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ArtWorks Flashback: Screenprinting Co-op Summer

Over the next few weeks, blog posts will flashback to some highlights from the Summer 2014 program.  Stay tuned!

Written by Chris Vento, screenprinting co-op apprentice

During the course of the summer the artworks screen printing co-op has faced many creative challenges this summer including deadlines. However with creativity and ingenious thinking they managed to exceed all the expectations set upon them. Overall while there experience may have been stressful at times, it has been very rewarding. Specifically over the course of this apprenticeship the screen printing co-op has worked at the Cleveland Flea and created an installation shown at MOCA Cleveland and Gay Games 9. Each of these events have yielded valuable experience for all the apprentices.


The screenprinting co-op was invited to the Flea for the opportunity to market and sell the products that were made in our co-op.  We also got the experience of networking with other artists.  Thanks to the live printmaking demonstration and awesome hand made artwork,  our tent had attracted a lot attention and a decent amount of sales. Through this experience we learned how to troubleshoot challenges, make sales, and how to interact with the public.

Another opportunity that we had was creating a balloon installation at MOCA Cleveland in there guest exhibit area. Initially this idea, came as a surprise to us–having our artwork in a museum was a big deal–but we accepted the challenge with confidence. After touring the museum the co-op quickly began making plans for the installation and began creating designs. This event would allow us the opportunity of working with a team for a massive project that needed time management, collaboration and communication skills.  Although the installation at MOCA was large, it was not as large scale as the one we were planning to install at the Gay Games 9 Rainbow Run!

moca install

After trying lots of experiments to see what would make the balloons float the best and longest as well as troubleshooting the supplies and logistics, we completed another massive project!  One of the biggest challenges, was printing on a 3D object, primarily because screenprinting is usually a 2D process.  But with a lot of trial and error and teamwork, we printed more balloons and figured out the best option to display them outdoors.  We all learned how to solve problems quickly!

Artworks has been a very important and influencial experience in our lives. All of the skills we acquired at ArtWorks, regardless if we plan to go into art or not, can be applied to almost any other job in one way or another. Needless to say, ArtWorks as provided an unique opportunity for area students–it’s not reproducible! Anyone who has the opportunity to be an apprentice at ArtWorks should take full advantage of it, even if they do not plan on going into art.

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