Alice Kay McMillan holds the BA from Furman University and the MFA from East Tennessee State University and is an instructor in visual art at Wofford College and USC Upstate. She has had numerous single and group exhibitions throughout the SC Upstate and her work has been included in National Parks Academy of the Arts touring exhibitions.
In the current exhibition of prints, the process for most is polyester plate lithography.; others are solarplate etchings. Some prints are hand-tinted.
Polyester lithographs are made using a thin, paper-like polyester plate similar to those used for offset lithograph. Marks are made on the plate either by hand with permanent markers, or through digital printing on the laser printer. Then the plate is drenched with water before oil-based lithography ink is rolled onto it. The ink adheres only to the marks. The prints were then created using a basic Blick etching press and good-quality printmaking papers.
In Solarplate etching a metal plate, pretreated with photo-sensitive film, is exposed with a black-inked transparency either in an exposure unit, or outside in the sun. The plate hardens everywhere but under the black artwork. After exposure, the plate is washed in water, and the artwork appears as if cut into the plate. This process can be used to produce relief prints or intaglio plates. Even tonal areas may be simulated. Now used by many professionals, Solarplate is non-toxic and environmentally friendly.
The exhibition is a narrative of a trip with the artist’s daughter Emma to Washington DC and back on the Southern Crescent train. It has become, in process, a memorial to her cousin, a cancer victim.