A Steamroller Print Event Returns to Austin for PrintAustin 2019

by Brandon Zech January 3, 2019

Steamroller print event for PrintAustin in Austin Texas

PrintAustin, an annual festival held across art galleries, non-profits, and other spaces that celebrates the art of printmaking in Austin, Texas, has announced that its 2019 event will run from January 15-February 15. Co-founded by artists Cathy Savage and Elvia Perrin in 2013, with its first city-wide event running in 2014, PrintAustin has grown over the years and now includes more than 20 exhibitions, various demonstrations, and artist talks.

In addition to all of the city’s participating venues, which are showing printmaking or printmaking-adjacent exhibitions, the annual PrintAustin festival is centered around The Contemporary Print, a juried group exhibition that this year will be held at Big Medium. (In recent years, the show has been held at Flatbed Press, a printmaking studio in East Austin.)

Also returning this year is PrintAustin’s steamroller print event, for which large-scale woodcuts are printed using a steamroller instead of a press. Co-presented by the festival with the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Department of Art, Communications and Theatre, the steamroller event is a good deal: the cost to participate is only $35, and artists get to walk away with their prints.

Even if you’re not an artist, steamroller print events are enjoyable to watch, as they require large groups of printmakers to work together in the laborious printmaking process: People need to move and ink the woodblocks, handle the paper, and execute all of the required steps that turn the steamroller into a printing press. (On that note, PrintAustin is also looking for volunteers for the event.)

PrintAustin’s steamroller print event is scheduled for February 2, 2019 from 12-5PM at Blue Genie Big Top (6100 Airport Blvd). Running concurrently with the event is the festival’s EXPO and BinFest, which are two opportunities for the public to buy affordable prints from artists.

If you’re an artist interested in participating in PrintAustin’s steamroller print event, please see the specifications below. The organization is also hosting an upcoming paid workshop on how to carve large-scale woodblocks.

• Cost: $35
• Print Theme: None
• Printing Time: 12PM – 5PM, Blocks will be printed on a first come first serve basis.
• Block/Image Size: Maximum Size: 30” X 48”, Minimum Size: 24”x 30”
• Block Thickness: Maximum Size: ¾ inches, Minimum Size: ½ inches
• Block Condition: Blocks must be sealed with shellac or polyurethane and must be dry. Particles from unsealed blocks and wet shellac or polyurethane ruin the ink and brayer. Unsealed and wet blocks will not be printed.
• Each block will be printed once; twice, time permitting
• Please either take your print at the end of the event or pick up Monday during business hours
• The Artist is responsible for cleaning ink off their block: Please bring supplies for your needs. In the past, some artists have enclosed their blocks in large plastic contractor bags for easy transport to clean at a different location. Please remove or dispose of your block by the end of the event.
• PRINTAUSTIN will provide ink and paper, and limited cleaning supplies.
• Help is welcome and much appreciated!
• Artists are welcome to sell their print during the event: The artist is responsible for pricing print and transaction of monies resulting from any sale. PrintAustin and/or organizers are not responsible for any money transactions during the event.
• Questions? [email protected]

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