The College of Printmaking Arts (Grafikskolan) is the only fine art school in the Nordic countries with a focus on the art of printmaking and the Artists' Book genre.
The school provides fundamental training in the printmaking fine arts with a focus on graphics. It is for students with a special interest in and curiosity about the artistic forms of expression possible within traditional and more contemporary forms of printmaking, such as Etching, Letterpress, Bookbinding and Artists' Books.
The College of Printmaking Arts offers a two-year program in printmaking. The first year is a basic education in printmaking and covers traditional methods as well as Letterpress printing and Bookbinding. In the second year the student will choose their specialisation either in the field of Art Printmaking or Artist Books. The education provides working knowledge, in practice and theory, of printing methods; such as Intaglio, Relief printing, Silkscreen, Letterpress and Planography printing as well as different techniques for digital and photographic transfer media. The education includes courses and workshops in the production of books and printed matter, digital image processing and the production of originals. Drawing, collage techniques and colour theory are taught either in workshops or as part of the subject courses. Art theory is taught continuously throughout the program, including art history and current issues in the philosophy of art. Group discussions and studio talks are conducted to train the student’s ability to explain their work within the context of an external perspective. The annual student exhibitions as well as public appearances train students in meeting the art public and give an understanding of the art and graphics market.
The goal of the education is to give students a solid foundation for continued studies at an institution of higher education, or to give them a foundation for their own artistic practice. After completing the program the student is to have fundamental knowledge of the craftsmanship of printmaking techniques, the production of books and printed matter. The student is also to have an understanding of reproduction techniques throughout history, from copper etching and metal letterset, to digital paper. The education can lead to careers and skills in several areas tied to visual art, graphic design, and the production of printed matter, visual communication and media.
Printmaking and Letterpress printing are reproduction techniques and have played historic roles in communicating images, text and information. A study of the older techniques is a key to understanding the media and communication society we live in today. At College of Printmaking Arts the education in traditional printmaking techniques, craftsmanship, and letterpress printing is tied to contemporary forms of expression and digital techniques. This broad range is a central part of the school’s artistic vision and ambition; to preserve the past at the same time as the past informs an understanding and interpretation of our contemporary society. This approach results in an education with a broad range that meets the demands for artistic skill and abilities today in different fields and contexts.
Instruction is through supervision, exercises, workshops, projects, lectures, field trips, individual and group reviews as well as exhibitions. Each student is to produce one or more projects with a special focus per technique course. Each student will be assigned a mentor who will follow the student throughout their time at the school. The education is characterized by a ‘hands-on’ perspective, which means that sketches and ideas are executed in print. The school also runs a publishing house Print Press Edition where students have the opportunity to publish Artists’ Books, publications and annuals. Two or more student exhibitions are held each year where students meet their audience and the art world. Part of each exhibition entails that the student writes their own catalogue text, makes the cards for the opening, and writes press releases and other public information about their exhibition. Vocational guidance takes place continuously through projects with external actors, guest lecturers and organizations that inform about the art market and work conditions for the artist.
This is a two-year fundamental education in art focused on printmaking and the Artist Book genre. It is for the student with a special interest in the forms of expression specific to printmaking and graphic art. There are no technical prerequisites. We will teach you from the ground up how to produce images using all the traditional printmaking techniques.
After completing the education the student is to have sufficient knowledge to continue their own artistic development and to move freely between different printmaking techniques. The education is aimed at giving the student a solid foundation for both continued studies in fine arts at an institution of higher learning and for their own artistic development.
YEAR 1: PRINTMAKING BASIC
An introduction to basic printmaking techniques and basic instruction in tools and equipment are given in the first year. Each course is one – to three weeks long and ends with a review and show of results. In addition to regularly scheduled courses, the subject teachers are available one day a week each for continuous contact. Studio/print shop studies are built on individual work and free application of printing techniques. Throughout the entire educational program the student will have regular discussions with their mentor and will participate in group reviews and image analyses. Each student will have their own workplace. The first year is concluded with an exhibition at an established art gallery.
Printmaking Basics is to give the student the tools and skills to develop their artistic practice and to learn the fundamentals of basic printmaking processes using the relevant equipment and tools. During the education the student will be given practical training in Intaglio, Silkscreen printing, Plano graphic printing, Relief printing, Letterpress printing, and Book binding, which will be supplemented with Art theory and lectures.
CONTENT YEAR 2:PRINTMAKING CONTINUED
During the second year the student will select their specialised area, either in Art printmaking or Artists’ Books. During the second year students work to a greater extent on individual projects based on the selected disciplines. The student will now be able to request a special mentor. The student’s individual needs will be given greater consideration during this year.
Printmaking continued: Art Printmaking
The education is for you who have made headway in your artistic development and are specifically interested in printmaking and reproducible image processes. The education is a continuation and supplement of the courses that are included in Printmaking Basics. You will spend a larger amount of time on developing your own projects and at the beginning of the semester you will draw up a plan for your projects in consultation with your mentor. You are expected to have basic knowledge of printmaking techniques and processes. The courses in technique are characterized by work in the print shops so that you can continue with qualified work with your projects. It is assumed that you have the ability to work independently. Joint seminars will be held to give all students and their supervisors the opportunity to share ideas. The education is concluded with an exhibition and presentation of the year’s work at an established art gallery.
Printmaking Continued: Artists' Books
Printmaking Continued with a concentration on Artist Book is a project-based education that introduces traditional book printing and helps the student to execute their project in the Artists’ Books genre. The education is for you who have made headway in your artistic development (or are already an artist) and who have a specific Artist Book project to execute. The artefact will be published on the school’s imprint Print Press Edition. Each student will be assigned a mentor who will follow the student throughout the entire year. At the beginning of the semester you will draw up a project plan for the school year in consultation with the Headmaster and your mentor. You are expected to have basic knowledge of printmaking techniques and processes. The courses in technique are characterized by work in the print shops so that you can continue with qualified work with your projects. It is assumed that you have the ability to work independently. Joint seminars will be held to give all students and their supervisors the opportunity to share ideas. The education is concluded with an exhibition and presentation of the year’s work.
The Artist Book education is to give the student new tools to advance their on-going artistic development and to develop knowledge of the production of books and printed matter as channels for art production. The education consists of workshop courses in Letterpress printing, Book binding, Digital image, Paper and Drawing, these are supplemented with Art theory and lectures. As a student, you also have the option to choose courses from Printmaking Basic and continued Art Printmaking.
What is “Artists' Books”?
Artist Book is a genre that developed in light of the art of the 60s and 70s. This was a tradition where the book or printed matter, to a high degree, was seen as an independent channel for art production. For artists like Kathy Acker, Laurie Anderson, John Baldessari, Sol LeWitt, Martha Rosler, Edward Ruscha, and Lawrence Weiner the book and printed matter came to function as an ”alternative exhibition space” and an opportunity to democratize art and reach a broad audience. College of Printmaking Arts embraces this tradition and this open view of the Artist Book as an independent artwork and gallery space, however, a version that is printed, bound, and in a reproducible form. This means that the concept is closely related to graphics, at the same time as it opens for the potential to overlap forms of expression and techniques.
Application to The College of Printmaking Arts can be done via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or snail mail: Grafikskolan i Stockholm. Stensätravägen 9A, 127 39 Skärholmen, Sweden, between April 1 – May 22, 2018. Specify in the e-mail / letter which course you are applying for and attach:
- Ten digitized images of previous artworks made by you
- Copies of certificates from previous education
- A short text giving your motivation for wanting to study at The College of Printmaking Arts
Letters of admission will be mailed out in June.