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Grosz makes art at home

Submitted Photo JoHannah Grosz made a Social Distancing Poster during the quarantine, titled “Fruit” on April 9

JoHannah Grosz has spent countless hours making art in the studios on campus. Now the studio is in her own home.

Grosz is an art major focusing in printmaking. This semester, she has been studying alternative photo processing and researching upper-level printmaking. Both studies require specific equipment, like darkrooms, special chemicals, or silk screens, that are not readily available off campus, so she had to be flexible.

“My alternative photo processing class has changed quite a bit from what was originally planned,” she said. “The assignments now focus more on alternative techniques for creating digital photos or processes like cyanotypes that can be performed at home with fewer and less-toxic chemistry.” Her research in printmaking this semester is part of a directed research class in which students choose what they want to explore, giving them opportunities to learn about techniques that may not be offered in class.

“I was originally studying upper-level printmaking techniques like silkscreen, cyanotype, and letterpress,” she said. “However, since the switch to online classes I’ve had to shift my focus, due to the lack of accessibility to the studio. I’m now exploring typography and more experimental poster design.”

This research is the first step in Grosz’s capstone project at MSU, and the switch to online has given her the chance to expand her focus to combine both photography and printmaking.

“When I realized I would have to change my project proposal for this semester, I decided that focusing on integrating graphic design and photography would still be useful for my original goal, and more practice with these fields would greater inform my design decisions for my capstone project,” Grosz said.

To practice her photography and printmaking, as well as to stay creative while social distancing, Grosz has been making “Social Distancing Posters” every day. She’s made over 30 of them so far.

“When life changes so drastically as it has, it can be difficult for me to find the motivation to keep creating,” she said. “Setting a goal of one poster per day that I have to post online helps keep me accountable and allows me to explore different styles or concepts that I wouldn’t normally.”

On top of practicing her artistic techniques, if there is one thing that staying at home has given her time to practice, it is staying flexible.

“One of the most useful things I’ve learned throughout my classes is how to adapt and be flexible, which has made me more comfortable troubleshooting problems or re-working a project proposal,” she said. “Whenever I make a plan there’s usually some point along the way where I have to adjust something, so I’m pretty used to it at this point. It’s been a fun challenge to create with limited resources. I don’t feel like the quality of my work has changed, just the means in which I create it.”

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