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Students Explore Silkscreen Techniques With Visiting Artist

It doesn’t get more hands-on than art class, and recent student workshops with a talented silkscreen artist has generated a lot of interest and enthusiasm around this medium.

As one of two North Carolina-based artists participating in our Visiting Artist Portfolio Series this year, silkscreen printer Dominick Rapone spent the better part of a week with Erin Stelling’s visual art students. He will return later this winter. 

Rapone spent 20 years as the manager of the Printshop at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, where he also taught silkscreen, lithography, woodcut, letterpress, bookbinding, etching and monoprint. He has also taught at Marymount Manhattan College, Gowanus Print Lab and Manhattan Graphics Center and is currently an instructor at the NC State Crafts Center and the Super G Print Lab in Durham. As a master printer, he works with other artists and institutions through his company, Beastly Prints.

Rapone has exhibited his work in national and international galleries. Prints of his work are on display in the Pugh Lobby gallery through the end of the month. 

Here’s what some of Stelling’s Visual Art I students had to say about their experiences working with Rapone:

It was great having Dominick come and show us his work. We got to see all the pieces of work he’s done and the process of how he does it. Dominick was inspired by many of the things around him and collages random images together to make one piece of work. He taught us the process of how he makes his prints. We all got to make a print of our own using his process, and they came out great! I am very proud of the prints I made, and it was a great experience to learn new art techniques. 

— Jae Ramsey ’23 

When we were first introduced to Dominick, he showed us dozens of prints. They were each unique, symmetrical and told a story. His work showcased everyday objects in a different light. He showed us the process of how prints are sold and told us how much they usually sell for. I personally liked printing; it was something I had never tried before, and I would 100% do it again in the future. It is nerve-racking process and does take patience, but once the final product is finished it’s worth it. 

— Kayla Nickson ’23

Dominick introduced the art of printing to us, showed us his prints and then taught us how to recreate them. We learned that prints can be put on multiple objects such as posters, paper, displays or even shirts. Dominick went through with us the multistep process of printing and then demonstrated to us in person how to do it. Once we watched him print a couple of times we were able to do it ourselves and put our new knowledge to the task. Dominick and Mrs. Stelling helped us and guided us every step of the way.

— Nicole Gingrich ’23 

Dominick had a very interesting process in how he printed his work. He was inspired by things around him and experiences in his life. From there he would take pictures and piece them together to form a large overall picture. Then he would set up a screen and print. He showed us how he could sell one print for a more expensive amount or sell 100 prints for a dollar each and get his artwork out there. Not only could he make a living off of his prints, but he could use it as a hobby and make things for his friends.

— Campbell Jennings ’23

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