Research News

Arthur, Johnson receive Hilldale award to study printmaking technique

May 05, 2015

Emily Arthur, an assistant professor of printmaking with UW-Madison’s Art Department, and her undergraduate student, Luke Johnson, were recently awarded a Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowship.

They will use the grant to study alternative methods of aquatint, which is an intaglio printmaking technique.  Marks are made into a copper or zinc plate that is capable of holding ink that is then transferred to a sheet of paper by being passed through a press.

The intaglio technique of aquatint has long been the standard for adding tone to images but it requires precautions to be used safely. 

Arthur and Johnson will be examining new, environmentally conscious acrylics from Switzerland, which have not been commonly used in the United States. What they learn could transform the way the Art Department teaches this process -- and by extension influence printmakers in educational and studio contexts across the country.

“Based on the outcome of their research, Madison could become one of the first programs in the country to offer in-depth instruction utilizing this cutting-edge technique,” says Paul Sacaridiz, who chairs the Art Department. “It's another example of the great work we are doing here and the ways that our faculty are working alongside students to make impactful changes.”

Hilldale Fellows also are required to present their research at the Undergraduate Symposium in April 2016, or at another presentation venue.