A collection of 100 prints created by top graduate printmaking students in the country is finding a home in the Eskenazi School. The collection, titled "The Big Ten Print Exchange", was created in 2010 as a platform for which to observe printmakings evolving role and importance in contemporary art. The exchange portfolio annually highlighted the work of young artists working in the Midwest region of the United States and has since become a great resource for the diversity of techniques, processes and subject matter that defined this most recent decade.John Paul McCaughey, creator of the exchange and then graduate student at the Ohio State University, named the exchange after the storied athletic conference. John Paul recognized that The Big Ten also had some of the most respected printmaking programs in the country and set out to get each university involved in the project. Since 2010, a graduate student had been selected by a faculty member at each university to represent their program in the print exchange. There was never a theme. Instead, participants were asked to submit work that was representative of the current research they were conducting in their studio."I wanted to donate it to a program or museum in the mid-west that would cherish having it," John Paul explained. "IU has been a part of this since the beginning with Ed Bernstein helping me get the project off the ground. Since then it has been a pleasure working with Tracy Templeton and she really sold me on donating it to IU with the understanding that this collection would be made available for student research. I am more than pleased that these prints will reside in Bloomington."The Big Ten Print Exchange is set to wrap up in 2020 and will be exhibited at the 2021 SGCI Printmaking Conference in Providence, RI before finding its permanent home in the IU Printmaking Archive.
John Paul McCaughey is an Instructor at Rhode Island College and Chair of the Southern Graphic Council International 2021 Steering Committee for the upcoming Providence conference.