Jesse McAfee is an artist who makes work based on information delivery systems. A graduate of the Interdisciplinary Arts program at the Kansas City Art Institute, Jesse developed the concept and designs for the first wooden etching press for The Print Factory, then worked with a master craftsman to develop the project. He has continued to experiment with the portability and public interface of the Print Factory, and has become increasingly interested in the way that it can be used to share information and ideas.
Will Burnip has been the chief printer and one of the main artists for The Print Factory since it began. Will graduated from the printmaking department at the Kansas City Art Institute, worked as a printer for the Lawrence Lithography Workshop, and then helped coordinate and organize a new printmaking studio at the Arts Incubator. Will brings the technical knowledge of the printing process, and contributes many of the images in the growing library of plates and blocks that are used for The Print Factory presses.
Zach Springer is a social practice artist whose work spans from public interventions to individually crafted objects meant for personal interaction. Zach is a graduate of the of the Interdisciplinary Arts program at the Kansas City Art Institute and then Social Practice program at Portland State University, where he created a second Print Factory group. He has been instrumental in developing some of the Print Factory equipment and in growing the community interface for the project.
The Print Factory is a mobile public art intervention. It hosts portable printmaking workshops on random street corners and in art galleries across the United States. All of the tools are hand-crafted by Print Factory Crew members, including a series of wooden printing presses and some smaller automated models, as well as the portable carts, crates and backpack carriers designed specifically for the cities in which they are used.
Each person who encounters a Print FactoryWorkshop is given an opportunity to have a hands-on engagement withthe printmaking process and to take home a free print from a local artist. People can watch being the print being made while learning about Gutenberg, art, and the information revolution that began with the invention of movable type. Or, they can just look and choose from the array of images that float on the clothes lines surrounding the factory. Print Factory members are happy to share knowledge with anyone about how printing works, or even provide information about how to build their own press.
Local artists help to build up the Print Factory library by donating original plates. Each print is marked on the back with a Print Factory stamp of authenticity that includes the artist’s name – making it part of a growing collaborative catalogue while at the same time recognizing the individual who designed it.
The public nature of the engagement sparks dialogue about the processes behind printmaking and the historical impact of the multiple in everyday life. Sharing the process and the product of printmaking stimulate community by provoking questions about the utility of printmaking and the nature of art.
During the symposium, Print Factory members collaborated with presenter Jim Duignan to produce materials connected to this event. This was the debut for the brand new Backpack Press.