Graduate Studies in Printmaking


Michael Barnes, M.F.A., University of Iowa

Description of Program:
An M.F.A. in studio with an emphasis in printmaking allows students to pursue individual creativity in fine art print media, as it applies to the larger fine art practice. The program encourages diverse conceptual and interdisciplinary exploration with a focus on developing an individual voice through the medium. Students gain experience not only in developing their own research and artistic practice, but also have the opportunity to learn practical skills related to the professional fine art printing practice and teaching at the college level, if they so desire.

Assistantships and Tuition Waivers: The NIU School of Art and Design offers opportunities for graduate student assistantships and graduate teaching assistantships assigned on a competitive basis, which include full tuition and a monthly stipend. Tuition waivers are also available.

Facilities: The printmaking facilities include three large, well-ventilated studio spaces in the Jack Arends Hall Art Building and an additional printing studio in the Graduate Arts Annex studio building. The main Art Building studios are designed to accommodate large-scale work. The facilities include a darkroom with a 30" x 40" flip top exposure unit for intaglio and lithography and large-scale Amergraph unit that will accommodate a 42” x 54” screen or plate. A separate graduate room is equipped with two computer stations and a large-scale Epson printer. A separate fine arts computer lab is located in the NIU Visual Resource Center, which provides additional computer access. Photographs of the printmaking facilities are available at this link.

Lithography studio includes four presses (36” x 70” Charles Brand; 34" x 60" Takach; 30" x 60 Brand; and a 25” x 48 Takach), with a selection of over 150 stones (up to 32" x 40" in size). The studio is well equipped with a large selection of large diameter rollers and is set-up to accommodate photo plate techniques.

Intaglio/Relief studio includes four presses (4' x 8' Takach; 30" x 56" American French Tool; 20" x 40" Charles Brand; and a 25 ½” x 48” Takach), a separate well-ventilated acid room, an air powered rosin aquatint box, and large drying boards.

Screen-printing studio is equipped to work with water-based printing techniques. The studio includes a 30" x 48" exposure unit in addition to the 42” x 54” unit listed above. The studio is also equipped with a 40” x 60” one person vacuum printing unit, a second 30” x 40” vacuum table, washout sinks, pressure washer, and large drying racks.

Individual graduate studio spaces are provided for each student in the M.F.A. program in a separate off-campus facility (Arts Annex), in addition to work and storage space in the school’s print studio. The graduate studio building also houses a separate print studio, which contains a 27" x 48 Dickerson combination press and a 30" x 40" vacuum exposure unit for graduate student use.

In addition to classroom spaces, the main art building houses a full woodworking studio and computer labs that are accessible to students.

Additional Resources: The printmaking area hosts a regular schedule of visiting artists from around the country who work in the print medium. Many of the guest artists publish prints or conduct interactive projects as a component of their visiting workshop activities, with the students actively participating in the creative process.

Recent Visiting Artists Include: Cannonball Press - Mike Houston and Martin Mazzora; Wayne Kimball; Fred Stonehouse; Anita Jung; Jay Ryan – Bird Machine Press;Sujin Shin; Tom Huck; Jenny Schmid; Mark Hosford; Jack Damer; Karla Hackenmiller; John Himmelfarb; Endi Poskovic; John Hitchcock;Nancy Palmeri; Michael Krueger; Lisa Bulawski; Joel Peck; Oscar Gillespie; Sean Star Wars; Bill Fick; Stan Kaplan; Tom Reed

The School of Art and Design as a whole, hosts an impressive Visiting Artist and Scholars program. The School contains a large gallery space where professional artists and various student exhibitions are held. A medium size gallery space is designated for graduate student exhibitions. The NIU Art Museum is also present on campus and schedules an ongoing rotation of professional exhibitions and visiting artist events, often in conjunction with the School of Art and Design.

Archives: The printmaking area also maintains an extensive archive of original prints that are used for instructional support. The Northern Illinois University Art Museum also houses a collection of old master and contemporary prints that are available for viewing.

Community: The printmaking area students are actively involved in attending conferences and workshops. The printmaking club “Bandolier Press” is regularly engaged in group activities, including portfolio projects and fundraising to support travel to conferences and other professionally enhancing events.

Admissions: The deadline for application to the NIU Graduate School for the School of Art and Design graduate program in studio arts is: February 1.

Application materials and additional information may be obtained from:

School of Art and Design Graduate Programs
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, Illinois 60115

How to Apply

Telephone: (815) 753‐0292
Fax: (815) 753‐7701


niu | school of art and design
jack arends building
dekalb, il 60115-2883