I just returned from the Mid-America Print Council Conference (in Louisville this year) and it was a pretty good time. I didn't get a chance to see nearly as many things as I planned to see, but I got to see people, and to me, that's what makes these things all worth the effort. I have realized over the years that I am privileged to have an extended group of friends that have become family, and to a much larger extent, a community of reliable and dependable co-workers, even if we aren't at the same institution. I feel like I followed the right path. People matter so much to me.
I'm not sure if there's anything else I want to add. I used to write more about what I saw and the amazing prints and "Whoa, how did they do that!"-- but now, I'm aging into the realm of being able to understand the intricacies of perfection. My expertise is not that of a master, but I find demos to be more engaging now that I can understand more of the concepts behind dot pattern warpage and paper shrinkage than I could as an early printmaker. But now I'm so tired of editioning that I hate the perfection. I embrace the idiosyncrasies and 22-year-old me would hate me for it.
I got to do a panel presentation at this MAPC with Lisette Chavez. We worked all summer on interviews and research for "The Printmaker as Collector" and it was a really fun and (I think) cool topic to share with other printmakers at the conference. We spoke about the overlaps between printmakers and collectors, including the need to have more than one of something, and the importance of variables and holding on to the tangible object. We delved into how collections influence certain artists and their work, especially the act of collecting, and what the whole process says about what we do as printmakers. Making multiples in a time of digitized media.
All in all, MAPC was a great meeting of friends, as always. I miss them already.