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Neal Ambrose-Smith

Non Toxic Printmaking for a Public School
Posted on: March 11, 2011

Over the last 10 years I have been teaching non-toxic printmaking workshops around the country. Nothing compares to the joy and creative potential of children and monotype. Monotype printmaking is the most rewarding art form for children and is easy, fun and will help guide them into a future of art making. The technology available today in non-toxic printmaking for children is water based, pure pigment inks and are used by professionals alike.

The grant money could purchase a small etching press, inks, tools and paper for a local school to implement non-toxic printmaking into its art program, or begin an art program where there is none. There are many schools in this state that need help desperately and art programs are essential for a child’s development. I would work with the school and the art teacher to introduce printmaking into the curriculum. I would donate my time as a visiting artist and do several workshops with the school and their teacher. They would receive all the necessary tools to continue printmaking for years to come.

This grant would ensure the school would have a small press, ink, tools and paper. There are many printmakers beside myself in this state, many of whom are already using and teaching non-toxic methods, who would love the opportunity to be a visiting artist.

This program could begin immediately. Susan Rostow of, who has donated ink for me in the past, would help get things started. Also the Takach Press Corporation, a local press company, would love the opportunity to help.

Monotype is 100% successful with children, giving them joy, hope, and art education for the future. Painting, drawing, ceramics and collage are all vital, but printmaking is largely out of reach for children at schools due to the expense of the press and materials. This grant will provide everything a school would need along with an arena where we could teach our children foundations in art and color in a green, recyclable and sustainable way. The new advances in safer printmaking techniques have created so many possibilities to be explored and this grant would help make that possibility a reality. Children are our future and we should kindle their fires when we can.

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