Kansas printmaking artist holds exhibition on campus

By JASE BRANDT, reporter
Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018

Photo by Jase Brandt

Kansas artist Caitlin Penny displayed her work and process of printmaking to Sterling College students and faculty on Friday in the Sterling College Art and Communication Building.

Penny began the exhibition by giving a presentation over her work that is currently hanging in the Art and Communication gallery before printing t-shirts and bags for those who attended. Each design is an animal or a couple animals that are currently endangered, particularly endangered animals that most people do not know about.

Photo by Jase Brandt

“I picked endangered animals but I also tried to pick pretty obscure ones,” she said. “Everyone knows tigers are endangered, everyone in the country. No one knows that the Hawksbill sea turtle even exists, which is, of course, part of its problem. No one knows it exists, no one cares, therefore no one tries to do anything.”

Because of this issue, Penny’s goal is to spread awareness of endangered animals through her printmaking. She also donates a portion of her proceeds to the World Wildlife Fund. More information about the World Wildlife Fund can be found at https://www.worldwildlife.org/.

Penny’s desire to use printmaking to spread awareness stemmed from the roots of printmaking itself.

“The nice thing about printmaking is printmaking has a history. Printmaking started as book-making. It was a way to spread information. The very first thing that was printed was Bibles. So, printmaking has a long history of spreading information. It has kind of an underground kind of feel to it, especially nowadays. It’s sort of a weird, analog way to spread word. It is handmade. That’s kind of what’s it’s become now,” she said. “We’re surrounded by information, just pointless information out there, news and social media and everything. So, to spread information this way, it’s like, ‘Here it is. It’s real. You can touch it. You can feel it. You can smell it.’ It has a different feeling. People are going to carry these things around and look at it everyday. I’d like to think that it sticks with them.”

Along with being a professional artist, Penny is also an adjunct for Friends University in Wichita. She graduated with her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Drawing from Kansas State University in 2011. After she and her husband moved to St. Louis, Penny completed her Master of Fine Arts degree from Washington University’s Sam Fox School of Art in 2015.

Penny’s exhibit entitled “Carved: A Printmaker’s Labor” will continue to be on display through Thursday.

To connect with Penny, you can check out her blog, follow her on Instagram, or check out her market on Etsy.