Artist Jay Berrones is teaching a collage-based silkscreen class at Wenatchee’s Collapse Contemporary Art Gallery on Oct. 5.
It accompanies the opening on Oct. 4 of “Copyright Bandits” exhibit at the gallery, which includes 41 collage artists from around the world.
Berrones is traveling from Mexico City for the occasion. His class provides the fundamentals of screenprinting for all ages and requires no prior experience.
“The purpose of this workshop is to demonstrate the accessibility of collage and screenprinting to new and experienced people with an interest in working with their hands and to promote conscious repurposing of clothing found at home,” he said.
The five-hour class costs $125 and covers screen preparation, collage, the photographic process and printing, which requires cooperation from fellow classmates.
“By the end of the workshop, the participants feel the sense of community that was created in the time spent printing together,” he said. They also get to take home their original collage, hand-screen printed garments and a host of new friends.
Berrones is a Mexican American expat originally from Houston, Texas.
“Through my 20s, I spent a decade in the culinary industry moving to different cities almost once a year,” he said. “At the 10th year, I decided I was done with the industry and dedicated my time to my art and making it work professionally. The last gig I had as a cook was head chef for a guest ranch in the Teton mountains of Wyoming. There I bought a one way ticket to Mexico City for my 30th birthday using the occasion to symbolize and springboard a much needed change in the course of my life.”
He chose Mexico City for its dense culture but also to investigate his heritage and finally figure out where, as a Mexican American, he fit on the spectrum of a culture that was and wasn’t his at the same time.
While traveling cross country to Houston for his flight, he stopped in El Paso and met a poet from New Orleans who knew of a screen printing shop in Mexico City.
“On a hunch, I sent them an email and asked for an internship and was granted permission to study under their teachers for three months,” he said. “It has gone on from there to linking what I’ve learned of screen printing to what I, as a collage artist, would like to see happen for the cut and paste community. The result is, I am now opening up my own studio in Mexico City that has a strong focus on reproducing collage via the silk screen method.”