Hamilton was thrilled to welcome three artists who recently spent a week printing at the museum for the first convening of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) women printers. Melissa Blount, Jenn Graves, and Desiree Aspiras experimented, connected, and built community during their week in the Hamilton press room.
Left to right: Jenn Graves, Desiree Aspiras, and Melissa Blount.
Hamilton Program Officer Stephanie Carpenter worked with Melissa and Jenn to plan this initial event where BIPOC women from different parts of the country, art practices and skill levels could spend a week experimenting, plotting, planning, connecting and building community at the museum.
Desiree Aspiras working with Hamilton's type collection.
We hope to grow this first convening at Hamilton into a larger opportunity for BIPOC women to attend Wayzgoose, become familiar with Hamilton, and engage with its rich history.
Jenn Graves pulling a print in the Hamilton pressroom.
By giving these artists a a safe and inclusive space to express themselves, Hamilton intends to foster conversations with members of our northeast Wisconsin civic communities and the broader letterpress community. We intend to expand the awareness and appreciation of diverse viewpoints within the cultural landscape.
Melissa Blount composing printing elements in the Hamilton pressroom.
The 2023 BIWOC Summit was made possible in part by generous donations from local arts supporter and Hamilton member Susan Murtaugh and Rotary Club of Two Rivers.
Left to right: Jenn Graves, Melissa Blount, and Susan Murtaugh.
Melissa R. Blount, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist, writer, and artist who creates textile pieces that explore the notions of trauma, white supremacy and violence against Black cis and transgender women. She is focusing on event goals and outcomes and will be participating in the symposium. Through community sewing circles, she cultivates unique opportunities for people to bear witness to the unjust and violent loss of life in communities of color.
Melissa Blount working with the Hamilton type collection.
Jennifer Graves is a letterpress printer, book artist, and instructor based in Los Angeles. She is organizing the artists and will be participating in the symposium. Much of her work addresses life and social issues through a lens of love and hope. Through type and vibrant, appropriate color, Jennifer’s messages resonate and invite audiences to be encouraged, ponder life and the life around them.
Jenn Graves with a print freshly-pulled in the Hamilton pressroom.
Desiree Aspiras is an educator, therapist, and facilitator focused on integrating creative and contemplative approaches into her work in mental health, higher education, and social justice. She is the founder of Printmakers Against Racism.
Desiree Aspiras with an in-progress print in the Hamilton pressroom.
Left to right: Desiree Aspiras, Jenn Graves, and Melissa Blount reviewing an in-progress print in the Hamilton pressroom.