PRESS OUT HATE is a new program developed by the Center for Contemporary Printmaking focused on organizations that support underserved community members in our city of Norwalk, CT. Our intention is to make this an opportunity for exposure to printmaking for the public, to explore creativity, and to encourage individuals to take part in a hands-on project creating a piece of art – a print (or sign/poster) expressing what “press out hate” means to them, what fills them with joy, with hope, what does “community” mean to them in this context.
We have invited local non-profit community-focused organizations to participate in Press Out Hate workshops in February, March, and early April 2022. Prints created as a result of each workshop will be exhibited in CCP’s gallery during May 2022 with a culminating Press Out Hate open house and community hands-on printmaking day on Sunday, May 22. The public is invited to attend and try printmaking activities and view the prints that have been made by members of the Norwalk community. Our goal is to make this an annual printmaking opportunity for Norwalk and beyond.
We have chosen to focus on the process of gel plate printing, as it is an easily accessible and fun way to create unique and colorful prints. The soft surface of the plate is ideal for printing textures, making various marks, and eliminates the need to use a printing press. The artist inks the surface of the gel plate with their desired marks, then lays a sheet of paper over it, applying pressure on the paper by hand in order to transfer the printing ink from the surface of the plate to the printing paper.
The ease and accessibility of a hands-on process such as the gel plate process provides artists of all skill levels a means of creating an amazing variety of imagery, such as interplays of bold color and subtle tones to loose brushstrokes and incredibly detailed object transfers. The ease and speed of inking and transferring from matrix to paper gives the participants freedom to explore and allows them to get immediate results.
We recognize that most people do not have such opportunities to access printmaking as a medium for expression and communication. The cost of art-making can be unattainable for many, and yet in our current environment of uncertainty and conflict, the need for productive release is so very necessary. Art-making allows us to develop new ways of expressing our desires for civility and to explore messages of kindness, love, and hope to amplify marginalized voices.
It is important to us as a community event and a DEI initiative to provide opportunities and outreach to the many facets of residents in the city of Norwalk in which we reside. Over the past two challenging years, as the issues of inequity in our society have been highlighted by the pandemic, we have committed to working towards creating a more equitable and inclusive organization. The Center has joined with artists and nonprofits in Fairfield County along with the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County (CAFC) in the Collective Action Against Racism (CAARI) working group. As a result of the learning and exploration through CAARI, CCP has created a pilot program opportunity we believe will move us forward towards more equity and access in our maker space.
Printmaking historically has provided a platform for creating and distributing messages broadly into the public sphere. We hope that by organizing an annual event like this, we can spur the imaginations and uplift the voices of those who wish to make a statement in our community in a positive way.
Interested in helping CCP as a sponsor for PRESS OUT HATE? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203-899-7999.