Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A story of friendship in print.

     In the summer of 2008, after just graduating from college, I made plans to move to Madison, Wisconsin to begin a printmaking internship at Tandem Press. Needing a roommate and friends in this new city, I asked for the phone numbers of my soon-to-be fellow interns, and called Elizabeth Stoutamire in Georgia. I still have a very vivid memory of that phone call; we did not become roommates, but found an instant affinity with each other, working happily together in the print shop over the summer. Printmaking has served as a thread throughout our friendship, and has brought us together for many collaborations. We have made a tradition of visiting each other every few months, always brainstorming a new project, and excitedly making plans for the future.

     In May 2009 during the opening for a print exchange and exhibition Elizabeth had organized in Madison, she mentioned something about a guy named Gabriel who had stopped by. She was unusually excited to see the fellow, and breathless when we hung out with him later that night. Something was afoot!

     That August Elizabeth visited Chicago and we made our first collaborative print together, a combination of etching and non-toxic photo-etching. In October of 2009 we printed together again, this time producing the screen printed show posters for an exhibition I'd curated. Gabriel drove Elizabeth to Chicago to attend the opening. A year later, in the fall of 2010 we collaborated for a third time on a series of screen prints and an etching, working into a plate with cotton blooms from Elizabeth's Southern childhood and trillium flowers from my youth in Eastern Ohio; flowers that both bloom white and decay to purple, marking the passage of time. By then, Gabriel had proposed to Elizabeth, and she was already talking about screen printing her invitations.

     Another year has passed since then, and my life points from Chicago toward London for grad school. Elizabeth and Gabriel are getting married on October 15th, a few weeks after I move, and they've asked me to be in the wedding party. I very much want to return to Wisconsin to help them celebrate, and to give them my wedding gift---a photo-etching of Elizabeth and Gabriel, a hand-made print to commemorate three years of friendship and printmaking---but I can't do it without your help. 

I've started a fundraiser on IndieGoGo.com to raise money to get Elizabeth's wedding present to her wedding. Help me do it!

UPDATE!!! A very generous donor has offered me her frequent flier miles, bringing the cost of the plane ticket down to $200. So now I only need to raise $600 to get Elizabeth's print to her wedding! 
Note: Since I won't need to meet my initial goal of $1,200, the site charges a 9% cut on funds raised. So since I need to raise $550 more, I actually need to raise $600 to cover the IndieGoGo fees.

June 2008: Within a few weeks of knowing me, Elizabeth made me a lemon birthday cake.

June 2008: Birthday in Madison at Memorial Union.

January 2009: New Year's in Chicago.

March 2009: Southern Graphics Council (printmaking conference) in Chicago.

 May 2009: Places of Origin print exhibition in Madison, Wisconsin, curated by Elizabeth.

 August 2009: Collaborative print (copper plate etching and photopolymer etching).

 August 2009: Elizabeth mixing inks in Julia's former studio in Chicago.

 August 2009: Julia running her press in Chicago.

 August 2009: Pulling the first proof of our collaborative print.

 August 2009: Julia and Elizabeth, sleepy from so much printmaking and hard work.

 October 2009: Collaborative screen printed show posters, printed by Julia and Elizabeth, designed by the Museum of Contemporary Art's Scott Reinhard.

 October 2009: Elizabeth screen printing in Madison at Mess Hall Press.

 October 2009: Julia screen printing in Madison at Mess Hall Press.

 October 2009: Trunk Show at Barbara & Barbara Gallery, Chicago, curated by Julia.

 February 2010: Elizabeth's birthday in Madison.

 September 2010: Boating on the lakes in Madison.

 September 2010: Boating on the lakes in Madison.

 November 2010: Collaborative copper plate etching, Chicago.

 November 2010: Two collaborative etchings.

 November 2010: Collaborative screen print, Chicago.

 November 2010: Collaborative screen print, Chicago.

 November 2010: Collaborative screen print, Chicago.

June 2011: Julia's birthday in Chicago.

 June 2011: Julia's print exhibition at Spudnik Press. Photo by Maureen Sill.

Elizabeth and Gabriel in Wisconsin.

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