Thursday, June 26, 2014


And this is the face they make when someone leaves ink on their squeegee.

But hey, don't let their sassy expressions intimidate you. These three would be happy to introduce themselves!

Name: Brittani Locke

Education: Senior at University of Maryland Baltimore County, majoring in Print Media

Favorite mediums: marbling paper, sculpting paper, fabric, and wire, screenprinting, intaglio

Favorite artists: Aubrey Beardsley, Gustav Kimt, Alphonse Mucha

Best thing about printmaking is: the variety of techniques, the openness of experimentation

What I drew as a kid: A rainbow sunset with a palm tree silhouette!

What makes Pyramid Atlantic a great place to intern?

Well, they are well-known and respected in the community. I like that there is a diverse range of artists who are involved with Pyramid, and seeing their various talents. The studio also has a lot to offer in terms of equipment and instructors. Not to mention, the location is pretty happenin'! There are also a lot of interesting people and restaurants around Georgia Avenue. 

What are you the most stoked about with your summer internship?

I'm really excited about the Japanese-style Woodblock Printing workshop that I signed up for. I've always been fascinated by the prints made in this technique and I'm looking forward to trying it myself!

What has surprised you about Pyramid Atlantic?

The generosity of the artistic community here. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming, and really good about making you feel at home! The first week we already had a pizza party AND an ice cream party - it's just easy to socialize and network here. 


Name: Ashley Fisher

Education: Senior at the University of Northern Iowa, Studio Art degree with a printmaking emphasis, minors in Gender Studies and Art History

Favorite mediums: printmaking (especially relief and intaglio), photography, graphic design

Favorite artists: Christian Boltanski, Nancy Spero, Francesca Woodman, Kathe Kollwitz

Best thing about printmaking is: the dependency on a community. Not just because we have to share equipment and can enjoy socializing, but the printmaking community is small enough that you could have connections all over the world!

What I drew as a kid: foxes! And fox-people hybrids.

What would you tell a person who is considering an internship at Pyramid Atlantic?

I would say that enthusiasm and drive are key. There are a ton of opportunities to learn new things here. You should be open to them and dedicated to working with your hands and to the graphic arts. Just be confident and put yourself out there!

What was your first impression of Pyramid Atlantic?

I was even happier than I imagined I would be! I was excited to hear that we will be visiting museums in DC, having critiques with resident artists, and getting training in all the studios here. Not to mention getting to participate in a free workshop! It's crazy awesome how well they treat their interns and they care about you growing as an artist, it's their top priority. 

What do you hope to achieve at Pyramid Atlantic?

I want to learn as many new techniques as possible. I also want to network, make new friendships and to grow as an artist in order to prepare for my BFA show. 

Name: Devin Goebel

Education: Senior at Indiana Wesleyan University, majoring in Printmaking

Favorite mediums: woodcut, letterpress (my new found love), sculpture, and knitting (cat sweaters)

Favorite artists: Robert Rauschenberg, Gerhard Richter, and too many printmakers to mention.

Best thing about printmaking is: the lines you can make in carving, the smell of oil-based ink, and working with good paper. What really draws me to printmaking though is that it makes art accessible to the masses, not just the upper class.

What I drew as a kid: people with macaroni arms and no hands!

What do you hope to take away from your summer internship?

All of the papermaking knowledge! Not to mention, the experience of working in a community print workshop, meeting awesome people, and making some gnarly prints. I hope that I walk away with inspiration and direction as I begin on my senior show next semester.

What brought you to Pyramid Atlantic? How did you become interested?

It all started with a Google search for printmaking internships. I talked to a professor of mine about it and he strongly encouraged it. So I applied and the rest is history. 

If you were to replace your hand with a printmaking tool, what would you choose?

Hands down (no pun intended), a carving tool. It's one of a few that can serve multiple purposes. You can't do much else with a squeegee or a quoin key.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Hailing from Mexico City, we have...

Introducing...., Ivan Mendez Vela!

For a few weeks, Ivan will be filling the book bindery with paper, book boards, ink bottles, and brushes...all shaping into beautiful, three dimensional books.

Ivan graduated from Escuela National de Artes Plasticas, one of the few national schools for visual arts in Mexico City. After a week, and already noticing a large 3D book model covered with intricate ink drawings sitting in the bindery, we decided to pick his brain as he worked. Ideas about culture, the beauty as well as heaviness in Mexico City, favorite English words, and comparisons of Mexico City and Silver Spring quickly started buzzing around the studio. 

He spoke about a sadness that seems to exist in the area where he is from. It can be seen through the actions of the people day to day; littering is common place, as well as the lack of motivation. As Ivan puts it, "I call it the I don't life style...I don't want to do anything". Even though this seemed like a depressing conversation at first, Ivan started relating it back to his work, and things gained a depth that was refreshing.

Ivan's work integrates wonderful, inky markings that create a warm and intriguing, yet a little creepy, atmosphere. The markings aren't perfect, but it seems like each has it's perfect place. "I became impressed by the atmospheres that Victor Hugo captured in this book I found. You know, they look maybe creepy, maybe like bad memory, maybe intriguing in a good way." And he goes on about how he wants to take that atmosphere, the idea of an unconscious sadness existing in his city, and create understanding through the eyes.

Onward to happier questions, when asked about his favorite word, Ivan's face lit up. "YES! Witchcraft!" We both laugh. I didn't expect that word... but then again, what words do you expect with that question? "Anything with the sound craft. Woodcraft, aircraft, anything..but witchcraft is the best."

When asked about the biggest cultural difference he's experienced so far, his face lit up again. "Washington D.C. is like a model! Everything so beautiful, so clean. Each house with a garden, and beautiful trees. I thought Oh my god, I'm not in my land anymore!"

...And the conversation went on, with Spanish and English words mixed. In half an hour, I'll cheese-ly admit that my heart was refreshed by talking to an artist whose work connects so much to their land.

Come check out Ivan next week when he gives an artist talk at Pyramid Atlantic!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spring Has Sprung! Maybe?

Well, the season is here but Mother Nature seems to be nostalgic for the wintery storms. Consequently, she continues to sprinkle her cold, snowy goodness on us as we near the end of March.

Never the less, even though the remains of frosty grass and snow covered branches were not an uncommon sight last week, that doesn't prevent all of us here at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center from springing into gear! If you come by the studio you'll see that the presses are pressing, the beater beating, wood-type is falling into place, and we have welcomed in two new interns!

Please say hello to Hope Sorensen and Lee Nowell-Wilson, hailing from Fredrick and Baltimore, MD.

Hope graduated from the Corcoran College of Art + Design, and grew up with her twin sister. She adds the disclaimer that her twin's name is not Despair but rather is Tegan! Joining them is a cat named cuddles...very old, very lazy, but very good at cuddling. When asked where Hope got her name from, she tells of the days that her mother worked in a cancer center and said "all you need in this lifetime is a little more Hope." And the rest is history, folks! Kind-hearted Hope became the hope, cuddles with Cuddles, and eats vegetarian!

Lee graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2011 and since then has been living it up. She spent a couple months in Honduras teaching 1st graders, and then came back to meet her husband while rock climbing. During all this she started a mural painting company and you might see some of the murals around the Baltimore + DC area. The first time we went out for coffee she got the largest hot chocolate at Zed's, with just as much whipped cream on top as liquid in the mug!

What's Happening in Our Studios: Clare Winslow and Gretchen Schermerhorn in Print Shop


 Gretchen Schermerhorn tutors Clare Winslow

 inks and roller

 Clare prepares the plate (1)

 Clare prepares the plate (2)

 the print is pulled!


On March 26, our Denbo Resident Clare Winslow was taking advantage of one of her perks. The residency comes with an offer for technical assistance, which can be taken advantage of various ways. For instance, for an artist doing large-sized work it may mean having someone available to help maneuver the materials. Clare's choice was to receive a tutorial today from Gretchen Schermerhorn on creating multi-pass montoypes in print shop.
Gretchen explained that multi-pass monotypes involve positive and negative shapes and masking. Layers may be added for running prints several times through the press. Prints may include several colors as in a painting, solid colors, or color layers that create the illusion of several different colors.
Ink goes on the plate, with objects on top of the inked plate, then paper. Objects such as the leafy plants used today block the ink for a printmaking-negative effect, but since they receive ink on one side they may then be used face down on another print for a positive-ink rendering. After the press is run, the print is placed on a rack to dry.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

What's Happening in Our Studios: Combat Paper NJ in Papermaking

On Friday, November 14, Eli Wright of Combat Paper New Jersey was packing up from a week of papermaking with his group. Music from The Decemberists' album "The King is Dead" played in the background as many of the completed pieces lay on a low table. Wright (pictured left) held up a larger piece, where the pulp was splattered around to create the effect.

Combat Paper Project is a veteran-run national organization with affiliate-run mills whose New Jersey affiliate is supported by a printmaking center in Branchburg, New Jersey. The group had seven participants this week, all active duty service members, all patients at Walter Reed, and some from Fort Belvoir, said Wright. Combat Paper Program has been in existence since 2007, the New Jersey section started at the end of 2011. David Keefe and Eli Wright co-founded the New Jersey section. To learn more about Combat Paper Project, visit

What's Happening in Our Studios: Sue Yoon in Printmaking, and Eva Hamlett at the Workshop Table, for the Mural

 laptop image of the original art
the projection of the art on the wood panel, with Pyramid Atlantic intern Sue Yoon
 student art examples for this project
 Pyramid Atlantic intern Eva Hamlett paints the mural
Sue Yoon works from a laptop computer image projected overtop a wood panel, carefully tracing an outline onto the wood and adding color codes that will then be painted over for a mural. The original images were done by children who are students of Pyramid Atlantic. Sue is from South Korea, and one of our interns.

Meanwhile, in the next room, intern Eva Hamlett is putting on the paint. She has worked on murals before, five before this one, she said.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Meet The Fellow: Corwin Levi

Pyramid Atlantic is thrilled to welcome Corwin Levi as our Artist Fellow.    Corwin was born in North Carolina.  He moved around and lived in Boise, Idaho and Silver Spring, Maryland before eventually settling in Knoxville, Tennessee  where he spent many of his childhood years.  The hiking and time that he spent outdoors while living in Tennessee continues to be a tremendous influence in his work today.
Pyramid Atlantic Artist Fellow Corwin Levi.
Corwin made a very interesting career transition.  He decided to pursue art full time after practicing law for several years.  Becoming an artist seemed like a natural progression.  “I have been making Art as long as I can remember,” Levi said.  “My mom taught me to read by writing words and having me draw pictures of the words. I think practicing law was a way for me to see another world, or another side of the world and it made me both appreciate and understand artmaking so much more.”
The work of an artist can be inspired by anything.  Corwin finds his inspiration in everything from waking up everyday to conversations with other people.  These ordinary parts of life have inspired Corwin’s beautiful artwork.  
For more information on Corwin and his upcoming shows, please check out his website at