Family Fun Idea: Free Ink Day at Highpoint Center for Printmaking

Girl trying out printmaking during a Free Ink Day at Highpoint Center for Printmaking

Need an idea for a fun, family activity? Take part in Free Ink Day at Highpoint Center for Printmaking. It’s the perfect way for an interested person of any age to dabble in printmaking without committing to a full class. The program is only hosted on three Saturdays each year at Highpoint Center for Printmaking, offering an afternoon of hands-on printmaking and creative fun. Drop in anytime to to make unique, hand-made artwork. Non-toxic materials are supplied while supplies last. Staff and volunteers are on hand to help and answer questions.

Next Free Ink Day: June 3, 2023 from 12-3pm.  Held Outdoors in Highpoint’s raingarden! (Rain location will be inside the studio)

Parental Tips for Free Ink Day

Having brought young children to Free Ink Day, I have a few tips that may be helpful for those also contemplating introducing their kids to the art:

1) Have the kids arrive chock full of creativity and inspiration!

Or, at least with an idea or two. A sketch couldn’t hurt, either. The central activity at the Free Ink Day we attended was creating relief prints on rubber templates a bit smaller than a postcard. The prints were made by carving a design into the rubber, coating the plate with ink, then pressing the plate onto a paper card. The biggest challenge in this process was coming up with a design, which leads me to suggest.

2) Plan to spend at least an hour designing, carving, inking and printing the kids’ creations.

Free Ink Day spans three hours, but we came near the end in order to catch a special puppet show put on by Open Eye Figure Theatre*. As a result, the kids were rushed in their printmaking, one squeaked in a print by the skin of her teeth, and it was semi-stressful scrubbing everyone’s hands clean in time for the show. Drop in on your own schedule, but give yourself and your kids the time you need to create.

*Note: Open Eye is not a part of every Free Ink Day, but there are often community partners involved.

3) Budget time for cleanup and dress to get messy!

This one should definitely not be overlooked. Printmaking can be messy business; plan to get inky. Aprons are provided, but you might want to dress in clothes you don’t care much for, just to be on the safe side.

4) Think about age appropriateness.

Activities are open to all ages, but most kids 5 & under will need a significant amount of help with the printmaking tools. If you have more than one small child, you may want to bring another adult or older sibling to help the little ones.

Free Ink Day at Highpoint Center for Printmaking
912 W Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN 55408

No advance registration is required.

free ink day logo
image courtesy of Highpoint Center for Printmaking

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