Monday, June 30, 2014

Printmaking Workshops in Bangladesh: As the Trip Comes to an End

I conducted three printmaking workshops in Bangladesh in June 2014. Two were in the capital city of Dhaka and one took place at  Rasjshashi, which was a six hour train ride from the city.
The techniques I taught were monoprint, a one of a kind print, and chine-colle, a way to collage other materials on to the prints.
We were given the theme of "The Urban Experience" as a topic by our sponsors, The American Center of the U.S. Embassy Dhaka and the Bengal Foundation.

These workshops were very challenging for me as a teacher for several reasons but the students in all three workshops were extremely energetic, ambitious, cheerful, hopeful and hard -working. They came from various backgrounds, classes and geographic locations within Bangladesh.
Some spoke some English but we managed to communicate with the common-denominator of creating art together.
As I prepare to depart for home tomorrow I am filled with a mix of emotions about my time here. I love this country and its people, however it faces all of the issues of a densely populated country with limited resources and capacity to support its population in the long run.

This is my second time here teaching and probably my last. I wish my dear friends here all of the goodness and hope for the future and am thankful for all of the warmth and kindness that they have shown me.
We will have an opening this evening at the Bengal Art Lounge of over fifty prints made in the workshops, of which I am very proud.
A.S. June 25 2014

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Printmaking in Bangladesh 2014

[photo via a previous trip, printmaking in Mexico]
This blog post comes to you from Bangladesh where I'm conducting printmaking workshops. Yesterday was the last day of the first workshop and although it is work, this project is so fulfilling. The artists are so good, hardworking and genuine, gentle people. Great work is being made.

I am so glad I came back to this part of the world and I am really paying attention.

I am not taking photographs yet.

Just taking in this crowded, HOT, sad, graceful, colorful, gentle, chaotic and beautiful place.

We stay in Dhaka for another three day workshop and leave on a six hour train trip to Rajshahi for the last workshop. It is supposed to be even hotter but it is Mango season there. You can read an excerpt from a news piece about this project below. There's also a link to the full story. Thanks for visiting the blog and thanks for sending good wishes during this project!

Via The Daily Star - Bengal Foundation and the American Center of the US Embassy in Dhaka have jointly been organising a series of three workshops on printmaking and poetry. Calvin Hayes, Cultural Affairs Officer of the American Center in Dhaka, inaugurated the first workshop at the Bengal Centre Khilkhet in the capital on June 9. The organisors thanked Andrew Saftel (master printmaker) and Whitney Baker (litterateur) who conducted the workshops, for their commitment to the development of arts in Bangladesh. Both visiting from the United States, Andrew Saftel and Whitney Baker are leading these workshops, of which two will take place in Dhaka and one in Rajshahi. 

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