RiverBed Press

The Winona Arts Center lower level is home to RiverBed Press. Equipped with a 24”-wide Conrad etching press since the spring of 2014, the printmaking facility is available for experienced printmakers to use for a nominal fee in the areas of intaglio, relief and monotype. WAC also offers classes in various types of printmaking so that inexperienced printmakers can gain the skills to make them qualified for RiverBed Press memberships. Check the WAC Facebook page for availability of printmaking classes.

Holiday Free Ink

Saturday / December 9, 2023 / Drop in from 10:00am-2:00pm

You can drop in anytime between 10:00am and 2:00pm. Come and learn how to make holiday-themed monoprints on our press! You can create your own artwork using stencils and other materials while learning the monoprint process.

The printing press will be set up with all of the materials you need to make a beautiful holiday card for family and friends. Children under age 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Please feel free to drop in anytime between 10:00am and 2:00pm, and plan to stay to catch the free Hans Mayer concert at 2:30pm. Free Ink events are made possible through a grant from the Elizabeth Callender King Foundation. For more information, please contact Jen Benson at [email protected].

Photo of several colorful holiday-themed monoprints.

New Press Studio Hours

Beginning in January 2024, on the first Sunday of each month from 1:00pm to 4:00pm the press will be available for use by individual printers. Only one printer will be able to access the press during this time and must reserve space by contacting Jen Benson at [email protected]. Persons requesting time must have a current WAC membership and can purchase a press pass. This new offering will be hosted by Jen Benson. Thanks to Jen for volunteering her time to offer this opportunity. The Press continues to be available on Thursdays from 4:30pm to 8:00pm during Open Studio.

Free Ink Days

The Winona Arts Center is pleased to offer Free Ink days throughout the year. Free Ink days provide an opportunity to learn how the printing press works and to design and print monoprints of your own. This is an intergenerational activity as we see children, adults and older adults all taking a turn at the press. In 2022, Free Ink days were held on November 12 and December 10. In 2023, Free Ink days will be held on February 4, May 6, October 14, and December 9. Free Ink allows for drop in anytime between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm. (Note: The Free Ink day on May 6 will be from 12 pm to 4 pm.) Sessions are hosted by Jen Benson and a team of volunteers.

Open studio provides another opportunity to learn about and use the press, every Thursday from 4:30 pm to 8 pm. Your first visit is free and if you decide you’d like to do more, passes are available for purchase.

Open Print Studio with local printmaker Jen Benson

Thursdays / 4:30-8:00 pm
$35 punch card valid for 5 sessions

NOTE: Open Studio will not take place on July 27, 2023.

The Winona Arts Center (WAC) is pleased to offer an Open Print Studio with Jen Benson every Thursday between 4:30 and 8:00 pm. Open Print Studio is designed for those who are interested in printmaking.  

WAC has a fully equipped print studio known as RiverBed Press, complete with a Conrad Etching Press with an approximate 22” x 44” press bed. No previous printmaking experience is necessary. Printmaking supplies (ink, paper) and equipment will be available.

In addition to printmaking, the Studio will be open for people to work on art projects such as watercolors, drawing, etc. Those participants will bring their own art supplies and do not need to purchase a pass. Passes are required only for those using the press.

Studio passes are $35 for a 5-visit punchcard or $8 per visit to the studio and can be purchased at the Open Studio. Space will be limited to 12 people per Thursday so please make your reservation ahead of time. For more information and to register, please contact Jen Benson at [email protected].

Needed: Old Phone Books

If you are looking to recycle your old phone books, the RiverBed Press sure could use them. The pages are used in the printmaking process. Please bring your books on Thursdays from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm or any time you attend a WAC event. You got them, we want them! Thanks!

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Legacy logo.