February 8, 2021
Announcing: 2021 McKnight Printmaking Fellows – Josh Winkler and Gaylord Schanilec
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Highpoint is delighted to announce our 2021 McKnight Printmaking Fellows Josh Winkler and Gaylord Schanilec! This year-long fellowship, starting February 2021, grants the fellows extensive access to Highpoint’s cooperative printshop, technical advice and support, studio visits with accomplished arts professionals, career development support, an unrestricted $25,000 award, among other benefits. Their fellowship will conclude with an exhibition at Highpoint in January 2022 and will feature a public conversation about their printmaking practice.
Funded through a generous grant from the McKnight Foundation, this fellowship is open to mid-career Minnesota artists working with print mediums — defined here as artists who demonstrate a sustained level of accomplishment, commitment, and artistic excellence. The artists were selected on the basis of the artistic merit of their work, and their dedication, interest, and continued growth in printmaking.
Highpoint would like to offer our gratitude to jurors Tanekeya Word (artist, printmaker, scholar, and founder of Black Women of Print) and Lyndel King (Director Emeritus, Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum), who reviewed application materials, participated in virtual studio visits with the finalists, and selected the 2021 fellows.
Tanekeya and Lyndel offered the following about the selection process:
“As the 2021 McKnight Fellowship jurors, we took care in reviewing the visual language and technical skills of each printmaker while listening to their final presentations. It so happens that we found ourselves with two women and two men finalists from one ethnic demographic. The limited ethnic diversity has much to do with the accessibility of printmaking over hundreds of years. All the printmakers were wonderful and qualified as mid-career printmakers. Equity remained at the center of the process as we chose the two finalists—both male, white, mid-career printmakers.
We chose these two finalists as fellows because of their developed visual language, a concise body of work, technical skills, and ability to convey it all through remote studio visits. We believe that equity and care mean that everyone is given the same resources and the same consideration. We understand that different access to training and resources, particularly in printmaking, may influence the diversity of artists who present themselves as mid-career printmakers today. We are hopeful that over time, this will change.
We are intergenerational jurors, both women from two ethnic backgrounds and upbringings, and we connected on the premise that we were here to ensure an equitable process above anything else. We accomplished just that.
Congratulations to the 2021 McKnight Fellows, and thank you to all the participants and partners who are investing in the discipline of printmaking. We have much work to do to close the gap within the discipline of printmaking across ethnicities, and we are here practicing equity to ensure the future is corrected.”
Josh Winkler is a Minnesota artist and educator. Since receiving his MFA from the University of Minnesota in 2010, he has worked for a non-profit print center, taught printmaking, and consistently exhibited work nationally / internationally. Winkler’s work is in public collections including Yale University, Hennepin County Public Library, The Hickory Museum of Art, and The Yukon Archives. In 2018-19 Winkler completed a two-week artist residency on the Chilkoot Trail in Alaska, a six-week residency at the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture in the Yukon Territory, and received his second Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. In 2020, Winkler completed a 3-month residency at the Bell Museum in St. Paul, and a 2-week residency at the Teton Art Lab in Wyoming.
Winkler has also been working on a home studio (SKS Press), and rewilding a few acres where he lives with his partner in rural Nicollet County. Winkler is an Associate Professor of Printmaking at Minnesota State University in Mankato.
Josh provided the following thoughts about his practice:
“Direct experience and research feed the content and connections that are important to me as an artist. The environmental and cultural tragedies of the past provide an emotive way to engage the high stakes of the present. As we seek new sources of energy and make decisions about land use, it is critical that we have tangible connections to the land and understand what has already been lost. My work encourages people to think deeply about their relationship to the environment, local histories, and the present moment. Nature is a cultural force that can foster unity.
For this Fellowship, I will create a body of prints depicting past and present environmental threats while celebrating the landscape and positive human connection to the earth. Another goal of this fellowship period is to break from the norms of my studio practice. As a primarily 2d woodcut printmaker, I am planning to explore my ideas in screenprint, 3-dimensional formats, and to also create a project that inserts my work into the public sphere outside of the gallery.”
Gaylord Schanilec received a BS from the University of North Dakota in 1977 (by a whisker). He established his own imprint, Midnight Paper Sales, in 1980 and has since printed, by hand, more than 30 books featuring his wood engravings and woodcuts. In 1999 he was commissioned by the Grolier Club of New York to produce a book featuring his chromatic wood engravings to celebrate the city at the turn of the 21st century. In 2006 he printed Sylvæ, a survey of the trees in his 27 acres of Wisconsin woods, and from that point on has made his printing blocks from the trees of Schanilec’s Woods. In 2014 the Morgan Library and Museum staged an exhibit entitled Medium as Muse: Woodcuts and the Modern Book 1890-1935. The Museum included some of Schanilec’s work in the exhibit, describing him as a “modern trajectory” of that movement. In 2020 he produced Minnesota Artist Book Award winner My Mighty Journey, and expanded his block-making material to include such things as plants, bricks, fossil-encrusted limestone, and snake skins. He is currently working on American Crow: Report from Quarantine. The archive of his working material is housed at the University of Minnesota. He is a member of the Lowertown Lofts Artist Collective in Saint Paul.
Gaylord offered this about his goals during the fellowship:
“Over the next year I plan to finish printing American Crow: Report from Quarantine. I then plan to manufacture printing blocks from tree root sections I have been collecting and print them at Highpoint. I look forward to making work designed to be exhibited in the gallery there, as opposed to the cozy and familiar confines of the book.”
About the McKnight Printmaking Fellowship –The McKnight Printmaking Fellowship at Highpoint was established in 2019 with generous funding from the McKnight Foundation. The program is open to mid-career Minnesota artists who work in printmaking — defined here as artists who demonstrate a sustained level of accomplishment, commitment, and artistic excellence. The artists were selected based on the artistic merit of their work, and their dedication, interest, and continued growth in printmaking.
Highpoint Center for Printmaking extends deep gratitude to the McKnight Foundation for its support of this program. The McKnight Foundation is a Minnesota-based family foundation which seeks to improve the quality of life for present and future generations by using all its resources to attend, unite, and empower those they serve.