1,000 Print Summer
Artist Dave Machacek and a small organization called ArtOrg received a grant from Forecast Public Art to create a project called 1,000 Print Summer. Machacek facilitated printmaking workshops at public festivals throughout the state, using a small steamroller as a printing press. Participants received the print that they made on site and ArtOrg kept the printing blocks. The goal was to create 1,000 prints throughout the summer, and documenting each print and creator on their website. There was so much enthusiasm for the project they exceeded their goal. The following year they used the blocks to create a giant fabric mural temporarily installed at St. Olaf College in Northfield (one of the largest prints ever made)
As an example of a project straight from the mind of an artist, 1,000 Print Summer illustrates a creative reuse of industrial machinery as a way to generate community interest and involvement in art making. Artist Dave Machacek and his organization ArtOrg set up printmaking workshops in large tents at festivals around the state of Minnesota. They employed a steamroller as a printing press, creating a kind of performance event at each project site.
For the temporary art project 1,000 Print Summer, artist Dave Machacek sought locations with a built-in audiences. He researched and approached festivals and events scheduled around the state, recognizing that it would be easier to reach a wide community this way. By engaging with community festivals happening around the state 1,000 Print Summer worked closely with festival organizers to bring this unique art element to their events. This approach enabled Machacek to reach a wide variety of geographic locations and diverse communities. Video documentation proved useful in conveying the concept to potential host sites.
1,000 Print Summer Project was primarily about getting permission to join in festivals underway. Artist Dave Machacek utilized events and audiences already gathered as part of his planning process. His workload revolved around seeking sites and getting permissions to set up his steamroller printing press. Most sites were happy to have the added activity and were willing to work with him. Having access to liability insurance made it much easier for Dave to gain permission. Everyone is worried about safety and concerned with risk management.
1,000 Print Summer was a grant-funded project. The artist was able to raise additional funds, however, from participating sites stakeholders because he was adding value to the festivals and enhancing their programming. By communicating with the communities that he visited and joining forces with pre-planned initiatives Machacek was able to leverage his idea for additional resources. By contextualizing his art project as a service and acknowledging its cultural and experiential value, communities could pitch in to help the artist cover additional expenses not funded by his grant.
1,000 Print Summer was all about community involvement, not so much in the planning, but in the implementation. This is a perfect example of a project that would not exist were it not for the help of the one thousand community members who created art alongside the artist. This project was designed to involve community members from the very beginning. Still, there were challenges. The artist needed to find away to connect with the community to ensure an audience and even if people came out to his printmaking tent he needed to help them feel like it was okay for them to engage in the art making. Social media and well trained volunteers were key to make this project a success.
The 10,000 Print Summer project involved minimal fabrication in advance, since the project itself was about art-making on site in the community. It was all about engaging members of the community in the fabricating process, and providing hands-on experiences that made an impact on participants in a way that other art experiences can’t. The “installation” of the workshops was a labor-intensive group effort, setting up tents and tables, printing equipment and, of course, the steamroller “press.” Installing the steamroller, the main attraction for the project and an instant event maker, proved challenging at several sites. Hauled behind Dave’s car on a trailer, the vehicle required ramps, special plywood “paths” to avoid damage to lawns and stone plazas, and required extra safety precautions. The teamwork involved in this project, after completing a few events, became routine. The groups developed an efficient system for set-up and take-down that was impressive by any standard. Their ability to tour and manage the workshops, not unlike a traveling circus troupe, contributed significantly (and still does) to their ongoing success.
1,000 Print Summer is a temporary event set up in parking lots at community festivals. Therefore, there are no long-term conservation or restoration issues involved. It is possible that the steamroller could break down, thereby temporarily halting printmaking production. The creative artist in charge, however, would rise to the challenge no doubt, and find another way to print the blocks and keep the participants happy. The prints themselves are archival, using acid-free paper and carefully packaged for participants to take home