On a recent visit to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, students heard from master Gemini G.E.L. print-maker, Jim Webb, about working with Ed Ruscha, David Hockney, Frank Stella and others in Los Angeles.
Photo courtesy of Donna Granata

Arts Journalism students visit LACMA, learn about fine-art printmaking

By Jamie Carragher (M.A. Specialized Journalism - The Arts ‘17)

David Hockney, Ed Ruscha and Frank Stella are some of the artists who sought the distinctive Gemini G.E.L. printmaking process. To celebrate half a century of formidable output, our Master of Arts Journalism class went to "The Serial Impulse at Gemini G.E.L.," at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art—an apt location considering the very first Gemini G.E.L. edition, a series of prints by Josef Albers, went on display at LACMA in 1966.
Jim Webb, master printer who worked in Gemini G.E.L's workshop between 1966 and 1977, talked about rendering Hockney’s vision onto print, calling it a “physically exhausting” process. We envisaged the craft and creativity that went into each Gemini project and the individuals who made it happen. 

"It was amazing to hear firsthand how the original germ of an idea develops into the art you see hanging on the wall," said Hannah Deitch (M.A. Specialized Journalism - The Arts '17). "It made a huge difference having Jim there with us."

This sentiment was echoed by fellow classmate Didi Beck (M.A. Specialized Journalism - The Arts '17). "My favorite prints in the exhibition, 'Various Cheeses' by Ed Ruscha, were made by Jim Webb," she said. "Hearing the backstory and the amount of labour that went into the works gave me an increased appreciation for both the artwork and the larger movement they represent."

Each year since 2014, LACMA has worked with one of our Master of Arts Journalism students, embedding them inside the institution to produce stories about the arts that benefit the whole of society. This year LACMA worked with Beck, who effectively became their in-house arts journalist.

Similar “in-house” journalism relationships for USC Annenberg Arts Journalism Master students are possible with the Huntington Library, California African American Art Museum, Natural History Museum, Los Angeles Ballet, LA County Arts Commission, Museum of Contemporary Art, Vincent Price Museum, The Industry and many other L.A. arts institutions.
It’s a USC Annenberg pipeline like no other! A pipeline to the arts. For journalists, who want to tell stories about how art is made and why it matters.