Beside tables covered in comic newspapers, UNC Wilmington senior Kara Garrett sits down on a stool inside the print studio in the Cultural Arts Building. Hair pulled back out of her face, she sets a timer as she waits for a screen to dry, checking a screen every few minutes as she works.
Garret’s work requires a lot of patience and hard work as she prepares prints after being awarded the Ann Flack Boseman Scholarship, which includes her own solo show in the Ann Flack Boseman Gallery in November.
The show, titled ” Posted: No Ink in the Sink,” is Garrett’s first solo show.
“The show is based on studio posters,” Garret said. “Posters you might find in an art or print studio—kind of like health and safety posters of the past like about wearing goggles and ‘don’t’ put ink in the sink.'”
Garrett has taken inspiration from the professors around her, including Donald Furst, a studio art professor. The prints play on words that Garrett’s professors say around her. Garrett printed the sayings and designed the words in a slightly retro style.
“She is going even bigger than we normally go in our print classes here, so she brought her own screens,” Furst said, pointing to a set of drying screens resting against the studio wall.
No stranger to large prints, Garrett participated with other UNCW artists in the Steamroller Printing Festival in May 2014. Steamroller printing involves renting a steamroller and driving it over massive woodcuts that are cut into plywood to press the images on paper or fabric.
“There has been a trend to go really large with woodcut,” Furst said.
Big isn’t Garrett’s only style; she has done smaller prints featuring still-lives of household objects like mason jars or items from her pantry.
After the exhibit, she plans to create even smaller designs and work on miniature screen prints for her niece’s dollhouse.
“I like the challenges of trying to push the limits of different mediums,” Garrett said.
Garrett isn’t unfamiliar with a challenge, as she is one of the first to study screen-printing in directed individual study course. She regularly asks for advice from her professors and discusses the subjects with her peers.
“It’s definitely a community,” Garrett said. “We share information. We share tips.” She often helps students by telling her peers mistakes she has made while printing and what has worked for her as she works on her art.
Studio art professor Edward Irvine has seen her grow as an artist and a student.
“She is an outstanding student as well as a wonderful mentor to other art students,” Irvine said.
After graduating this upcoming December, Garrett plans to submit to shows and continue to graduate school.
Reception for “Posted: No Ink in the Sink” will be Thursday, Nov. 13 at 5:30 p.m. in the Boseman gallery.