Artists with a Cause, Unite! Print Posters for the Change You Want to See!

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Visual Arts Center of New Jersey Shows You How to Express Your Views with Compassion & Respect

Building consensus while learning how to screen print? It’s easier (and more accessible) than you ever knew!

As a fractious election season segues into the presidential inauguration, many groups are ready to peacefully express their views in marches and events across the country. Many yearn for the ability to navigate diverse viewpoints with compassion and respect. The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is hosting two workshops (January 8, 10 am to 5 pm or January 15, 10 am to 5 pm) to develop useful cause posters based on consensus and a sound education in the history of protest/support graphics. Entitled “Graphics For Change: Poster Design and Printing,” the two workshops can each accommodate 24 people working in groups to produce work.

Artist Libby Clarke, who is currently the Director of the Studio School at the VACNJ, is leading the two sections through the process. “Most people have a cause they are passionate about. It is essential that we learn to speak up, and we also must be able to develop messages that will have an impact. I emphasize the process of formulating a message through consensus, so we begin from a place of shared values and responsible messaging.”

Clarke, a Maplewood, NJ resident, has been a printmaker, designer, and educator for over 20 years. She developed the workshop 8 years ago and has taught it in various iterations at the California State University Northridge, the Gowanus Studio Space in Brooklyn, NY, and Pyramid Atlantic Art Center in Hyattsville, MD. Each time, the workshop has become more focused: “I have found a great balance of history, art lessons, and basic printmaking principles to mix into the instruction,” Clarke said. “What is the hardest part is getting people–even ones who are very much in agreement–to share ideas and work on a design. It is such a lovely thing to see when a real collaboration begins to form.”

By the end of previous workshops, Clarke reports that people began to truly work together, which may be the biggest lesson of all: we can navigate difficult political topics with respect and compassion, no matter where we fall on the ideological spectrum.

Details on the workshops are below.

Graphics For Change: Poster Design and Printing

Visual Arts Center of New Jersey

Poster for the workshops at the VACNJ

Poster for the workshops at the VACNJ

Instructor: Libby Clarke

Come to a day-long workshop in the origins, design, and art of consensus-based cause posters! We start with a talk on the history of protest/support signs, then break into groups to develop our designs. We end the day with each team printing an edition of posters using photo screen printing! Each student leaves with a selection of the day’s posters and handouts to continue developing work. Ages 9 to adult welcome!

Two sections to choose from:

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