April Katz

April Katz
Iowa State University


April Katz has an M.F.A. from Arizona State University. As professor at Iowa State University she organizes the annual international postcard print exchange. From 2004 – 2006 Katz served as president of the Southern Graphics Council. Her prints, which synthesize digital and traditional printmaking processes, have been exhibited throughout the US and are in numerous collections. She has presented papers for print, photographic and visual literacy conferences. Katz is part of the artist collaborative, BOKA whose current work emphasizes visual and symbolic interpretations of plant roots as a means to explore physical and social environments.

Illustrated Talk

Printmaking as the Matrix for Studio Arts Curricula Transformation
In this paper the author, a printmaker, will examine printmaking’s capacity to serve as the matrix to transform studio arts curricula. During the current academic year, the author is serving as the principal investigator for an Iowa State University Grant, “Expanding the Digital Matrix: From Virtual Monitor to the Material Realm of the Studio Arts.” The purpose of this project is to develop, apply and evaluate instructional resources that will enable integration of digital technologies into a majority of studio arts courses. Faculty from ceramics, metal, photography, publication design and typography, textiles, painting and woods serve as co-investigators. Combinations of hand and technological processes will be encouraged. Specifically, this project will empower a broad range of students enrolled in College of Design courses to use the College’s laser cutter, CNC router, 3-D printer and related computer software. Faculty throughout the college will have access to the resulting resources.

Relief and intaglio printing will determine the efficacy of the preliminary research in which a variety of laser and CNC router-cut matrices will be generated that employ the range of available options. Variations in media, line quality, tonal approaches, stencil development, and source imagery will be explored. The author will present results to the co-investigators who will apply the procedures to their media. Co-investigator statements of intent reference terminology and processes closely linked to print’s essence. For instance, painters and textile artists will employ stencils, stamping and patterns; while metal, wood and ceramics professors will generate engraved surface treatments and patterns for three-dimensional forms.

This research, centered on many of print’s essential qualities, suggests the pivotal role printmaking can play in cross-disciplinary collaborative dialogue intended to expand the identity of all studio arts areas. The impact of print’s visual language on a variety of media will be illustrated in the presentation.