Networking through imprinting

Jacob Summerville, Staff Reporter

The Palmetto Press student organization uses the form of printmaking to hold a T-shirt drive and attend a convention during the semester.

Printmaking is a process where an image is carved into wood, paper is pressed onto the ink-laced surface of the wood, and the image is copied onto the paper like a stamp.

Palmetto Press member Belinda Flores-Shinshillas, a junior art major, explained that the organization hosted the T-shirt fundraiser to fund for the symposium.

“The T-shirt printing event we had was a way to raise funds for ‘This Print Thing 6,’” said Flores-Shinshillas. “We raised enough money to pay for some expenses associated to our travel and lodging. It was a great experience and a very good way to create friendship while working for a common goal.”

Associate Professor of Printmaking Ernest Milsted, the faculty advisor for the organization, talked about the history of “This Print Thing 6,” the symposium that was held at Loyola University New Orleans.

“Southeastern, Nicholls State and the University of Louisiana-Lafayette founded this symposium in 2014,” said Milsted. “It has grown to include Loyola, LSU, Tulane, McNeese, Louisiana Tech and Baton Rouge Community College, and this is our sixth symposium. Students from each university will conduct printmaking demonstrations, and we will also conduct a steamroller printing event.”




President of the Palmetto Press Kelly Christensen, a senior art major, explained that participants from the university put on a portfolio exchange at the symposium.

“This was put on by Southeastern where two students from each school were selected to create an edition of prints,” said Christensen. “One print from each person was put together into a portfolio and exchanged among those people. It was a great opportunity to view others’ art and to get your own art out there.”

Flores-Shinshillas explained another event that the university hosted at the convention.

“We did a demo presentation of how to build an easy, economical and reliable way to expose screens in a home studio without a large exposure unit with a vacuum,” said Flores-Shinshillas. “This is a very good way to continue with your printmaking practice after graduation because you won’t have all the equipment the university has.”

According to Flores-Shinshillas, every attendee at “This Print Thing 6” made a large wood cutout to be printed by a steamroller on the last day of the convention. Christensen gave some details about this process.

“The steamrolling event is where a large, usually several feet, wood block is carved and then printed via being run over by steamroller,” said Christensen. “It’s the last event held at ‘TPT,’ and it takes a lot of joint effort but is always so much fun. We print the blocks onto giant, damp bed sheets instead of paper, and they’re usually displayed somewhere while drying.”

After being in the organization for two semesters, Flores-Shinshillas encouraged art and non-art majors to join.

“Palmetto Press is a wonderful organization that promotes sharing experiences and knowledge with regional universities every year,” said Flores-Shinshillas. “We have a good time working in what we love, and that is amazing.”

For more information, contact the faculty advisor at [email protected]