RVCC Meeting


This is a fledgling project initiated by me, Val Sivilli and funded by the RVCC Adjunct Research Grant Program. Its goal is to revitalize the PRINTSHOP at RVCC while creating opportunity to:

COLLABORATE with PROCESS  – Get PHYSICALLY Engaged – Refine those HAPTIC skills –

NOURISH Community  – Acquire skills to make ART-WARES – Create a Corporal Edifice

for the Digital Arts – Foster Co-Teaching Opportunities – Engage the larger RVCC community.

Currently, the website http://www.wildrootart.com is being populated with content. The site is public. I am happy for any suggestions or help.  Why Wild Root Art you might say? Well, I owned the URL already and was not using it, so I used it for this. It can change.

PRINTMAKING is an incredible way to engage the body and the creative mind. We have valued PRINTMAKING as a way to create multiples. For that sole function, the PRINTSHOP has been replaced by the Digital Print. PRINTMAKING’s less obvious benefits to the visual art student is what I feel needs to be explored, exposed, branded and marketed for it to not just survive, but to thrive. The PRINTSHOP can serve as a HUB for COMMUNITY building.  As well, it has always functioned as a place to gestate creative thinking. As well, haptic skills are developed and challenged.  Haptic skills – using our colleague Libby Clarke’s chosen language – are needed to create successful prints. These are the very skills our students are sorely lacking. Incorporating PRINTMAKING into your curriculum refines and develops physical dexterity.


Examples of how PRINTMAKING can be integrated into the RVCC Community andhow PRINTMAKING can be used within an existing curriculum:


  • Screenprinted T-Shirts Workshops :Theatrical Productions, Student Initiatives,  Awareness Campaigns, engaging digital Arts, theater, Dance, Music, poetry, sociology, criminal justice, etc.
  • Collaborations between Creative Writing and the Art Department
  • aka: Limited edition Poetry Books handprinted by Letterpress or Screenprinting
  • The Library can sponsor BROADSIDE or Poetry Banner PROJECTS using the PRINTSHOP
  • Handprinted designs ( pattern repeat?) for WallPaper, Wrapping Paper, Book Covers –
  • Color Theory , 2D Design, Interior Design, Digital Arts
  • Creating Merch for a Theatrical Productions at the college (engage Work Force ?)
  • Limited edition Musical Scores, CD covers.  Collaborative Student projects
  • Screenprint patterns onto Ceramic Tile
  • Frottage: Drawing & 2D Classes
  • Zine production can be explored in Digital Arts and the PRINTSHOP simultaneously.
  • PORTFOLIO Class can create posters, products, etc
  • Existing Logo Concepts for any performance productions can be recharged and products produced in the PRINTSHOP


I am planning a few open workshops throughout the semester. Once these workshops are fully developed, the dates will be shared and the faculty will be invited. I would also like to take a closer look at the printmaking course descriptions to update, recharge, rebrand. Let’s save this PRINTSHOP and make it vital and sustainable for our students. For success, it needs engagement, funding and commitment. You can contact me at valerie.sivilli@raritanval.edu.


The Project

Expanding the role of Traditional Printmaking into RVCC’s larger academic community

Having been awarded an Adjunct Research Grant in the Fall of 2019, this website will house all of the ideas, content, proposals and other information related to the goals presented in this grant proposal.

This proposal seeks to flesh out real solutions into how to integrate many of the techniques of traditional Printmaking into the classroom and into other programs throughout RVCC’s campus beginning with the Arts & Design department itself.

As an Adjunct Professor of Fine Art here at RVCC for over 15 years, I have taught Screenprinting, Lithography, Book Arts and Contemporary Printmaking as well as 2D Design and Color Theory. Printmaking itself has been struggling to maintain its’ relevance in an era where digital solutions to the visual arts seem to be the end goal. Although recently, there has been a viable and exciting renaissance throughout the community of traditional Printmaking.

I believe to be ahead of the curve, we as educators need to address the visceral needs of the student born in the twenty-first century. Without real tactile problem-solving skills, our students suffer. Printmaking techniques require that a student employ a variety of physical skills to be able to successfully execute an idea through a chosen process. And this chosen process can result in a physical product. I maintain the argument that the possibilities inherent in the physical act of Printmaking are not being explored to its maximum potential here at RVCC. This is not a deficit of vision it is merely a sign of the times.

I have been working hard to upgrade and fine tune the equipment that we currently have in our shop. I have seen the shop charged with energy this year.  Although, as a possible longer term vision, I think it is possible to utilize this shop in a much larger way. We can create physical objects that house the proof of our educator’s and our student’s good hard work.  This process needs to begin to be actualized.



  1. Creating an accessible online presentation of
    • how other organizations have used printmaking ( theater companies, bookshops, etc.)
    • ideas of using our resources in other classrooms
    • curriculum concepts that could use the Print
  2. Connecting with Visual professors at RVCC to investigate ways to integrate Printmaking
  3. Connecting with other professors on campus (Creative Writing, Science, Math, etc) to do the same
  4. Creating incentives for our students to explore the possibilities in this proposal.


  • Screenprinted patterns onto Ceramic Tiles. ( Ceramics )
  • Screenprinted T-Shirts for Theatrical Productions. (Digital Arts – Theater – Dance – Music)
  • Limited edition Poetry Books handprinted by Letterpress or Screenprinting ( Creative Writing )
  • Handprinted designs for WallPaper. (Interior Design)
  • Pattern Repeat Designs on Fabric ( 2D Design)
  • Creating Merch for a Theatrical Productions at the college ( Work Force )
  • Limited edition Musical Scores, CD covers, etc.  (Music)
  • …and many many more….

For over 20 years, I printed my own designs onto T-shirts, Curtains, Pillows, Greeting Cards, Bags, Posters, etc, and sold them in various ways through my small artist run company I called Civilian. This, along with my various adjunct positions served to supply me with a viable income as a single mother. Community college students are not students that have vast resources at their disposal.  Many of these students will need to find ways, and want to find ways, to supply themselves with a living wage. I have witnessed my students often struggling with a lack of time because most of them work fulltime jobs along with a fulltime school schedule. I believe that our Printshop can work to offer our students creative solutions and access to skills to empower their future on their own terms, as it did for me.