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Academy Book Art Instructor Makes Global Connections Through Printmaking

Academy of Art University Instructor Macy Chadwick has artist books featured in museum collections around the world – Egypt’s Alexandria Library, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and Yale University Special Collections. But speaking with her, you would have no idea she wields such a name in book art.

You see, Chadwick is a pure artist…no pretensions or vanity. She speaks of her art passionately, honestly and skillfully. She is understated to the point that the Academy of Art University students she teaches may be unaware of the gold they have struck when taking her classes, but they will leave better, more inspired artists with the ability to make personal and professional connections through their art.

Chadwick’s books are occupied with the themes of communication – memory, personal relationships and visual language. They are a paradox to the act of making books, which Chadwick describes as solitary and mysterious.

“I was drawn to printmaking courses and book art as an undergrad because of the mark making you can do on paper,” she said. “There was a mystery to the process, it was different than anything you could achieve with drawing or painting. You make the plate, but what happens between the plate and the paper is unknown.”

Many Academy Instructors or graduates will tell you that graduating with an art degree is one thing; making your passion a lucrative profession is another. Academy instructors are working professionals, so they can show students how to make the necessary connections. It isn’t easy, as Chadwick will tell you, but it’s worth it.

Chadwick began reaching out to the world of Printmaking and Book Arts through volunteer work, becoming a member of The Center for the Book and attending any events, conferences or workshops she could. Teaching was another way that Chadwick made connections and income, but she ended up enjoying it so much that she began seeking more full-time work.

“I work by myself in my home studio, but I’m such a people person. Being able to interact with other people is energizing. I really enjoy sharing what I know about art. I really enjoy the students, they’re all engaging and from all different countries. I learn a lot from them too,” she said. 

Chadwick urges her students to keep working. “After graduating, the tendency is to look for what makes money rather than what feeds your soul. Keep working. Keep it up in the evenings and weekends, fit it into the nooks and crannies of you life,” she says. “Stay connected.”

Chadwick certainly pushes herself to keep working. In between guiding Academy of Art University students to reach their own creative heights, she continues to make artist books and prints for galleries around the world under the imprint of In Cahoots Press.

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