The way Emily Diehl (Cert. ’12) and Peter Haarz (Cert. ’08) see it, being a printmaker is part of anartistic lineage rooted in their time at PAFA with lithography teacher Ron Wyffels.
Diehl said for her and Haarz, their “printer’s lineage starts with Ron. Ron himself learned from a printer named Jack Lemon at Landfall Press in Chicago. Jack Lemon had learned from a printer named Garo Antreasian, who was the very first Technical Director of Tamarind Institute — the place we both went on to study after leaving PAFA.”
“I feel so fortunate, and I know Emily feels the same way, that we fell almost happenstance under the tutelage of Ron Wyffels,” Haarz says. “Long before Emily and I were within 1,000 miles of the Tamarind Institute … we were already part of that lineage because of the training we had with Ron.”
Since graduating from PAFA, Diehl has collaborated on LandMarks, a printmaking project with Aboriginal Australian and Native American artists, and created a solo project called The P Projects, a series she calls “prints for printers, which explored ideas behind the technical side of lithography.” She is now a Senior Printer at Petrichor Press in Pipersville, Pennsylvania, which was founded several years earlier by Haarz.
For Diehl, her art honors her predecessors by archiving their works and developing her own art in response to those works. “As Ron taught me the first day I was in one of his classes, you make lithographs not for the printing, but for the drawing. It was very important in my development as an artist that Ron maintained teaching all of the traditional methods and really showed his students that you can use the medium to make drawings that stood on their own as original art pieces.”
Haarz says the steep learning curve of the lithography-making process can be intimidating for young students, particularly under instructors without the skills of their influential teacher at PAFA. “There are other excellent lithography professors out there but they are few and far, far, far between. So many people who didn’t get the kind of training we did, they never get a taste of the possibilities.”