The Printmaking program nurtures both conceptual and technical growth in student work and fosters a more complex and intense experience as students matriculate through the program. The introductory level course focuses on the fundamentals of printmaking, and successive courses build on those skills both conceptually and technically. Craft and understanding of aesthetics unique to printmaking are emphasized as students’ progress through the curriculum. Students learn studio, research, and intellectual skills necessary to create conceptually rich and technically appropriate and proficient works of art.
Students gain a working knowledge of the history of printmaking to contemporary trends. Work culminates in a senior thesis exhibition that demonstrates a conceptually cohesive and technically appropriate body of work, and students are able to verbally demonstrate an understanding of the social, historical, and cultural contexts in which they create and exhibit.
The BFA thesis exhibition is the culmination of each student’s art experience at KCAD, and is accompanied by an oral presentation and a written artist’s statement. Work for the exhibition must receive the approval of three faculty members who comprise the BFA critique committee, which is responsible for conducting the final critique of the BFA thesis exhibition. This final critique is open to all interested students and faculty. The BFA thesis exhibition functions as both a competitive portfolio of work for the student and a showcase of talent for the college.
As a student in the Printmaking program, you’ll gain a broad knowledge of both traditional and contemporary printmaking studio practices. You’ll learn time-honored techniques such as intaglio, relief printing, lithography, and papermaking as you explore more experimental processes incorporating digital technology, installation, and transdisciplinary creative practice. As you investigate multiple approaches to art-making, you’ll also study the social, historical, and cultural contexts in which works of art are created and exhibited.
You’ll also round your education out with a wide range of general education and art history courses that will stimulate your curiosity, broaden your perspective, and inspire new creative expressions. KCAD’s flexible General Education Pathways model empowers you to direct your learning by exploring subjects you find most engaging and relevant.
The Printmaking program facilitates a deep exploration of technique and concept that will sharpen your creative problem-solving skills. Through critiques and faculty reviews, you’ll come to understand your strengths and weaknesses in order to solidify your aesthetic direction and spur your technical and conceptual growth. Learning experiences become more complex and intense as you progress through the program while also encouraging you to take risks and challenge yourself. You’ll build the studio, intellectual, and research skills necessary to create conceptually rich and technically proficient works of art.
Ultimately, you’ll develop a cohesive and competitive portfolio of work that reflects your voice, and you’ll learn to support it through focused instruction in oral and written communication, emerging prepared to both create and articulate broader dialogues about your process and your creative practice.
As a Printmaking student, you’ll be involved not only in the making of your own work, but in a vibrant creative community as well, both within the highly collaborative environment of the Printmaking studio and in the greater Grand Rapids arts community and the national printmaking community. At KCAD, you’ll find no shortage of opportunities to be involved, inspired, and inspiring.
As a graduate of the Printmaking program, you’ll be well-positioned to pursue a career as a professional artist, either independently or with gallery representation. You’ll also be prepared to leverage your critical thinking, communication, and creative problem-solving skills as a curator, museum preparator, art director, gallery owner, screenprinter, or even as an entrepreneur.
Many Printmaking graduates chose to further develop their skills by pursuing a Master of Fine Art degree or by seeking opportunities such as artist residencies or grant-funded projects.
As a Printmaking student, you’ll have access to well-appointed communal studio facilities that support a comprehensive approach to art making. You’ll be able to use tools include etching presses, lithography presses, screenprinting presses and equipment, papermaking equipment, and more. You’ll also have access to private personal studio spaces and public exhibition spaces equipped with expansive display walls and track-lighting.
Elsewhere on campus, you’ll have access to The Fed Galleries @ KCAD, an exhibition space featuring the work of nationally and internationally-recognized artists; KCAD’s Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA), an innovative cultural institution hosting exhibitions of such contemporary artists and designers as Nick Cave, Kehinde Wiley, Kara Walker, Nari Ward, Carrie Mae Weems, and Judi Werthein; The Dow Center FlexLab, KCAD’s state-of-the-art digital fabrication facility featuring 3D printers and scanners, laser cutting and vinyl cutting machines, wide format printers, and more; KCAD’s Material ConneXion Satellite Library, which offers direct access to more than 1,000 physical samples of advanced, innovative, and sustainable materials as well as online access to over 7,000 more; the KCAD Library, which provides access to millions of books through the MeLCat shared library catalog as well as access to specialized research databases and subscriptions to scholarly journals; and much more.
KCAD also offers a number of summer travel/study experiences as well as internships during the academic year and the summer. You’ll have the opportunity to pursue work in a variety of settings, such as professional fine art printmaking studios, museums, and community arts organizations, to name a few.
Ready to get started? Apply now!
A problem-solving course covering the principles of composition and modular design systems. Uses predominately abstract shapes and black, white, and achromatic gray ranges.(Students who have earned credit for VISC 110, Design I, may not use credit earned in KCPA 110 to meet graduation requirements.)
A problem-solving course which studies the properties and interactions of color and its resulting perceptual effects in pictorial space.
The first course that deals exclusively with the medium of oil painting. Observation of nature and the depiction of solid three-dimensional form in illusionistic space are the central concerns. Emphasis is primarily on still life painting; some figure/portrait painting may be introduced. Also surveys Western painting and the traditional techniques pertaining to that history.
An introduction to the fundamentals of photography using both manually adjustable 35mm film cameras and digital cameras. This course includes black and white film development and darkroom printing as well as digital camera use and basic image manipulation controls using PhotoShop. The aesthetics of photography will be discussed in terms of its history, and artistic and technical advancements. Students must own or have use of a digital camera (prosumer grade or above; camera phones are not acceptable).
To explore the elements, principles and aesthetic concepts integral to three-dimensional design and to consider relationships between concept, process, materials, tools and technical skills. (Students who have earned credit for ARTS 120, 3-D Design, may not use credit earned in KCSF 11 to meet graduation requirements.)
The process of drawing as observation and conceptualization through eye-hand coordination. Emphasizes linear construction with concern for accurate proportion and simple positive-negative/figure-ground relationships. Includes an in-depth study of linear perspective. (Students who have earned FSU credit for VISC 112 Drawing I, may not use credit earned in KCDR 131 to meet graduation requirements.
Emphasis on development of convincing illusion of three-dimensional objects, through the combined use of line, value, proportion, and composition. This course focuses on the further refinement of the concepts, processes, and techniques introduced in Drawing I. Expanded exploration of perspective, composition, color investigation, media exploration, and idea development within traditional subject matter will be emphasized.
This course focuses on gesture drawing, rapid visualization skills, movement and expressive content, composition, structure, skeletal anatomy, and engaging in critiques.
Emphasizes independent problem solving, refinement of technical skills, and the development of conceptualization processes. Examines contemporary issues, artists, and the significance of content.
An introductory course which explores some of the following media: monotype, relief, intaglio, lithography. Students gain proficiency in printing, proofing, and editioning.
Focuses on choice of the following either unique or in combination: monotype, relief, intaglio or lithography in monochromatic and color printing with introduction to limited digital processes. Emphasizes refining technical skills and conceptual development.
Student focuses on the following either uniquely or in combination: relief, intaglio, digital processes. Emphasizes refining technical skills to develop personal approach to medium and conceptual development towards cohesive body of work.
Students focus on the following either uniquely or in combination: relief, intaglio, digital processes, or lithography. Focuses on the continuation of the development of a cohesive body of work with additional emphasis on quality printing, experimental printing, and content.
Focuses on creation of a cohesive body of accomplished work that displays conceptual continuity, creative decision making, and technical integrity. Includes individual and group critiques. Preparation for thesis exhibition is emphasized.
Emphasizes responsibility for the creation of a cohesive body of accomplished work that displays conceptual continuity and technical integrity. Includes individual and group critiques. The student is required to install a thesis exhibition to complete the BFA in Drawing with Printmaking Focus.
A course that explores the following intaglio printmaking processes: dry point, line etching, aquatint, softground, mezzotint, multiple plate etching. Students gain proficiency in intaglio printing, proofing, and editioning.
A course that fully explores the following relief printmaking processes: linocut, black and white woodcut, multi-block woodcut, color reduction woodcut, wood engraving. Students gain proficiency in relief printing, proofing, and editing.
Explores lithography processes. Students gain proficiency in lithography printing, proofing and editioning.
This course is designed to guide students through the career-oriented aspects of working as a fine artist. Course work will include information on applying for grants and exhibitions, documenting artwork, compiling a resume and applying for graduate school.
A topical course that allows the program to respond to students' interest in a particular area, or other expressed need or capacity to offer a particular topic.
This course will focus on an in depth examination of those strategic points at which social practice, theory, and the practice of art intersect. Students will read from key theoretical texts on Post-structuralism and Deconstruction including the writings of such seminal thinkers as Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Julia Kristeva, and others.
An overview of the Western Art tradition from prehistory through the Renaissance using a socio-cultural methodology in a chronological framework. (Students who have earned credit for ARTH 110, Prehistoric through Middle Ages, may not use credit earned in KCAH 111 to meet graduation requirements.)
A survey of Western art from the Baroque to the present, this course will continue building upon the foundation of Western Art I; Prehistoric through the Renaissance, using a socio-cultural methodology in a chronological framework. (Students who have earned credit for ARTH 111, Renaissance through 20th Century, may not use credit earned in KCAH 112 to meet graduation requirements.)
An examination of the concept of Modernism and how it is expressed in Western art and architecture from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century. (Students who have earned credit for ARTH 310, History of Twentieth Century Art, may not use credit earned in KCAH 311.)
This course focuses on using writing to develop ideas, hone critical thinking skills, and express ideas clearly and appropriately according to audience and purpose. Students write in a variety of modes and spend a portion of the semester engaging in scholarly research. Students also develop their public speaking skills.
This course provides a core understanding of effective storytelling. It examines the ways in which storytellers-both past and present-craft, organize, and convey ideas to successfully impact audiences, doing so through both inquiry into established narratives, as well as students' own experiments with narrative forms.
This course examines what it means to be a member of a particular society and how individuals both form and are formed by society. It will provide students with a better understanding of the social and cultural worlds they inhabit.
This course is an inquiry into the nature and power of philosophy to transform the way we experience the world around us and understand our place within it. Through a selection of readings representing various philosophical traditions and perspectives, critical discussion, and writing, students will examine some of the great questions that have intrigues philosophers from antiquity to present.
Download the catalog for the most recent course listings and prerequisites.
As a graduate of the Printmaking program, you’ll be prepared to engage in a rich, fulfilling practice of creating culturally significant and meaningful works of art. The versatile set of creative, critical thinking, and communication skills you’ll develop will also open up a number of other career options in art-related fields.