Grant allows artist to offer free printmaking classes

WESTFIELD – Artist Donna Carmel is opening her Little River Studio to host two free morning workshops this month, thanks to a grant from the Westfield Cultural Council and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

The green printmaking workshops, free to city residents age 15 and older, are planned Aug. 28 and Aug. 29 from 10 a.m.-noon, and space is limited so registration is advised by sending an email to Carmel at [email protected] or via her website at https://donnacarmel.com.

“Green printmaking is using nontoxic materials such as soy-based inks, recycled and natural objects,” said Carmel, noting participants will use a small press during the process.

Artist Donna Carmel has received grant money to offer free workshops this month on green printmaking at her Little River Studio. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

Natural objects that will be available include weeds, flowers, sticks and rocks, and textures will be created using bubble wrap, scrap plastic wrap, and the bottom of water bottles.

“You can bring your own materials,” said Carmel. “The results are fun and no experience is necessary.”

Participants will be required to wear a face mask and everyone will be given a separate workspace six feet apart to ensure safe distancing.

“As an artist I enjoy printmaking using natural and recycled objects as it is very experimental with surprising results,” she said.

Carmel will encourage participants to also showcase their work at her home studio, 399 Little River Road, on Saturdays in October.

“I will have a closing celebration Oct. 30 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. with free coffee and snacks,” she added.

On a related note, Carmel will offer a workshop – Gelli Plate Printmaking – on Sept. 25 from 10 a.m.-noon. The cost is $25 which includes supplies and early registration is advised due to limited studio space.

“Learn to use gelli plates with acrylic paint, stencils, drawing, and textures to create greeting cards, journal pages, or small prints to hang,” she said. 

Carmel will also welcome participants in this workshop to choose a best print to hang in the open studio in October.

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