Foundry Art Centre's Block Party Steamrolls its Way into St. Charles

click to enlarge The Foundry Art Centre's second Block Party takes place on June 11. - Courtesy Foundry Art Centre
Courtesy Foundry Art Centre
The Foundry Art Centre's second Block Party takes place on June 11.

Steamrollers will be front and center outside of the Foundry Art Centre (520 N Main Center, St. Charles; 636-255-0270, foundryartcentre.org) on June 11. They’re not leveling the roads, though, they’re crafting large prints in celebration of the Foundry’s second annual Block Party.

Jessica Mannisi, exhibition coordinator at the Foundry, says the center is looking forward to celebrating the art of printmaking. Not only will two giant steamrollers be making the artwork, but there will be other, smaller print demonstrations as well as vendors selling their own prints for the first time as part of the Block Party Print Market.

The giant prints will be made in collaboration with Midtown-based Grafik House’s team of inkers and seven artists who crafted images specifically for the event. The crew will rolls ink onto carved out wood blocks and lay the canvas on top. Then the steamroller runs over the print. Once crafted, the prints are taken to the Foundry’s Grand Hall to dry and for display. If so inspired, attendees can purchase the giant works.

click to enlarge The steamrollers help create giant prints. - Courtesy Foundry Art Centre
Courtesy Foundry Art Centre
The steamrollers help create giant prints.

“Our goal is to educate and share traditional printmaking both locally and globally,” Grafik House’s Liz Hermanson says in a statement. “We are excited to work again with the team at the Foundry Art Centre and look forward to getting inky and making art with the community.”

Mannisi says a variety of art demonstrations and activities will take place to accompany the steamrolled prints. Zack Smithey, one of the studio artists at the Foundry Art Centre, will be giving a live demonstration — he'll carve wood blocks measuring around 5 by 4 feet into works of art. Lydia Crespo, another studio artist, will host a tie-dye booth where guests can make Block Party T-shirts.

Art activities will go on throughout the day for all ages, and more booths from artists and sponsors are available to explore. Food and drink will be onsite, too, with Mannisi describing the bites as typical block party food: Hot dogs, chips, pretzels, ice cream and popsicle trucks.

Live music from Fight Back Mountain is slated throughout the event. Mannisi hopes that people will come out to the Foundry for the day.

"It’s a chance to learn about printmaking and the artistry that goes into printmaking,” Mannisi says. “It's a lot of fun. Art is fun.”

The art gallery also has their “Off the Block” print exhibition on display. Featuring artists from across the country, the exhibit features the work of printmakers, studios and collectives. The exhibit is open until June 18.

The Foundry Art Centre Block Party runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Artists will be making prints with the steamrollers throughout the event. Entry is free.
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About The Author

Jenna Jones

Jenna Jones is one of the digital content editors at the Riverfront Times. She would love to talk to you about Harry Styles.
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