Heavy Duty: A Steam Roller Printmaking Exhibition Invitation
Image design credit: Chris Lahti

Heavy Duty: A Steamroller Printmaking
Exhibition Drive-in Reception
Friday, May 7, 3 - 5 pm


San Diego Mesa College, 7250 Mesa College Drive, San Diego, CA. 92111
Enter through Mesa College Drive.  Keep straight through Armstrong. 
Roads veers left around football field down to Parking Lot 1.

Outdoor display on view May 7 – June 4, 2021, M - F 10 am - 4 pm

Website Link:

Live Facebook steamroller printing process at

Heavy Duty: A Steamroller Printmaking Exhibition is an outdoor display of large scale 3’ x 5’ and 3’ x 4’  fabric prints made with a steamroller! 16 skilled artist printmakers were invited to carve a relief woodcut on a piece of ¾”plywood. Mesa students created smaller square foot pieces to learn the technique. The wood plates were inked and fabric laid on top and a steamroller drove over them transferring the images onto the fabric and working as a moving printing press.

Art Gallery director and professor Alessandra Moctezuma has a background in printmaking and she conceived this project with the help of Gallery Coordinator Jenny Armer. The experimental project incorporates printmaking concepts at a large-scale. Chris Lahti of East County Printshop was the lead artist who conducted a workshop for the students and assisted with printing, details and logistics. The project took several months of planning including research to rent the machinery; selecting, washing, cutting and ironing the fabric; and scheduling all the artists and students so that they could be involved in the printmaking process which took place on the campus parking lot.

Participating artists include Trevor Amery, Jenny Armer, Jennifer Anne Bennett, Ty and Samantha Creighton (a father and daughter collaboration), Brian Gibson, Wendell Kling, Chris Lahti, Mary Manusos, Jim Melli, Morgan Miller III, Yvette Roman, Sibyl Rubottom, Katie Ruiz, Jose Hugo Sanchez and Katy Yeaw.

The twenty-four students in Professor Wendell Kling’s drawing class carved smaller square woodcuts that were arranged in a fun grid. This project was a great introduction to printmaking. Students that were raised in a digital world are now yearning to work more with traditional analog materials; there is a lot of interest in learning this hands-on skills. A few students got messy assisting during the printmaking event donning aprons and helping ink and wipe the plates.

Artists were provided with the wood boards and given two months to create their designs. They used traditional methods and carving tools but also routers and even torches! The resulting images range from the personal to the political. Tijuana-based artist Jose Hugo Sanchez carved an Indigenous female shaman figure while Jennifer Anne Bennett’s city landscape evokes a Japanese style print. Many of the works were inspired by nature, the NAT’s exhibitions fabricator Jim Melli enlarged an ant within her environment and Trevor Amery captured the “eyes” in a forest of aspen trees derived from photos he took in Teton National Park. Chicana artist Katie Ruiz offers up a radiant ‘opening’ in the midst of a dark border fence while Morgan Miller III emblazons his print with the words “Health Care for All”.

The finished fabric prints will be attached onto the chain-link fence along the parking lot for an outdoor display in the same manner as the banners and artworks in the Fall 2020 drive-in outdoor exhibition. The public is invited to a drive-thru, masked reception on Friday, May 7 from 3 to 5 pm. Please enter through the Mesa College Dr. entrance to the campus. This is another way to be inventive during this COVID time by creating and exhibiting art outdoors.

Please check our Social Media for updates.

Instagram: @sdmesacollege_gallery or Facebook: @mesacollegeart  Twitter: @sdmesaart

The art gallery is closed to the public during COVID-19.
This event is outdoors and should be experienced from your car.

Gallery Director:   Alessandra Moctezuma,
Gallery Coordinator: Jenny Armer,
San Diego Mesa College, 7250 Mesa College Dr., San Diego, CA 92111


Gallery hours: main gallery Closed until further notice.

Follow us on social media.
Facebook: Mesa College Art Gallery
Instagram: @sdmesacollege_gallery