In late March, School of Visual Arts students Sasha Bitzer, Jennifer Junker, and Katie Mikkelsen spent four days in San Francisco attending the Southern Graphics Council International Conference. The conference provided myriad opportunities for exploring the diverse intersections between traditional and emerging technologies in printmaking, building connections with other artists in the national and international printmaking community, and exploring the print as a tool for social change.
Jennifer Junker reflects, “I attended the Southern Graphics conference because it was an opportunity to meet other printmakers and see other types of artworks and processes. There are many demonstrations, speakers, papers, exhibitions, etc. that go on throughout the conference so you can see and learn a lot of different things in a small period of time. ” She adds, ” Overall, I feel as if SGCI is something any printmaker should go to at least once. You learn quite a few things, and see a lot of art, and meet other artists just like you.”
One of the opportunities that Sasha Bitzer took advantage of was participating in the Student and Emerging Artist Open Portfolio Session. The Open Portfolio Session allows students to showcase their work and creates opportunities for networking with other printmakers. Collectors and curators also attend the Open Portfolio Session, which can open up very exciting connections for emerging artists.
SVA Printmaking Professor Patrick Vincent and Gallery Director Lauren Kinney also attended the conference. Professor Vincent sees attending professional conferences as beneficial for both students and professors. Vincent says, “For me as an instructor, working with these advanced students, it’s a way to give them ideas for their creative lives beyond college and possibilities for outside of the Fargo-Moorhead region (for those thinking about graduate schools). Or it’s a way to bring those new ideas back to the Fargo-Moorhead region.”
The 2015 Southern Graphics Council International Conference will take place in Knoxville, Tennessee, March 18-21. For more information: SCGI 2015.