Doejo recomendation of the summer: Spend it perfecting your craft at Lillstreet Art Center. The largest visual arts center in the Chicago area, Lillstreet was founded to encourage growth in beginners and advanced artists alike. The Ravenswood center offers beginner or advanced artists of all ages four to eight week classes and one-day workshops starting in June.
As a company of design nerds, we’re fascinated by their printmaking courses. Lillstreet offers courses in a variety of print media: non-traditional, contemporary, experimental and other mixed media approaches. Beginners rejoice: each department offers classes for first-time artists allowing you to explore your new chosen medium in a relaxed environment. Below we highlight six courses that we are dying to check out.
If printmaking isn’t your passion, Lillstreet also offers classes in ceramics, metalsmithing, jewelry, glass, painting, drawing, digital arts and photography. More information on the classes they offer is available on their website.
Learn the craft of letterpress printing, move beyond the basics, incorporate imagery, and experiment with ink and paper in this class that prepares you to pursue future projects on your own. Spend eight weeks learning typesetting by hand, locking up and the basics of cylinder, platen and sign presses.
Wednesdays (8 weeks) : July 11, – Aug. 29, 6:30-9:30 p.m. — $280 for non-members
Create personal projects, print editions and portfolio pieces in this class that allows you to go beyond paper and print on other more complex surfaces. This eight week class offers experimentation with gold leaf, the art of split fountain, putting two different colors of ink onto one screen at the same time, and flocking, using dyed of nylon that are charged with high-voltage and driven into the design.
Thursdays (8 weeks) : July 12, – Aug. 30, 6:30-9:30 p.m. — $280 for non-members
This one-day workshop teaches students basic book structures so they can create a personal artists book. Although traditional book structures will be covered, the class emphasizes viewing the book as a conceptual space and leaving all preconceived notions at the door, allowing creativity to flow.
Friday Workshop (1 day) : July 29, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. — $80 for non-members
Mezzotint is a type of printmaking that requires the artist to work from dark to light, creating velvety tonal prints that can achieve photorealistic qualities comparable to charcoal drawings. This four-week class covers techniques required for preparing the copper plate used in printing and brushing or scraping your images onto the surface.
Fridays (4 weeks) : July 13, – Aug. 3, 2-5 p.m. — $150 for non-members
Bringing in photocopies of images and transforming them using an alternative technique that is more user-friendly than traditional lithographic printmaking is the focus of this workshop. One day only, students will pull impressions from photocopied images working with a complete range of color.
Sunday Workshop (1 day) : Aug. 26, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. — $75 for non-members
Learn how to screenprint on glass, incorporating photographic images, drawings and patterns. No experience is required for this one-day workshop where students can print on clear, opaque and colored glass.
Friday Workshop (1 day) : June 29, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. — $130 for non-members