MAPC was back in Minnesota this year, and Minneapolis proved to be a fantastic location. The Product Fair had a good mix of new and old faces on the vendors. We had a chance to visit Cole Rogers and the group at Highpoint Printmaking Center. If you haven't been there - make an effort to visit. They've done an absolutely great job putting together a state of the art printmaking facility!
Our most popular product at both shows was our Vinyl Relief Plates. These two sided plates are easier to cut than more traditional linoleum, have contrasting colors which allow you to see the area you've just cut more easily. They come in just three sizes currently, but we're working on a source for rolls.
Most importantly, but just for me, I was asked to represent my Alma Mater (Maryville College, Maryville, TN) at the inauguration of the new President, Phillip Ryken, of Wheaton College, in Wheaton, IL. I was sure I was asked because of my academic achievements 40 years ago, or perhaps because of my political activities, or business successes. The College however, assures me that none of these entered into the invitation. Their choice was based on the fact that I live about a mile from the Wheaton College campus.
There were two things that impressed me with this event. Actually there were several, but I'm only going to write about two. First, delegates from other institutions enter the event in order of the date of the founding of their institutions. Out of about 110 colleges and universities, I was number 12 to enter. Maryville was founded in 1819, making this their 192nd academic year...interesting but not earth-shattering.
What was of far more interest to me was that President Ryken, who was returning to his Alma Mater to head a faculty that includes his father, was presented a portrait of himself courtesy of the Printmaking Department. This portrait was a composite wood engraving with 12-16 individual blocks cut by students. It was spectacular and Dr. Ryken was suitably moved by this gift. It was, as one would have suspected, printed with ink from Graphic Chemical & Ink. Now that impressed me!