note: The right texture
Quick-to-See works online
Building a P.R.I.N.T.
Layer by Layer
Drive to Succeed
Artist Jaune Quick-to-See Smith worked with UNT's master printer
and a handful of students to create a limited-edition lithograph
at the UNT P.R.I.N.T. Press this fall.
As a young
Flathead Indian, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith learned not to openly
disagree with what she was taught off the reservation.
However, she always knew there was a different point of view.
Today, as a professional artist and teacher, Smith encourages people
to think for themselves, find truth and speak out.
Smith recently spent seven days at the UNT Print Research Institute
of North Texas, working with Catherine Chauvin, UNT master printer,
and a handful of printmaking students to create a limited-edition
While on campus, Smith also spent time talking to art students and
visitors about her art, the experience of the Native American people,
and the responsibility she believes each American has in knowing
the truth about Americas history, its present and its future.
Her collaboration with P.R.I.N.T. Press typifies the role of a university
fine arts printing press.
School of Visual Arts is one of only six schools in the country
that has a professional print shop. Established in 1993, UNTs
fine arts press works with both emerging and established artists
to contribute to the production of contemporary art. In addition,
the press offers extraordinary opportunities to students.
At P.R.I.N.T. Press, students watch and participate in the operation
of a professional print shop putting what they learn in the
classroom into action. They also get the experience of watching
a professional artist work.
Printmaking in the classroom is learned as another medium
for making my own work, says Alyssa Brown, a graduating printmaking
senior. After working with Jaune, I better understand the
role of a printmaker as a technician.
The creation of each print at the press is unique, dependent on
the artist involved. However, the process is usually similar.
The master printer and the artist must collaborate throughout the
creation of the piece to ensure the image will work as a print.
The collaboration takes place in a new 5,000-square-foot building
next to Oak Street Hall that houses machinery to do almost every
type of print technique.
Smiths collaboration was the first professional use of the
new space. The shop is working this spring with Dan Rizzie, an artist
who has been to UNT before, and plans are being made to bring in
print, a 4-by-6-foot collage on Oriental paper, features many complex
it, she discusses war in todays context from her point of
view as a Native American. The print challenges the viewer to think
about the realities of war and its impact on everyone and everything.
Behind the paper, which is translucent, are the small words up
close and personal directly in front of large text proclaiming
War is Heck.
Images of soldiers, buffalo, songbirds and human hands are also
buried beneath the larger dominant image of a horse an icon
typically used in Smiths work.
The work strategically places text and images to build a sense of
what we have to lose and gain. Smith asks viewers to be careful
about what they wish for while reminding them of what theyve
I remember going to school off the reservation and learning
about American history from the colonial perspective, she
When I would tell my father, who was illiterate, what I had
learned, hed just say, Sis, I think those people are
ignorant, but its not our place to tell them so. That
instruction taught me a lot about the importance of point of view.
That same lesson may also be the reason why Smith is always careful
to show a whole picture.
Her work, as commonly noted by critics, represents a definite point
of view but does not simplify others points of view or edit
them. The result is that her work takes risks while asking important
and difficult questions about society and responsibility.
created a series of special problems that Chauvin and UNT students
had to resolve.
Smith frequently chooses to hide the comments that most strongly
counter popular belief behind other images a habit that may
be a remnant from her childhood.
Because the print features three layers of imagery the pictures
and text behind the horse, the horse itself, and the images and
text on top of the horse the creation and placement of each
layer had to be figured out individually and then merged.
In search of the best method, some students created a series of
proofs that featured images printed on both sides of a sheet of
paper in a range of gray tones from black to white. Others worked
on methods for chine collèing, or adhering, individually
printed images to the back and front of the paper without obstructing
their visibility. The solution chine collè.
In addition, while Chauvin worked on aspects of the print that needed
solitary involvement, Smith teamed up with the students to create
20 additional and original monotypes.
In just a few days with Jaune Ive come to understand
how important the technical aspects of the print process are to
creating a quality finished piece of art, Brown says.
Chauvin, who joined the UNT art faculty in 2000, says that is one
of the most important functions of P.R.I.N.T. Press.
After working in the shop on a piece that will be sold, the
students carry back a greater attention to detail than can be taught
in a classroom, she says.
students worked on the process of creating Smiths lithograph
during the week she was on campus. Some of them will be involved
in making the editions of the piece a process that attempts
to replicate the original as closely as possible while creating
a unique work of art with each hand-pulled print.
For every print, the plates that hold Smiths images have to
be inked and pressed by hand. Additionally, each layer of collage
has to be added by hand.
Students are involved in every aspect of the press, including the
curating and marketing of the inventory.
P.R.I.N.T. currently holds inventory by well-known artists, such
as Rizzie, Terry Allen, Annette Lawrence, Anitra Blayton, Jack Pierson,
Jim Shaw, Kathy Grove, Edgar Heap of Birds, Jane Kent, Lynda Benglis
and Michael Miller. Smiths lithograph and monotypes are being
added to the inventory this spring. To see works available, visit