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BIG INK Large-Scale Woodblock Printing at Cultural Arts Center, Columbus, OH




Deadline to submit a proposal: Midnight, June 24, 2019

Event Location: 139 W Main St, Columbus, OH 43215

Event Date(s): September 7-8, 2019

Event Time: 10 am - 5 pm

Public Time: 11 am - 4 pm

Link to Submit: https://www.bigink.org/apply/

Event Synopsis:

BIG INK, a nationally recognized print arts organization, is traveling to the Cultural Arts Center in 2019.  The Cultural Arts Center has invited BIG INK to host a two-day event where prints will be pulled from large-scale woodblock plates.  We are seeking image proposals from emerging, mid-career, and established visual artists who would like to carve a woodblock, at least 24" x 36" inches in dimension, to print at the event.  No prior printmaking experience is required. Any artist that has an interest in print media and wants to achieve a deeper understanding of woodblock carving is welcome to apply.

Upon completing the application and being accepted, artists will have two months prior to the event to carve their design.  BIG INK has created how-to videos that guide participants through the carving process.  The series draws from invaluable technical observations made by BIG INK's directors and past participating artists.  The artists' sole responsibility is to bring a fully carved and ready to print woodblock on their assigned printing day.  All consumable materials including paper, ink, cleaning supplies and equipment are included with participation.

The event itself is an excellent way to network with other participants, plug into a growing creative community, and produce high-quality work that can later be used for sale and exhibition.

About BIG INK:

BIG INK's mission is to inspire a greater public appreciation for large-scale woodblock printmaking and extend its practice.  Founded in 2012, BIG INK was originally the brainchild of Lyell Castonguay and Carand Burnet.  Castonguay, whose personal woodblock work is often monumental in scale, wanted to organize a community of large-scale woodblock artists.  Castonguay and Burnet began to host informal gatherings at print studios around their local area.  These happenings evolved into the collaborative working model BIG INK utilizes today.  BIG INK establishes a temporary print shop on site at affiliate organizations, most often at museums, universities, art centers, studios, and galleries. Artists are selected through a call-for-entry process to attend these events and print original woodblocks at least 24” x 36” in dimension. Since the program’s inception, hundreds of artists have participated in BIG INK events across the country.

About the Cultural Arts Center:

The Cultural Arts Center is housed in a renovated building that connects us to the earliest plans and places in Columbus' history.  From the 1860's until the mid 1970's the building was designed and operated as the Ohio State Arsenal.  The Ohio State Arsenal was officially dedicated as the Columbus Cultural Arts Center on Monday, June 11, 1978. The center offers gallery spaces and classes centered on making art, directed at adult audiences, and promoting the highest standards of expression. The staff is composed of working artists who were committed to their own studio practices and came to their teaching from this perspective. The teaching philosophy is workshop-based and represents a long tradition of hands-on studio experience.

Participant Benefits:

BIG INK events are a constructive way to collaborate in a creatively inspiring space while gaining an in-depth knowledge of how to create a large-scale woodblock print. The program is designed for printmakers who understand basic woodblock principles but want to expand their expertise and working scale. The program is also designed for those not yet trained in woodblock but whose visual aesthetic would lend itself to the medium. This includes illustrators, sculptors, designers, and painters who use bold contrast, strong outlines, and patterning. Participating in an event often inspires artists to incorporate more print work in their studio practice.

BIG INK's role is to make the production of a large-scale woodblock accessible and easy to understand. We make the experience rewarding and informative by imparting our knowledge of preferred materials and techniques. We do so through a tutorial series comprised of over 20 videos.  Step-by-step instructions guide BIG INK participants with preferred materials and methods including plywood types, image transferring, carving, creating textures, fixing mistakes, tool maintenance, incorporating power tools, and more.  BIG INK remains in contact providing guidance and technical support when needed.  At the conclusion of the event, BIG INK photographs each participant's finished print. We add this image to the bigink.org online archive. These images are used to help curate BIG INK themed exhibits at national and international art venues.

How Many Prints Are Produced?

BIG INK assists in the creation of three impressions from each participant's woodblock.  We pride ourselves on producing high-quality impressions despite that events typically happen in a community setting.  Work is printed using oil-based inks on archival paper and the quality is comparable to what you would receive working at a private studio.

What happens to the prints produced at the event?

We request ownership of one print for our archive in order to photograph your work and use it for curatorial projects.  At some point, we hope to donate these prints to a museum.  The archive consists of over 300 prints and growing.  The other two prints remain in the artists' possession.

What do I submit with my image proposal?

We ask for basic contact info, a short artist statement/bio, anticipated dimensions of your woodblock and most importantly a JPG that represents what you intend to carve.  You are welcome to submit an image from your portfolio or a new design.  Upload your image in black & white via the application on our apply page.  Please note your proposal image doesn't have to be completed on a large scale and can be drafted in your preferred medium.  Black sharpie, pen & ink, and dark pencil gives us the clearest impression of your concept.  Avoid the use of gray tones when possible. Refer to this album of past proposals for inspiration and reference.  Images must be solely created by the applicant.

What material should I use to carve my woodblock?

Artists are responsible for purchasing 1/2" cherry ply, 1/2" MDF or 3/8" Shina.  Purchase links to materials will be provided to accepted participants.

How big can I work?

Images must be at least 24” x 36” in dimension but no larger than 40” x 96” in dimension.


It is free to submit a proposal; accepted artists pay $300 dollars to participate.  This covers all consumable materials for the event including printing ink, paper, cleaning supplies, equipment and photography.  The artist is only required to bring a fully carved block.


We are unable to offer scholarships at this time. Past participants have been able to cover funding through local and state grants, The Awesome Foundation or crowd funding platforms like Kickstarter.

Other Commonly Asked Questions:

Q: Can two artists collaborate on a proposal?   A: Yes, list both names on the application.

Q: Can I submit an existing image with my proposal?  A: Yes

Q: If accepted can I change my proposal image after the fact?  A: Yes, as long as it falls within the same aesthetic.

Q: Does my proposal image have to be a certain size?  A: Your proposal image can be small.  It doesn't have to be the same size as your woodblock.

Q: Am I expected to attend both printing days?  A: No, but you’re welcome to.

Q: How many prints does each artist produce?  A: Three, one of which is archived in the BIG INK portfolio.

Q: Can I bring my own paper and print more?  A: Because we work with many artists at one time we standardize for time's sake.  There isn't enough time to print more than three impressions of your woodblock at the event.

Q: What type of paper do we use?  A: Masa

Q: What type of ink do we use?  A: Oil-based relief ink, bring an apron and wear work clothes.

Q: Do I have to bring any other materials besides my carved block?  A: No

Q: Can we print in color?  A: Because we work with many artists at one time we standardize for time's sake.  There isn't enough time and space for color printing.

Q: How do we transport the finished prints?  A: BIG INK provides newsprint to wrap the work.

Q: Do you have recommendations on where to stay?  A: We use Airbnb and quality hotels are usually located a short drive away or within walking distance.

Q: What is the best way to transport the finished block if I'm flying?  A: You may be able to ship your block directly to the venue.  Contact us directly to confirm. When shipping your block please include a return label in the package. This makes shipping your block back home simple.

Q: Can I create an edition of prints after the event?  A: Yes

Q: Can BIG INK create an edition of prints for me?  A: Yes, for a fee.

Q: Can I cut the block in half to facilitate transport to and from the venue?  A: We recommend it for images over 6 feet long. We will abut the pieces together on the press before printing.

Artist Testimonials:

"Being a professional sculptor, carving a woodcut was something that appealed to my sensibilities but was also something I'd never done.  BIG INK's step by step videos was helpful in guiding me through the process. BIG INK answered my technical questions quickly and gave me feedback on my image when I emailed photos.  I'm now taking what I learned as a BIG INK participant and integrating it back into my 3-D work." Kerry O. Furlani

"BIG INK encouraged all the participants to work together to execute their prints. The event inspired me to continue exploring scale and surface in my practice and opened up a new channel of communication with a great group of artists."  Enrique Figueredo



Entry Fee:

Fee Detail: 
Free to apply, $300 dollars if accepted
Contact & Links: 

Live in- Artist-In-Residence






Rubber City Prints 

Address: 467 W. Market St. 

Space Type: To Rent 

Size: 1000 sq. ft. 

Location: Out of County

Neighborhood: Summit County

Rent: $200 per month

Use: Live/Work, Producing / Studio Space, Selling work / Storefront, Gallery Space

Organization: Rubber City Prints

Contact: KristaDescription: Live In Artist-In-Residence

Seeking artist applicants to rent space in a fine art printmaking community and live among other artists. All artist must have printmaking experience and currently be working in any fine art printmaking medium.

For just $200 per month you will have a private bedroom with a reserved shower and 24/7 access to print studio. Our studio is equipped with a letterpress, 2 etching presses, inking stations, screenprinting area, clean work-space area, 2 washing sinks, full kitchen and bathroom. Must be a responsible key holder to the printshop.

This live-in position requires the artist to not only be producing quality art but also to care for the facilities and support our mission and educational opportunities.

Must have a Fine Art degree and proof of experience in printmaking via resume
Must apply & be approved by Board of Directors
Key holder of Rubber City Prints limited to 3 month, 6 month, 12 month terms. Must choose term with application.
Must complete background check
Respectful of other printmakers in a shared space
Responsible, tidy & well organized

Daily duties include constructive ethical care of the shop
Checking incoming mail
Helping with show install/deinstall
Management of potential commissions projects with opportunity to get paid (optional)
Instructor Opportunities with potential to be paid if class is filled with 3 or more students (optional)
Promotional outreach for printmaking commissions & services
4 hours per week observation of open studio hours/gallery hours.
Management of observed quiet hours 12-8 am

Please send resume, cover letter explaining your current Printmaking experience, and 5 photos of your current fine art prints.
*Open to all fine majors & mediums but must have Printmaking experience to apply

3 month, 6 months, 12 month rental options. We will adjust accordingly!



Contact & Links: 

Structure Unbound: Interdisciplinary Book Art



Structure Unbound: Interdisciplinary Book Art with Juror and Featured Artist Colette Fu.

The Robert and Elaine Stein Galleries invites submissions for an exhibition of interdisciplinary book art that pushes the boundaries between traditional book making and new media. Works may include but not limited to: visual narratives, installations, traditional and digital printmaking and other works on paper, sculptural book works, assemblage, and interactive art.

The exhibition is open to all artists living in the United States 18 years of age or older. All work must be original. Current faculty, staff, and students of Wright State University are ineligible.

Colette Fu received her MFA in Fine Art Photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Her pop-up books are included in the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Library of Congress, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the West Collection and many private and rare archive collections.

Artists are invited to submit up to 5 examples of completed works of art related to the theme. Submitted work must be available for exhibition, if chosen.

Entry fee of $25 is required to apply. This is the final step the applicant will complete before submission.

Provide 1-5 items. Images (up to 5MB each) and Video (up to 250MB each). You may also link to media from YouTube and Vimeo.

Artists are responsible for shipping artwork (delivery and pick-up), to and from the Stein Galleries at Wright State University according to the program calendar.

All work MUST be received ready for installation with proper hanging devices attached and thorough instructions when necessary.

The Robert & Elaine Stein Galleries reserves the right to photograph accepted works for publicity and educational purposes. Stein Galleries reserves the right to reject works that differ from submitted images.

Works will be insured under Wright State’s policy and conditions while on premises. Additional insurance, including during transit, is the responsibility of the artist.

Deadline: 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Exhibition dates: January 17-February 26, 2017
Accepted artwork delivery by Friday, December 2

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