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Loop Press Connects Community with Noted Artists

Tracey Brown

Whitworth's Loop Press has opened new avenues to art for students and the community. The press is part of the art department's grant-funded Visiting Artists in Printmaking Program, which brings professional artists to campus for week-long residencies. The artists exhibit their work, lead workshops with students and members of the community, present public lectures, visit classrooms, and work in the printmaking studio to create original prints through the Loop Press. The artists' images are printed in signed and numbered editions, and are then sold to raise funds to support the next visiting artist.

"The money and energy for the program ‘loop' back and support more artists' residencies, the production of more prints, and more community engagement with the arts," says Scott Kolbo, associate professor of art. "The process of working in a large, communal printmaking studio with a professional artist is an invaluable experience for students and community members."

Whitworth's first visiting artist, in 2003, was Chicago-based muralist José Guerrero. The following year Kolbo received a National Endowment for the Arts grant, which underwrote the residencies of painters Ric Gendron and Makoto Fujimura, and printmaker and 2002 alumna Esme Guenther. In 2005, Associate Professor of Art Gordon Wilson received an anonymous grant to bring mixed-media artists to campus. That grant supported Whitworth's most recent visiting artist, New York City-based painter José Parlá. To view photos of Parlá and his Loop Press print, see the inside back cover. For more information about the Loop Press or to become a Friend of the Loop Press, call 509.777.3258.

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