Art Department

The Printed Arts at PLU are Alive and Thriving

"The Art of Wayzgoose" opens March 12 in the University Gallery

The 2013-14 academic year has been full of celebrations of the printed arts. PLU’s Elliott Press celebrated its 30th anniversary; the Boge Library was established, with a collection of books on graphic design, typography and calligraphy; a one-day book arts symposium will grace PLU’s campus on March 15; and on March 12, the University Gallery hosts an exhibition celebrating Wayzgoose, an annual Tacoma letterpress and book arts extravaganza founded by PLU Resident Artist Jessica Spring and King’s Books.

Tessa ink rolling

Print-lovers are invited to the opening reception of The Art of Wayzgoose on Wednesday, March 12 from 5-7pm in the University Gallery. The exhibition will be on display March 12 – April 9 and is free to the public.

The Art of Wayzgoose represents six years of steamroller prints—the work of more than 20 artists—all printed on the sidewalk at the Tacoma Wayzgoose. To make the images, illustrations were cut into huge 3’ x 3’ linoleum plates with sharp knives or chisels, with the raised areas representing a mirror image of the design. The plates were then inked and laid on the ground, covered with paper and blankets, then relief “printed” with a steamroller. Participants have been given great leeway in their subject matter, and merely encouraged to consider suggested topics: Tacoma, books and printing.

The prints showcase the work of several area schools as well as artists and artist teams: PLU, School of Visual Concepts (Seattle), Stadium High School, Charles Wright Academy, Beautiful Angle, Ric Matthies, Chris Sharp, CLAW, Audra Laymon, Chandler O'Leary, Maggie Roberts and Carl Montford.

PLU students flock to the Wayzgoose each year, many volunteering to help promote and staff the event. Elliott Press Assistant Taylor Cox ’16 designed and printed promotional posters this year. PLU Resident Assistant Professor Craig Cornwall manages the inking tent, carefully prepping plates for the steamroller. The process is repeated nearly 50 times a day during the event. 

In addition to The Art of Wayzgoose exhibition, on March 15 more than 70 Art of the Book Symposium attendees will hear presentations by Jessica Spring and Northwest artists Chandler O’Leary, Susan Collard, Monica Holtclaw and Suzanne Moore. The symposium is hosted both on the campus of PLU and University of Puget Sound. 

Row of prints

Attendees will travel to the PLU campus in the afternoon to tour the Elliott Press, visit The Art of Wayzgoose in the University Gallery, browse the Boge Library, and hear talks in Ingram. Graphic Design II and Art of the Book students will be assisting, and student Hyunhee Kim ’15 is preparing keepsakes for the attendees to print at Elliott Press.

Symposium registration has been filled; it was closed just two days after it opened.

The 10th annual Wayzgoose Letterpress and Books Arts Extravaganza will take place this spring on April 27th, the event is sponsored by the Tacoma Arts Commission. The Art of Wayzgoose runs  March 12 to April 6  and is open Monday-Friday 8am-4pm and by appointment. The University Gallery is located in Ingram Hall on the campus of Pacific Lutheran University.