Humboldt State students are back to filling up the art studios around campus for in-person art classes, an opportunity that hasn’t been possible since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning and advanced printmaking classes have been back in the studio etching, engraving, rolling, and carving their creative designs for their first in-class critiques in over a year.
Sarah Whorf has been the printmaking professor here at HSU since 2005 and taught printmaking classes online last year in the fall and spring semesters. Whorf mentioned how she struggled to bring her classroom curriculum to the online scene amidst the pandemic, and how many obstacles like delays in mailing supplies to students and being unable to give advice and critiques to the student’s projects until a final photo was submitted really put a strain on her teaching methods.
“Everything we’re doing [in-person] we couldn’t do online,” said Whorf. “We’re basically back to pretty much doing what I used to always do in terms of my curriculum.”
Jackson Hake, a second-year HSU student, took Whorf’s online beginning printmaking class in the fall of 2020. Hake explains that printmaking sparked his interest as an art class option but he struggled with setting up his own printmaking studio remotely in his single dorm room.
“I was doing it [the class] in a dorm room,” said Hake. “Especially with printmaking in particular I feel you really need a specific place to do it.”
Whorf is very excited to see students’ faces back in the studio weekly for in-person classes and plans to have more interactive critiques and technique-focused lessons for her beginning printmaking class, ART 107.
“I’m thrilled to be back face to face,” said Whorf. “I’m thrilled to see students in here and interested in learning.”
Whorf also teaches a weekly advanced printmaking class on campus as well, with open studio time for her more experienced students.
Logan Schuman, a senior studio art major, took her first printmaking class following her transfer to HSU during the 2019-2020 school year. Schuman has taken printmaking in person as well as online and is excited to be back in person for a more rewarding critique experience with fellow classmates.
“The critique process was very different and not as rewarding online,” said Schuman. “ In the studio, everyone is looking at each other’s work and sharing their unedited thoughts, and that genuine nature of criticism is somewhat lost over the internet.”
Schuman hopes to step out of her comfort zone this year in her in-person printmaking classes by trialing different methods of etching and hopes to make good enough prints to sell online or to send to family and friends. Schuman encourages everyone to take a try at a printmaking class as there are so many different methods you’re bound to enjoy one of them.
“I am absolutely thrilled to be back in the studio,” said Schuman. “I love creating with other people, and learning about their artistic processes and creative thoughts.”
There is no current news on future art galleries on campus for printmaking students to exhibit their work, but hopefully, the graduates this year have the opportunity to share their work in person.
“To look up and see a room full of people printing, my eyes were welling up,” said Whorf. “I keep thinking, this is what was missing, this is what we were missing.”