Art Students to Steamroll Large-Scale Woodblock Prints

Printmaking students at Augustana University

Event Details

Date: October 18, 2019

Times: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Location: Commons Drive, Augustana University (entrance at W. 30th St. and Grange Ave)

On Friday, Oct. 18, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Augustana University art students and Brandon Valley High School Art Club, with Myrl & Roy’s Paving, Inc., will be creating large-scale, 4- by 8-foot prints with a steamroller on Commons Drive near Commons Circle at Augustana (entrance at W. 30th St. and Grange Ave.).

This event will mark the second biannual collaboration with the Art Department and Myrl & Roy’s Paving to create approximately 50 large-scale prints in a few short hours.

Unlike other techniques of visual art, printmaking is about community and collaboration. The Augustana Printmakers are collaborating in groups of two to carve an image onto a large board of MDF. This process takes many, many hours of carving, resulting in an artwork that brings together different ideas and approaches to image making. The forty high school students of the BVHS Art Club cut their board into puzzle pieces. Each student is going to make their piece their own but, with a little pre-planning when put together, it will also form an image of a hand sprouting roots, branches, and leaves. The images will be carved into the boards using traditional carving tools such as gouges, chisels, and knives. What is left of the board after carving the white areas away will be inked and printed on fabric by running it over with an actual steamroller.


In the past, printmaking students from Augie steamrolled prints with Professor April Katz at Iowa State University.

In 2017, Professor Scott Parsons found a willing partner locally in Myrl & Roy’s Paving.

This year — as Professor Parsons is on sabbatical — BVHS art educator and longtime Augustana Printmaker-in-Residence Chad Nelson will take the helm. For Nelson, this is a “Passion Project” bringing artists from different ages and communities together to collaborate, make connections, learn from one another — all while sharing their knowledge and message with the public. This year the subjects of the students’ prints include Astronomy, Nordic Mythology, Greek Mythology, the emerald ash borer infestation, bears, a celestial refrigerator, a hand turning into a tree, and mermaids.

About Chad Nelson

Alumnus Chad Nelson '95 is a popular printmaker and arts educator. At Augustana, he received the prestigious Harold Spitznagel Medal for Achievement in Art, which is given by the Augustana Art Department to student-artists who demonstrate the highest standards of excellence in all of their artistic endeavors throughout their careers at the College. Since then, he has continued to excel, earning numerous accolades, including, most recently, the “Artists’ Choice Award” from the 2012 Washington Pavilion “Arts Night.”