CPC’s Spector-Bishop talks printmaking community

By Farah Bassyouni Jan 29, 2024

On Wednesday, January 24, from 11:15 a.m. to 12 p.m., Jack-Spector Bishop came all the way down to Bloomington from Chicago to give a gallery walk. Merwin Gallery features the Chicago Printmakers Collaborative’s (CPC) 30-year portfolio box set. Bishop is the Gallery and Studio Manager of the CPC. He began the gallery walk by addressing what the showing presents.

Bishop said, “This show really presents two bodies of work of the CPC. It tells a story about the community of printmaking.”

Bishop continued to explain how CPC operates. The CPC promotes handmade printing with affordable shop access, workshops, lectures, and exhibitions. CPC offers traditional print media, such as etching, stone lithography, relief, book arts, and screen printing. In Merwin Gallery, the CPC’s 30-year portfolio box set includes portfolios from past CPC suites along with a series of large-scale “Steam Roller Prints.” Steamroller printing requires artists to put ink on huge woodblocks. These woodblocks are printed onto fabric by a ten-ton paving truck in the back driveway at CPC.

Bishop talked about his experiences with the CPC, referencing the community in planning events with vendors and artists.

Bishop said, “Printmaking is coming together as a form of social practice and relational aesthetics. No one person could have printed this by themselves. It needed a group of people.” 

Bishop continued to comment on all of the pieces, addressing the artists and certain features of the print. He finished the gallery walk by answering a question from the audience: What advice would you give to young artists?    

Bishop said, “Figure out your clarity of purpose. Do you want to be an artist making the stuff or do you want to talk about it? You don’t have to make art and show it in a gallery, there are so many other ways to be involved in art.”

Merwin Gallery is located in the School of Art at Illinois Wesleyan University for anyone that wishes to see the gallery Bishop walked.

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