Shirt artists suit students to a ‘T’

Photo Courtesy of Drive By Press
Free presentation by Drive by Press printmakers promises to deliver a ‘non-boring’ time

Traveling printmakers with over 100,000 combined miles under their wheels will be driving onto the Fresno State campus Monday with their 600-pound printing press in tow.

Drive by Press (DBP) master printmakers and fine artists Joseph Velasquez and Drew Iwaniw will set up outside Conley Art room 160 for the day.

DBP is spending their third year on the road “spreading the ink.” They have even doubled their fleet, covering the East and West Coasts simultaneously. This will be DBP’s second visit to Fresno State, which adds to the 150 plus campuses and universities they have visited.

From noon to around 1:30 p.m., there will be a “non-boring” presentation in CA160 on the history of printmaking and then from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., the artists will be making prints. All students are encouraged to attend both free events.

(L)inking past and present

Art major Dawn Hart, who saw the visiting artists last year said, “I was very impressed with their knowledge about printmaking.” She agreed that the presentation was indeed “non-boring,” as the master’s claim.

“Some interest in the past helps,” said printmaking professor Matt Hopson-Walker, who has been promoting the upcoming DBP visit. Walker recalled last year’s lecture as a light and much abbreviated version of the 600-year-old printing process.

Historically, printmaking has been a secretive process, Walker said. As a student, you had to work with a printmaker for a long time before they would share their techniques and secrets with you.

“They do it because they’re excited about spreading the word,” Walker said of DBP.

DBP has 10 hand-carved relief blocks ready to print on various materials, “and are constantly working on new blocks,” added Iwaniw. They have printed on T-shirts, canvas, towels, shower curtains and bathroom mats, to name a few. “Oh yeah, and underwear, but we prefer not to print on underwear,” said Velasquez.

Interactive process

T-shirts are $20, but you can bring your own tee and have it printed for $10. They can even print on kids tees.

Not only will you be supporting DBP, you will have a hand in making your own unique garment, Velasquez said. When customers buy a print or shirt from DBP they are asked if they would like to place the relief block or choose its orientation. Then the customer gets to crank the press.

“It ends up meaning more to know that you’ve had a hand in making it,” Velazquez said.

Velasquez is confident that there is something for everyone and every taste. “We’ve even turned the head and captivated the interests of some of the countries greatest ‘haters’ and folks who could care less; we try to be inclusive and welcome both audiences of artists and non-artists alike,” he said.

The how-to and where-to

Drive by Print will visit the Fresno State campus for the second time ever Monday, March 16 to offer a free “non-boring” session on printmaking. Artists Joseph Velasquez and Drew Iwaniw will also be making prints of their shirts later that evening.

Monday, March 16 ( in front of CA 160)

• Noon – 1:30 p.m.
(History of printmaking presentation)

• 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
(Print making of T-shirts)

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