Setting up the studio, Emily Orzech

Turn, sanded screenprint and graphite on panel, 24”x 36”, 2017

Hello, I’m Emily Orzech. I am a screenprinter who lives and works in Allentown, PA.

Before Covid, I was planning to spend this summer transitioning from my current series, Family History, into a completely new project. In this recent series, I was interested in how the repetitive acts associated with caregiving and illness create a sort of muscle memory. In Turn, pictured above, I re-enacted the motions of turning someone over using a blanket, an action repeated every two hours throughout the day and night. In other prints, I piece together the space of the bedroom or hospital out of fragments of memory.

Now, in the context of Covid-19, I keep coming back to these images. I don’t know what this will mean for my next body of work.

This is a panoramic view of my home studio. The table is set up to film online teaching demonstrations.

One of the first tasks has been to set up my home studio. Our college went online in March, so I first set up everything to teach woodblock and book binding. Now I am re-configuring it for screenprint.

  1. Liza Ordinartceva

    Dear Emily, I am so glad to see you here!

    I am impressed that you appealed to the topic of caregiving and health system in your art before the Covid situation. To me it gives a perspective that we are dealing with something bigger, as the crisis could have been anticipated.

    Your home studio is amazing! But how do your students study online, do they have access to some equipment?

    1. Avatar photo
      Emily Orzech

      It is great to see you too! The virtual studio is such a wonderful idea.

      Last semester I taught my advanced students Mokuhanga, or Japanese woodblock printmaking. I was able to send them home with everything they needed. It doesn’t require a press. I’m rewriting my fall syllabus so it doesn’t require the press or other shared equipment. Even in person, shared equipment is a problem for social distancing.

      1. Liza Ordinartceva

        your students are very lucky to have you!

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    Anastasia Patsey

    Hi, Emily, and welcome to our virtual studio! Very happy that you joined us.
    I agree with Liza — the studio space looks really nice and it’s so interesting to see your equipment. I never saw a portable exposure unit before. Must be pretty challenging to teach these techniques online, but I’m sure you’re doing great.
    I also like this work that you shared a lot, how you captured the movement and that rhythm. When I first saw it I though they were some ballet dancers — the movements and poses are so elegant and well set.
    And it definitely gains a new meaning now.

    Looking forward to hearing more from you!

  3. Mels Dees

    Good stuff, Emily. Hope to see more of it online or @SPAR!


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