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Student Feature

Printmaking Students Collaborate with Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh

Devo founder Mark Mothersbaugh, who attended the Kent State University School of Art, is collaborating with printmaking students and faculty as part of an upcoming retrospective of Mothersbaugh’s work.

Michael Loderstedt, professor of printmaking, was selected to produce 100 prints to be sold at the Akron Art Museum during “Myopia,” the first retrospective of Mothersbaugh’s work. Loderstedt then obtained approval from Mothersbaugh, his assistant and the Akron Art Museum to bring on two assistants of his own, senior printmaking students Casey Engelhart and Katie Metcalf.

“In the School of Art we are often involved with collaborative efforts with our students, whether in the classroom or as advisors for their senior project exhibitions,” Loderstedt says. “Projects such as this one are rarer, and they require extra effort for both students and faculty above and beyond their already busy schedules.”

“Since Mothersbaugh attended Kent State and founded Devo, Michael thought it’d be a good idea to include other students from the university,” Casey says. “It definitely speaks volumes of Michael. We’re just extremely luck to be included.”

Both Casey and Katie say they feel honored to be the students selected for the collaboration.

“It speaks for us as seniors that we were chosen by our professor to do this,” Casey says. “He thinks that we have the skills and techniques to do master printing.”

Loderstedt hopes fostering collaboration within the school will meet students’ needs for experience.

“Students hunger for real-world experience in the arts, which will later help prepare them for other career opportunities” Lodersedt says. “So, having a couple of our stronger students involved in the project seemed sensible, and provided the ability to more quickly complete such an ambitious project.”

In selecting students for the project, Loderstedt says he wanted equal gender representation. He also thought it important to recruit students with good print skills, who were reliable and hard-working. For Loderstedt, both Casey and Katie fit that description.

Casey and Katie look at the work as a labor of love, which Loderstedt and they believe to be intrinsically rewarding.

“Our mission is to print this project with a higher level of craft and attention than we would as students or even individual artists. I believe it's exciting for our students, university and print division to produce this project for Mark, one of the university's most esteemed cultural icons,” Loderstedt says.

The Akron Art Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland will jointly present “Myopia” in concurrent exhibitions. The Cleveland opening reception will be Friday, May 27, and the Akron opening reception will be Saturday, May 28. Both exhibits will run through August 28.