Manitowoc, Wis.—Really BIGPRINTS! is a unique event that features artists from across the country joining together to create limited edition of relief prints so large they require a street roller to transfer ink to the paper.
Manitowoc, Wis.—ReallyBIGPRINTS!! began on the UW-Green Bay, Manitowoc Campus (then UW-Manitowoc) in 2014, and was repeated in 2016, and 2018. There are now 93 prints in the RBP collection, 28 more will be added this summer. ReallyBIGPRINTS!! 2020 was postponed to this summer because of the pandemic. The prints have all been “on tour” and have been shown in venues all over the state.
The event and exhibitions of the prints is a collaboration between Prof. Berel Lutsky (Art) at UW-Green Bay, Manitowoc Campus; Prof. Ben Rinehart (Art) of Lawrence University; and Associate Prof. Katie Ries (Art) of St. Norbert College.
This year, the event returns to the south parking lot of the UW-Green-Bay, Manitowoc Campus, 705 Viebahn, Manitowoc, Wis., July 14-17. Printing will begin at 7:30 a.m. and finish at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and 7:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Spectators are very welcome to drop by to meet the artists and watch these prints being made. The prints from RBP 2021 will first be on display in the City of Manitowoc, at the Rahr West Art Museum, 610 N 8th St. Manitowoc, from July 30-Sept. 12. A closing reception is being planned for Sunday Sept. 12. The prints will then move to other venues.
New for 2021: Prof. Lutsky is preparing students to participate this summer in his “Oversize Relief Printing” class and ReallyBIGPRINTS will collaborate with the Rahr-West Public Arts Committee to install ReallyBIGPRINTS as public art. A selection of prints will be wheat pasted to walls in in a passageway and courtyard off of Washington Street in downtown Manitowoc. Lighting and benches will also be installed.
“ReallyBIGPRINTS!! has been supported generously by the City of Manitowoc, both through the collaboration with the city’s Rahr West Museum of Art, and the use of a city streetroller,” said Lutsky. “We are excited to extend the exhibition out of the museum and share it more publicly with the City of Manitowoc this year.”
The prints will also be featured at Sputnikfest, a family-friendly event celebrating a 20-pound piece of Russian Sputnik IV which landed in the middle of 8th street, right outside the Rahr-West Museum, in the City of Manitowoc on Sept. 5, 1962. The festival, centered at the museum, was named one of the “Top Five Funkiest Festivals” in the country.
Relief printing is the process of rolling ink onto a block where recessed areas have been created and are ink free. The inked surface is brought into firm contact with the paper to create the print.