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Celebrate People’s History at Mt. Holyoke

July 7, 2022

A couple years back I was contacted by Amanda Maciuba, a printmaking professor at Mt. Holyoke College in Western Massachusetts. For a number of years she has been using my Celebrate People’s History poster series as a creative prompt and pedagogical frame for her students. A number of educators have been doing this around the country, but Amanda’s and her students work is interesting and unique in a number of ways. First, rather than simply have the students design and digitally print posters, she has them create and print posters via wood block prints. From Amanda:

I have been using the Celebrate People’s History format as a project in my Digital Print Hybrid Class. I use the project to educate my students on the history of political printmaking in the United States and as a tool for them to share with each other and their community people/places/events that they feel are underrepresented. 

But these are your classic relief prints, instead the students design layers on the computer, and then use a laser cutter to produce the wood blocks of their designs. Then they do multi-layer, multi-color prints via a traditional relief press.

She’s been running this assignment since 2018, and so far four classes have produced posters, which make for an amazing collection of images. I’m in the process of selecting a small handful to eventually mass produce in offset edition as part of my poster series. Below is a gallery of posters collected from students over the past couple of years, artist names in the image caption:

Culture & MediaEducationHistory

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