Print makers & shakers: UTSA Print It Up 2016

Jade Cuevas

Who said print is dying? On Saturday, Oct. 8th, UTSA art students showed that printmaking is here to stay.

UTSA in collaboration with R space (a local San Antonio art gallery for new and upcoming artists), brought Print It Up into fruition.

While not an extravagant or too formal of an event, R space makes for a close-quarters event that feels like a house party full of friendly faces — and a live screen printing demo.

Curated by beloved UTSA senior lecturer Juan de Dios Mora, Print It Up showcases a mix of undergraduate and graduate student printmaking work. Unlike more direct forms of art like painting, printmaking involves a laborious process of transferring ink to paper in a wide variation of techniques, thus tending to be a more niche process to work with sometimes, but UTSA students had plenty of talent to show.

Mora, who has been teaching at UTSA since 2009, began Print It Up four years ago to create an avenue for UTSA art students’ printmaking to receive some praise.

“I want to give students an open door to experience a show and transition into the professional world,” Mora said.

Mora, a person whose passion for printmaking and his students prominently shined through on Saturday explained why printmaking is important to highlight at this time.“I wanted to start something about printmaking because it’s kind of a slowly dying media and technique,” he said. “I’m doing this to create an awareness.”

unnamed-1Clarice Hess, anundergraduate UTSA student artist featured in the show explained how it feels to be showcased in an event like Print It Up — an outside venue in collaboration with UTSA. “We’ve done this show for several years, this is my second time participating,” Hess said. “It seems UTSA is really supportive of their artists.”

What makes Print It Up a standout compared to UTSA’s on campus art gallery, Print It Up being in junction with a local San Antonio art gallery like R space creates a special environment for UTSA art students. Take Vianney, another UTSA student artist featured at Print It Up for example.

“I think UTSA gave me an opportunity to showcase this (printmaking work) and meet curators to show my portfolio to,” Lopez said. “So it gave me an opportunity for even more possible opportunities.”

As for Mora, his curation skills extend beyond the show, but curating a sense of community. “We’re always trying to find opportunities (for art students) to be engaged in the community, because that’s our job and mission of the university.”