Woodstock School of Art’s Monoprint Invitational

Chelsea Vierstra (photo by Dion Ogust)

The first time that Woodstock School of Art hosted its now-annual Monoprint Invitational, the week of top area artists and arts professionals working in the then-newly renovated printmaking studio felt like a velvet-rope cultural event, something hush-hush special. Everyone gushed about their experience afterwards, as well as the spiffed up state-of-the-art yet simultaneously classic studio.

The School of Art’s 2018 Monoprint Invitational runs July 30 through August 4, featuring 62 artists who are backed by four master printers from afar — Anthony Kirk, Lisa Mackie and Kathy Caraccio — and here, in the form of WSA president Kate McGloughlin, who learned her craft in the space in its earlier years. Invited artists range from the school’s own talented staff, comprised of a good many of the Hudson Valley’s top artists, and such luminaries as Milton Glaser, Shirley Glaser, Calvin Grimm, Mariella Bisson, and others who’d rather see how their works turn about before spreading their names about. Oh yes, a number of executive directors at the town’s art institutions will also be joining in…and each artist paid $100 to the school in celebration of its 50th anniversary this year, and to benefit the WSA’s Angeloch Building Fund.

What are monoprints? Unlike classic multi-print formats from block and wood cuts to etching and intaglio, monoprints are often the simple transfer of paint to paper through a glass or other “negative.” It’s messy, unpredictable, perfect for experimentation, and hence not only a challenge but a great way for artists to fully explore their creativity, to really show underlying chops. It’s got the same allure that encaustics has in recent years…a medium that invites abstraction and the concept of serendipity as a co-creator.


It’s also a perfect way for an institution like the Woodstock School of Art to fully celebrate both the creative spirit and sense of teaching and guidance — of dedicated art professionals passing on age-old secrets and passion — that got the place up-and-running as one of the most lasting of local cultural institutions.

All participants will donate a monoprint for a Monoprint Invitational Exhibit set to open Saturday, September 8 and run through October 6.

But that’s far off. For now, the community’s made part of everything by the fact of Woodstock’s restaurants and caterers donating lunch for the gathered artists, and moreover by the fact that its current Exhibit of works by WSA is up on the Angeloch Gallery’s walls through most of August. Talk about a great excuse to visit the campus, and maybe even stroll by the print studios en route to the school grounds’ great stone sculptures in the forest behind.

For those seeking a bit more art school fun, WSA will also be in the center of Woodstock on Tuesday, July 31 when it runs an afternoon Drip Paintings creative session in the spirit of Jackson Pollock by the Woodstock Library from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The event’s for teens age 12 to 16, but everyone’s welcome to observe, Just remember that the youngsters have been asked to “dress to mess” and it might make sense for those older to “dress for mess.”

Ah, creative passions and Woodstock…

For more on all things WSA, call 679-2388, visit woodstockschoolofart.org, or just head out to 2470 Route 212,, across from Big Deep on the eastern side of Woodstock.