skyward, Ramírez Hernández again focused her attention on helping the club create impact within the KCAD ecosystem.

“I thought it was unusual that KCAD doesn’t have a student publication,” she said. “We have these presses, why don’t we have something that showcases student work, or something created by students?”

To fund the project, they took to crowd sourcing site Indie Go Go, raising $480 in a matter of weeks. After spending hours upon hours soliciting and sorting through entries, laying out the content, screenprinting each piece of artwork on acid-free archival paper, and producing all of the typography by hand, Collective Pressure had the first issue of the aptly named “Collection” in their hands.

Student Sofía Ramírez Hernández working in the printmaking shop

Sofía Ramírez Hernández at work in the Printmaking shop

In aesthetics alone, “Collection” is itself a work of art. But its real meaning lies not in its craftsmanship but in its purpose: to unite a diverse group of students under the common goal of promoting everyone’s artistic accomplishments. It’s safe to say that they have achieved their goal, because as of this writing all but a few of the 100 copies of the first “Collection” have been sold. And like all great art, “Collection” has permanence. It will live on well after Ramírez Hernández, Rainey and other Collective Pressure members move on to the next chapter of their personal and professional lives, to places where they’ll again leave their mark as they’ve done at KCAD.

The first issue of Collection

The first issue of "Collection"

The most remarkable thing about students like Sofía Ramírez Hernández is the sense of conviction and dedication that permeates everything they do. Despite the pressures and time constraints of classwork, presentations, projects, and extracurricular activities, they understand that their education is an opportunity, not an obligation. And opportunity is always worth taking the time to pursue.

“We pay a lot to come to this special place, and my idea is to always make it worth it," Ramírez Hernández said. “Make these years something you can really be proud of. Whether that’s starting something of your own, or joining up with someone that’s already doing something, it’s about leaving a mark.”

Submissions are now being accepted for Collection #2, "Cabin Fever," until the last week of the fall ’13 semester.

-All submissions should be jpegs, tiffs, or word documents
-Scans are better than photographs of your submission
-Images should be high resolution of at least 350 dpi
-Keep written submissions under 900 words.

E-mail all submissions and questions to [email protected]. Please include artist name, title of piece, and medium.

Collection #2 will be sold during the spring ‘14 semester at KCAD.


  • Gerardo Ramirez November 6, 2013

    I’m so proud to see and read about Sofía and the chance to inspire other current and future students at Kendall.
    Gerardo (her dad)

  • Armando Ramirez November 12, 2013

    Felicidades Sofia Tortilla, espero para la siguiente edición. Ya me inscribí a la lista, estoy al pendiente. QUE OBRA!!!!! (her uncle).

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