Texas State Printshop Tour

Texas State University is located in San Marcos, a small college town on I-35 about halfway between Austin and San Antonio. While many people know San Marcos as one of Business Week’s “Best Places to Raise your Kids,” less people are aware that it’s one of Printeresting’s “Best Places to Make Prints*.” Much of the credit goes to print faculty Jeff Dell and Brian Johnson who’ve been working hard for the last decade to make TSU a bastion of print excellence in the heart of central Texas. They, along with some recent alum, were kind enough to welcome us for a quick visit last week.
It’s an undergraduate program. Students focusing on printmaking are exposed to all the usual media. There were good examples of etchings and relief prints around but silkscreen is where they shine. The last couple of years, I’ve been seeing strong screenprints coming from their program. In terms of recent alum, Rand Renfrow‘s been featured on Printeresting before and Michael Menchaca‘s screenprints were getting lots of attention at the SGCI portfolio viewing in St. Louis.

Yuko Fukuzumi is freshly graduated from the TSU print program… this pic doesn’t do just to the lush color and beautiful intricacy of her abstract prints. There’s another pic of one of Yuko’s prints after the jump but her own site has more images and interesting in-progress pics. Also after the jump, lots of pictures of art interspersed with views of the shop.

Yuko Fukuzumi.

Rand Renfrow.

Rand came by with some prints. His arrangements of objects in isometric-ish perspective with a southwestern tint breathe new life into the still-life as subject. The one above was done for show at Black Lagoon Gallery focusing bicycles- it may be the only print from the show that didn’t actually include an image of a bicycle.

These text-based screenprints are by Nicholas Hays, another fresh-minted alum. He’s on his was to Boulder for graduate school in painting at University of Colorado. These images revel in digital aesthetic but are all hand-printed.

Adrienne Butler is a recent Cranbrook grad who did her undergraduate work at Texas State and has picked up a few classes at her alma mater. The picture features drawings on wood that emphasize color and intricate patterns.

Brian Johnson.

These screenprints (The Thing) and these black and white engravings on Sintra are by faculty Brian Johnson.

And last but not least, here’s some work by faculty Jeff Dell.

Dell’s reductive screenprints consist of dozens of layers of subtle shifts in color… they have a kind of painterly quality that seems almost accidental. Seeing them in a group is your only clue they’re screen-printed. The photos don’t begin to communicate their richness. I’m looking forward to seeing more these in the future.

Here’s a shot of one of Dell’s screenprints in a flatfile… what you can’t see here is the raised plastisol ink that makes the print low-relief.

You know you’re a well-loved professor when your students are comfortable hanging Venture Bros parodies of you.

And we’ll end on this bizarre note. Didn’t get the name of the artist but I’ll say it’s hard not to like an image of half-man, half-plate-of-pasta eating himself. At least, that’s what I think this is. Thanks for great visit, Jeff, Brian, and everyone else!

*For the record, there is no Printeresting’s “Best Places to Make Prints” list.

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One Response to “Texas State Printshop Tour”

  1. […] Today dispensers) have been manufactured by Kaspar Wire Works in the town of Shiner. Today printmaking thrives in Texas so it’s unsurprising that one of the largest print museums in the United States […]