“She’s odd but in the most brilliant way,” said visiting artist Endi Poskovic, while peering intently at a limestone slab. A print artist, he is also a professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. “She’s a phenomenal collaborator. I rely on her input.”
One of the freshest faces at NSCAD is Jill Graham, printmaking technician and master printer. From Montreal, she was most recently at Artist Press in South Africa, printing editions and training a printer. Before that, she was a senior printer at the Tamarind Institute, and the technical director at Open Studio in Toronto, a non-profit artist-run centre dedicated to the production, preservation and promotion of original fine art prints.
As a technician, her job is to assist students, to make sure they’re using the equipment correctly and are supported to learn and make their best work. As a master printer, she works with other artists to make their prints: listening to the artist’s intention, preparing the stone and guiding them technically.
“If artists want to come here and work, we’re able to accommodate that,” says Jill, who studied with Christian Le Poul at Montreal’s Atelier Circulaire and with Bill Lagattuta at the Tamarind Institute, a nonprofit centre for fine art lithography in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She came to NSCAD after the retirement of long-time printmaking technician Murph Lively.
Both aspects of the work she does complement each other. For example, during Prof. Poskovic’s 10-day residency in NSCAD’s Printmaking studios this winter, students including Trish Hondzel, Quincy Brimstein and Mathew Stackhouse were able to assist and learn from the process.
“For me, that’s the best part, to see students get that ‘aha’ moment,” says Jill. “They’re just so impressive, dedicated and hardworking.”
SEE: Partners in Printmaking by Janice Hudson in Halifax Magazine