UI and Frogman’s Print Workshops to present acclaimed summer printmaking workshop

In the summer of 2023, the University of Iowa and Frogman’s Print Workshops will partner to bring a world-renowned two-week summer intensive to Iowa City.


Daniel McGregor-Huyer

University of Iowa junior June K lays paper on a woodcut at the Visual Arts Building in Iowa City on Oct. 17, 2022.

Charlotte McManus, Arts Reporter

This summer, the University of Iowa and Frogman’s Print workshop will open printmaking classes to the public at the UI Visual Arts Building.

Frogman’s Print Workshops will teach stone lithography, book structures, and wood engraving through its first two-week summer intensive in Iowa City from July 1-14, 2023.

Frogman’s Print Workshops started in 1979 when Lloyd Menard, a professor at the University of South Dakota, took five schoolteachers to the Black Hills of South Dakota for an outdoor drawing class. It then moved to The University of South Dakota and has spent the last seven years at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Next summer will be the workshop’s 41st year.

During the program, lectures and art exhibitions will be open to the public, including open portfolio sessions where 60-80 artists will display their work. The workshop will be divided into two sessions.

“I’m hoping Iowa City will be a long-term home for Frogman’s,” UI professor of printmaking Anita Jung said.

Director of Frogman’s Jeremy Menard said he’s eager for the program to come to Iowa City.

“Iowa has a tremendous graduate program and amazing facilities,” Menard said. “I know our participants are really going to like that. And it’s a beautiful setting; the entire campus is an arboretum, the river runs right down through, and there’s a wonderful downtown.”

Menard has personal ties to the city. He graduated from the UI in 1997 with his bachelor’s in marketing and communications.

“It’s a homecoming for me,” he said.

Professionals from every corner of the country will teach at Frogman’s, from Washington, D.C. to Washington state. UI assistant professor of printmaking Heather Parrish will teach at the program this summer. She said she is passionate about printmaking because of its capacity for artistic crossover.

“It just seems like a crossroads where everything is touched,” Parrish said.

Jung said the workshop is like a camp for grown-ups.

“This idea of creativity in an outdoor setting in the summer, when people are a little bit more relaxed, with the idea of using play to unpack creativity, is a really important part,” Jung said. “When you play, you’re open to failure, which is a super important outlook when being creative.”

While Frogman’s will fund the workshop, the UI will provide its printmaking studios and equipment for the program. The UI’s printmaking studios are equipped with a Canon One printer, high-tech scanners, and plotters for stenciling.

The UI recently installed new Apple iMac computers in one of the many labs where students can edit work. The studios also allow for more traditional methods like printing on lithographic limestone.

Emily O’Brochta, a UI third-year student majoring in art, English, and creative writing, said she’s impressed with the university’s printmaking program.

 “I like how supportive my instructor is of individual style and exploring the form because it’s really your first try,” O’Brochta said.

The partnership is not the first time the UI has encountered world-renowned printmakers.

Elizabeth Catlett, who was an American sculptor and graphic artist, studied printmaking at the UI before the program fully materialized. Along with two of her colleagues, she earned one of the first Masters of Fine Art degrees ever awarded by the university. She studied under the tutelage of UI professor Grant Wood, who most famously painted
“American Gothic.”

“Iowa was one of the first universities to accept art as a thesis of practice versus a thesis of writing,” Jung said. “And that was very significant in the history and development of art as an academic degree.”

UI Program Head of printmaking Terry Conrad said the UI’s resources helped further the storied legacy of the printmaking program.

The workshop will be open to anyone, and registration is first-come, first-serve. More experienced artists can also apply for assistantships, and scholarships are available for both sessions.

Jung said she hopes the intensive workshop will benefit the entire community.

“For a lot of people who aren’t in college, to take a 16-week course is beyond their capabilities,” she said. “I’m hoping schoolteachers, but also people who love making art on their own, will utilize this as a resource.”

Printmaking faculty member Tom Christison said he’s excited for Frogman’s workshop to generate conversations
between artists.

“It’s not just local people that you’re going to get here, but other people from around the country from other universities, which I think is terrific,” Christison said. “There’s shared studios and a shared workspace. An artist’s studio is oftentimes their own room, but the beauty of printmaking is that it’s often a shared space.”