“Printmaking Plates”


Saturday, August 17, 2013


The Tannery, Santa Cruz, CA, 95060

How many people exhibited objects?


How many people came but did not bring objects?



Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History (MAH)

PATT printmaking collective

What was it about?

When people see a print, whether it’s a screenprint, a lithograph, an etching, or a woodblock, they often scratch their head and ask “how did they do that?” This Pop Up Museum on printmaking plates invites print makers of all kinds to bring in old printmaking plates and matrices and share the mysteries of their art and process with the community. Held in collaboration with PATT printmaking collective at the Tannery, the pop up offers behind the press insight and a display for a crucial yet under-appreciated piece of printmaking- the plate.

How did it go?

This Pop Up Museum inspired conversation about the printmaking process with print makers and non print makers alike. Because people were invited to share plates rather than prints, the pop up museum bypassed silence that sometimes comes with a typical art show. Instead of simply viewing art works, people engaged with the artists on the various steps each artist took to prepare the printmaking plate and print. One lady even demonstrated intaglio etching by running a copper plate through an etching press. What was wonderful about this pop up museum was that artists not only spoke casually about their work and process, but also on other artist's print process as well. People were encouraged to handle and touch the plates, giving them a tactile museum experience. One participant remarked "I didn't realize there were so many different kinds of printmaking!" while another said, "I never thought I would show in a museum." Lively, informal, and plain fun, this pop up museum was a vivid display of people coming together through a shared interest in making and playing with paper arts.


View a digital exhibit on MAH's Pop Up Museum pinterest board 

View more pictures from August Pop Up Museums on flickr