Midwest Matrix

U. Iowa grad student, Jenny Harp, shows off a print made during the Midwest Matrix symposium.

U. Iowa grad student, Jenny Harp, shows off a print made during the Midwest Matrix symposium.


“Psst… ” I nudged my colleague, “I have to admit to you… I don’t really know anything about Lasansky….”

“Well then, ” he said, “you’re probably not a printmaker.”

As a newly minted MFA, teaching printmaking at the University of Iowa, my dearth of knowledge of the weighty and impressive history of printmaking in the Midwest was becoming more and more evident to me. My position at the university is named for and lovingly endowed by friends of Virgina A. Myers, a trailblazing woman, who reluctantly retired from teaching printmaking in her eighties. Mauricio Lasansky, who established the print program at the University of Iowa in 1945, is an artist spoken of, in these halls and others, with respect and enthusiasm. I, we, printmakers in academia, owe a great debt of thanks to the artists who came before us. Their work to establish printmaking as a valid field of research at universities means that programs exist today that support the artistic endeavors of hundreds of artists and that preserve and advance the technical knowledge of print media.

Midwest Matrix was created to assure the preservation of the tradition of artists, namely print artists, working and living in the Midwestern states of America. The movie, which documents the history of printmaking in the Midwest since WWII, premiered in December, 2012, during a weekend symposium at the University of Iowa. A collection of interviews with artists, the movie is a celebration of the spirit of printmaking in the Midwest. Producer and Director, Susan Goldman, reports that the film will be available for wider distribution in 2013.

The symposium surrounding the premiere of the film was hosted by the University of Iowa. Speakers presented research on the history of printmaking in America, specifically, the Midwest and the University of Iowa. The exhibitions A Midwest Matrix Family Tree showcased work of artists who are featured in the film and Selections from the Iowa Print Group Archive Collection 1940-1970 showcased the university’s collection.  The week also included a series of demonstrations in the university’s studios and a new print edition collaboration between the U. Iowa print students and Rudy Pozzatti.

Be sure to take a moment to peruse photos from the week posted on the Midwest Matrix website.


The Cornfield by Harry Brorby, 1951, intaglio

The Cornfield by Harry Brorby, 1951, intaglio


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Categories: Artists, Artwork, Exhibitions, Uncategorized

One Response to “Midwest Matrix”

  1. Amze Emmons says:

    It is so cool that the students got to work with Rudy Pozzatti! He was my undergraduate mentor’s mentor, .. talk about a living legend.