Tales from the Co-op:
Nancy Bolan

Home, intaglio

I took my first printmaking classes as an undergraduate in graphic design. I loved the physical process of intaglio printmaking, and the way that etching and printing a plate transformed and contributed to an image. I was excited when I discovered the co-op at Highpoint: I could continue to explore the medium in a well-equipped studio, and also get to know a supportive community of artists, experts and instructors.

As a graphic designer, I help develop communication materials that create a connection between a business and their clients. Projects usually (hopefully!) have clear messages for defined audiences. It is a job that is full of enjoyable relationships, challenges, and lots of computer time. 

In contrast, printmaking allows me to use an approach that is much more personal, exploratory, and tactile, and the results can leave more room for interpretation. I often start with a very personal idea, then work to distill the particular details of my own story to get to the essence of what will resonate and connect with other people.

I’ve allowed myself a lot of time to freely explore, and now recognize recurring themes of family, home, and interconnectedness in my work. It may be time to pursue those themes more purposefully and thoroughly. I intend to bring a more exploratory attitude to my design work as well, and intertwine these two approaches.