Caitlin Lang holds two of her print blocks she created at The Grand during her stay in the Artist-In-Residence program.

The Grand’s 2024 artist-in-residence program underway

Reprinted with permission from the New Ulm Journal by Daniel Olson

 

For The Grand’s current artist-in-residence Caitlin Lang, being an artist has always been the goal.

“I’ve always been super artsy my entire life,” she said. “I got into printmaking in college. It was a requirement for my degree, and I fell in love with it from there. I’m continuing it by using all the presses down here, learning about them, and using it as another art outlet.”

Lang is the first artist-in-residence this year for The Grand’s artist-in-residence series. After starting with four and increasing to five last year, Lang is the first of six artists who will take up residence in The Grand in 2024. Being the first is an experience she is making the most of.

“It’s nice because when you’re down here, there’s not too much going on,” Lang said. “I’m able to take my time and focus on what I’m doing down here.”

Though her main form of art is portrait drawing with a graphite pencil, she has chosen to focus on printmaking for her two weeks in the program. With one week down, Lang has come up with three New Ulm-centered designs.

To create a print with her print blocks, Caitlin Lang rolls it through a giant rolling press so the ink from the print block imprints on a sheet of paper. From there, she can determine what to do next and what changes need to be made.

“They’re all poster style,” she said. “The theme of it is the town. Last year, I made two posters. One was a New Ulm theme that had different local landmarks on it and I did one for Oktoberfest. So these are a continuation of that. My third design is architecture within the town; its museums and parks.”

Lang said currently she works at the New Ulm Medical Center during the day and comes to The Grand and works on her art during the afternoon and evening. She has finished carving the designs into the blocks and is now testing them to make sure the artwork comes out correctly. Moving forward, she hopes she can continue to spread the art of printmaking to others.

“Hopefully I’ll be able to get more people to take classes and spend an afternoon learning a new skill,” Lang said. “A lot of people who do take the classes don’t have an art background. They’ve probably never heard of printmaking. To see them be like, ‘Oh, I can do this, this is fun,’ and doing it with their friends. I love being able to see that reaction.”

With the program entering a new year, Cellar Press Program Coordinator Karin Patzke said one area they are looking to expand in is community outreach. They are looking to have artists who enter the residence program also host classes. This way, those who are interested can learn from the artists themselves.

“Keep track of the classes that are coming up,” Patzke said. “All of the community outreach artists are participating in will often result in classes they’re teaching. If there’s a particular artist that people admire or know about, they could have a small group setting teaching experience.”

As Caitlin Lang pulls the print block back, its imprint on the paper is revealed. Lang said she fell in love with printmaking in college.

Cellar Press Volunteer Manager Anne Makepeace said the next artist-in-residence will be Jared Kaufman in April. Kaufman is a food writer with the St. Paul Pioneer Press. His art project will use Hebrew wood lettering and illustrate foods from the bible.

“He’s combining his background with agriculture in the region to emphasize the importance of diversity within our region,” Patzke said.

For more information on Caitlin Lang and her work, visit https://www.caitlinlangart.com

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