In the back of Visual Arts Instructor Chelsea Dean’s room, there are two brand new Takach etching printing presses. These presses, framed dramatically in the windows, are a gift from Marylou Boone’48.
One of the printing presses Boone donated is table-topped, meaning it sits on an elevated surface, while the other is a floor press. Among other things, these presses are able to create monotypes, which are images cast in metal lithographic transfer. And, the large scale of the printing bed enables students to do work much larger than in the past. During the second semester, printmaking students will have the opportunity to create full-blown posters due to the large size of the presses.
Although Boone herself is not a printmaker, she owns several prints that she loves. She has no particular connection to printmaking itself but feels that any technology that improves upon something you have is a step in the right direction. She hopes that the presses will be worthwhile contributions to the school and add to girls’ education.
“I think everything that you learn is just one little part of your whole education, and the more varied [your skills are] the better. You never quite know where they’ll fit in [and] make your education more valuable,” Boone said.
Though Boone was more invested in Humanities at Marlborough, she went back to school after college to get a Masters in Art History. She graduated in 1994, after initially graduating from college in 1952.
“I’m not an artist, unfortunately, but I appreciate art,” she said.
The Visual Arts Department had been looking for a new medium that they felt that teachers and the students would benefit from. The teachers decided that printing presses were on this school year’s wishlist.
Visual Arts Instructor Chelsea Dean is excited to incorporate printmaking into her mixed-media class. The new class is a combination of skills that Dean enjoys in her own artistic practice. During her undergraduate years and two residencies, Dean worked extensively with printmaking, so she feels well-equipped to work on such sophisticated presses.
Dean believes that the the skills being taught in the class will extend beyond the walls of the classroom.
“[Printmaking is] not the type of thing that you can rush. It’s something that requires a lot of steps—a lot of patience; the outcome may not be what you want. I think there’s something really nice about learning the steps and going through those motions and kind of troubleshooting and problem-solving and figuring out what your next move is. In a day and age where we’re so used to immediacy, there’s something really beautiful about doing something that is really process-based,” Dean said.
Future printmaking student Zoe Wasserman’18, despite having no prior experience with printing presses, looks forward to learning how to use the new printing presses.
“[I’m excited] for more opportunities; printmaking can [offer] so many new ways to make art pieces,” Wasserman said.
Dean feels the printing presses are extremely elegant.
“[They are] definitely going to blow some minds,” Dean commented.