What Black woman printmaker have you gleaned inspiration and or wisdom from and how is that carried forward in your work?
jmw: The black woman printmaker that has continued to inspire me would be Elizabeth Catlett. The subject matter and content of her work depicts the strength that lies in family, the black woman, and the connection to historical events. In my own work I connect because of the strong women that I have in my life who are family and friends. The woman helps to build the structure of a family’s dynamic. The experiences, upbringing, values and lessons determines the root of a child’s development. As a new mom, her work speaks louder to me even more because I now understand the power and obligation that I have in order to support my family.
As an inaugural member of Black Women of Print, what legacy would you want the society to: expand on from the past, create in the present and leave for future generations?
jmw: The legacy that I wish to leave for future generations is my love for the medium of printmaking. The process, paper, tools, pigment, techniques, and the connection with the print communities all fuel me to continue to make prints. I love learning from others by reading, taking classes, attending artists talks, viewing artworks in galleries or museums, and interacting with artists locally and internationally when I attend conferences.
What does/can community look like in printmaking? What are the various ways that we, as printmakers, can collaborate?
jmw: I believe that printmaking can be done alone and work within a community. As a teaching artist, I feel that it is important to demonstrate or conduct workshops where participants are given a clear understanding that helps understand the process of printmaking. As an African American female artist, I feel it is my job to be an example of being a black artist. In art school both undergraduate and graduate there are fewer black students attending art school. As a board member, of the Newark Printshop this organization’s mission is the heart of the community. During the week there a number or private classes for schools and students of all ages. At night there once a week people can use the studio for a low fee. NPS also does outreach outside the shop in the community. As a member of the Mokuhanga community, we as international artists meet every three years to share our research, artwork, presentations, panels, and form networks of artists by coming together. As printmakers, we can do better at sharing with one another and form small collectives of artists by regions and meet more often in smaller capacities.
+ jennifer mack-watkins is an advanced printmaker, who works in screenprinting, linocut and Japanese woodcut (Mokuhanga).
Mokuhanga (Japanese Woodblock)
Serigraph/Mokuhanga (Japanese Woodblock)