COLUMBIA — The MU art department bought a new press for its printmaking program Thursday.
The new machine is a big addition to the art program and will give it potential to expand and acquire nationwide recognition.
Printmaking presses are used to make creative content.
The artist etches his or her design on a surface or a plate, then places it under the press rollers. The rollers press the paper or other material against the crafted plate. The results may vary depending on the pressure used or the ink concentration. Every piece made from a single design is unique.
Printmaking professor Chris Daniggelis said the press will allow students to compete with the top 10 printmaking programs in the nation.
“It will impact the dynamics of the program, increase its visibility and ultimately attract more candidates into it,” Daniggelis said.
There are 60 students enrolled in his undergraduate printmaking class this semester and one graduate student majoring in printmaking.
Eric Sweet, the only graduate student in the program, said the purchase is a great opportunity.
"It will allow us to make artistic projects as high as 35 inches wide and 9 feet long," he said.
The department received funding from the university with the participation of Michael O'Brien, dean of the College of Arts and Science, and professor Melvin Platt, chair of the art department.
Print machines as large as the department's new one, which is one of the largest in the country, cost around $27,000. The university bought it for $22,000.
The press was a long-term investment that could benefit students for decades to come.
“A purchase like this, if it is taken care of, can last 500 years,” Daniggelis said.