Ruminations on printmaking, prints & drawings from the left coast
Roxanne, here is my essay I wrote for extra credit about the visiting artist lecturer Jenny Schmid. I'm not sure if I'm commenting on a post of yours or creating a new one, I apologize if it is the former and feel free to re-post separately. Your etching class has been a pleasure to attend, thank you for everything. SincerelyKyle PeacockJenny Schmid is a printmaker who is constantly re-imagining the Renaissance and Medieval style with a modern twist. Her subject matter is usually serious with a fun or silly spin on it. She also likes to push boundaries and turn social norms upside down. Schmid will not uncommonly depict girls as skateboarding punks or pirates, while showing boys as quiet, solemn, and generally having the qualities they don’t usually have. Her style has an old appearance at first glance, but is actually quite fresh. She also likes to depict every person in her works as having a much large head than that of reality. She described it as a love of bobble-heads (like the cheesy dashboard ornament). And she likes that style in other artist’s work as well, “I find myself liking a piece, but then realize that I just like it because it has a big head in it. I really like bobble-heads.” Schmid was fairly recently inspired by Cannonball Press, a company that makes prints by artists both establishing and aspiring, and makes them affordable (25 dollars maximum) to the public. Schmid admires that democratic way of re-thinking art sales and has participated in working with that company and sold some of her work through them for a small fraction of the price she could have gotten for the works. Her work was pretty cool and I definitely respected the down to Earth outlook she has on sales. Well, I respect it, but disagree. If we all sold our work for 25 dollars a piece, artists would be even more poor than we already are. But I guess it works well with printmaking because you can make a lot of the same piece. That theory doesn’t really work with media like drawing or painting.Jenny Schmid is currently a professor at the University of Minnesota and runs her business, Bikini Press International. She got a grant to work and learn in Slovakia and that shows beautifully in her art. Her work is featured in several galleries and museums around the world. Her playful outlook and raw talent allow her to comment on serious topics without sounding like someone on a soapbox. This is summed up well when she said, “I like how printmaking allows us to poke fun at history.” And I for one, hope she continues to do so.