My name is Julianna Kirwin and I have been designing and printing my own images for twenty years. Until last year, my focus was on the original prints I created on paper. But in 2015 I was asked to do a workshop for The Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Participants of an International Design Summit would need my help to create and print their designs onto cotton bags they would take home. The success of that workshop led me to start printing my own line of wearable hand-printed bags.
Why do I love printmaking? It’s an art-form that was part of the Mexican tradition of “arte popular,” folk art made by hand and reflecting the culture of a particular place.
Here in my neighborhood, those folk traditions are still part of every day life.
I hope you will enjoy these hand printed bags that depict some of my favorite poets, composers, animals and local scenes. Each bag is designed and printed in my studio on Mountain Road in the heart of Albuquerque.
This is my new piece I’ll be showing at the Doors for the Arts Exhibit this Saturday! This street exhibit will be along the side of my house on Mountain Road and 8th St. in the Wellspark neighborhood. Hope you can stop by to see work by local artists including Santiago Perez, Andrew Fearnside, Roe LiBretto, Melanie LaBorwit, Gabriela Hnilkova and Ilene Weiss. Hours for the show: 10-4 parking on the street.
Last summer I returned to Guanajuato, my favorite city in Mexico. I decided not to take any art materials with me and after a short time, my gut feeling was to do paper mache! I had studied papier mache with Felipe Olmos in Oaxaca years ago, but I wanted to create a new body of work: portraits of artists and writers of the Magical Real. I gathered my materials: brown paper (unsized), white flour, and some styrofoam forms from the local crafts shop. Within weeks I had completed portraits of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Remedios Varo, and Jorge Amado.
On November 13, 2013 I did an art project for the opening of “Brasil & Arte Popular” at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe. We had about 100 people learning to make relief prints to illustrate Brasilian folk tales. Theie prints became the covers of booklets (to take home) which are called Literatura de Cordel (stories on a string) in Brasil. Cordels are a part of a tradition in the northeast part of Brasil.
Watch this interview by Sophie, a fifth grader at one of Albuquerque’s bilingual elementary schools! She asks some very good questions. Enjoy!