Printmaking research on the mark

Publication Date

If any student is putting her stamp on campus this summer, it’s Yuxuan Li ’25.

The interdisciplinary visual arts and philosophy major from Weston, Mass., is spending eight weeks in the printmaking studio with Allison Conley, a lecturer in printmaking and drawing. The two are researching monotypes, a method that involves applying ink to a flat surface and then transferring the image to paper.

“This is a fusion of printmaking, painting and mark making, and it has endless opportunity for experimentation,” said Conley.

“Since we don't get many students doing research in visual arts, I thought I’d share what I'm doing with a student this summer. Yuxuan will be using this time to cultivate ideas and methods for her upcoming senior thesis, which will incorporate drawing, printmaking and sculpture. We are both very excited about this opportunity.”

“This is a new method for me,” said Li. “I have mostly done drawing and sculpture.”

Li is among more than 125 students across disciplines conducting summer research projects. Hers, like most, is funded through the College’s undergraduate research program. Such research gives students the opportunity to delve into a project they may be passionate about or learn about something new with a level of immersion that isn’t practical during the academic term.

“Union is the first college I have taught at that supports such a level of student research outside of the STEM disciplines,” Conley said. “Typically, I wouldn’t be able to go this deep with anyone during the 10 weeks of the academic year.”

The advantages for both student and faculty member cannot be overstated, Conley said.

“I get the benefit of working with an incredibly capable student to assist with processes I have been exploring, while Yuxuan gets a more authentic experience of building a studio practice outside of the classroom while getting paid. This kind of engagement is truly a gift.”

An instructor watches as student applies ink to her printmaking project
Close up of print making work of art