The Art Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is continually ranked #1 by the US News and World Report as the best graduate school for printmaking. There is no doubt that Tandem Press has played a crucial part in building and maintaining the department’s astounding reputation. Students at both the undergraduate and graduate level come to Tandem Press to work in varying capacities within the studio, curatorial, and administrative areas, receiving a valuable educational experience for themselves while lending appreciated assistance to the Tandem Press staff. In addition to the more than 350 students that have come from UW-Madison’s art, art history, and business departments, several students other institutions throughout the United States have come to work and learn at Tandem Press. While at Tandem Press, these students learn how professional artists work and experience how a printmaking studio collaborates with artists. They also learn about the contemporary art market in general and are introduced to the unique business of running a gallery.
Here are statements from a handful of students as they reflect on their time spent at Tandem Press.
“My phenomenal experience at Tandem helped shape me to become the printmaker and educator I am today. Great people and an awesome facility to learn, work, and to watch innovation while participating collaboratively. I use the skills I learned and experiences I gained in my studio, in my classroom, and I have even started a small press at my college using Tandem as a model.”
“Working at Tandem strengthened my studio practice and sharpened my problem-solving skills that I now use in many other aspects of my working life. It was excellent working with so many dedicated artists (including my fellow work-mates) and learning how an artist took an idea and, with the help of printer Andy Rubin, realized it either as planned (or closely to it) or with a new, unanticipated spin.”
“Working at Tandem, especially at the time I did in the course of my undergrad education, really helped open my eyes to the wider world of contemporary printmaking and realize all the things that can be done with those mediums. It expanded my knowledge of the practice, introduced me to some wonderful people, and provided a very welcoming space to learn and print.”
“It was fascinating to work with artists, such as Judy Pfaff, that pushed the boundaries of the edition, not only using the press but often hand cutting, burning, and spray painting paper. The production experience at Tandem taught me to use more than just paper and ink as a printmaker.”
“It was a privilege to be immersed in the working process of other artists. It compelled me to seek out other ways to meet professional artists, and this led me to apply for artist residencies. I’ve been awarded ten so far. It was Tandem that helped me see the importance of seeking out these experiences.”
“Inspired by the visiting artists, taught by the printers and lifetime friendships made with my fellow interns… I am so fortunate to be an artist and printmaker today and I owe that to Tandem Press. Go Badgers!”
“Working at Tandem Press during its first three years of operation was THE pivotal experience of my graduate education, and made an enormous impact on my life as an artist, curator and change maker in my community…Bill Weege was a huge inspiration for me and continues to be, because he quietly made things happen, removing barriers, believing in the possible, and having a tremendous amount of fun along the way to achieving his dream that became Tandem Press.”
“Tandem is the epitome of what an efficient and organized print studio should look like and a living, breathing example of how one should function. The work environment fosters an extremely productive shop and a community minded attitude that continues to serves as a model for my own studio practice. I have been able to carry what I learned inside the Tandem print shop with me to any other shop and apply my far greater understanding of professionalism, organization, planning, problem-solving, cleanliness, safety, and craftsmanship.”
“I came from Korea to study abroad at UW-Madison because I already heard about Tandem Press. My friend Sewen Koo strongly recommended Wisconsin so that I could have a chance to work at one of the most wonderful printmaking studios in the world. I liked the system of Tandem and I really respect kindness of Tandem staff. I learned so much about printmaking at Tandem. I came back to Korea after I finished my graduate course at UW and now strongly recommend Tandem Press to other students for their printmaking. It is a fantastic and brilliant place.”