Exploring the Arts: Touring Washington University

When it comes to Washington University in St. Louis, you might think of its prestigious academics or its beautiful campus. However, there’s more to this renowned institution than meets the eye. 

A picture I took of the courtyard part of the University, close to Weil Hall and the Kemper.

Founded in 1978, Island Press stands as a gem within the university, a research-based printmaking workshop committed to fostering innovation and education within the realm of print media. Island Press is not your typical printmaking workshop. It’s a place where creativity meets innovation, where tradition intertwines with modern techniques, and where students and artists come together to push the boundaries of printmaking. 

A picture I took of the printmaking studio at Washington University.

Touring : 

AnnaMarie Bliss, the Associate Director of Recruitment and Admissions, joined me to provide insights into the student experience and how Island Press contributes to Washington University’s vibrant arts community. Her role in connecting prospective students with Island Press underscores the importance of this unique resource in attracting talented visiting artists to the university.

A picture I took of the entrance of Weil Hall

My jaw was on the floor when I saw the buildings and all of the studios, facilities, and equipment they have available to students. I was also amazed by the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, I was able to see the main floor of the museum while I was visiting! I had the pleasure of viewing Adam Pendleton: To Divide By. which the Kemper has on display this season and is up until January 15th 2024. I really loved this exhibit. It was very impressive to me and I think it was one of the best exhibits I’ve ever seen so far in my life!

Fostering Creativity

Island Press is not just a place for technical instruction; it’s a sanctuary for creative minds. It encourages experimentation, interdisciplinary collaboration, and the exploration of unconventional printmaking processes. This artistic freedom often leads to groundbreaking works.

Island Press at Washington University in St. Louis is more than just a workshop; it’s a creative haven where visiting artists are encouraged to explore, innovate, and create. Thanks to the dedication of Professor and Chair Lisa Bulawsky, AnnaMarie Bliss, and the Island Press team, this hidden gem within the university continues to thrive, pushing the boundaries of printmaking and fostering the next generation of artists.

island press in the  washington university arts department
A picture I took in the Island Press


The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum is a fantastic experience and is completely free and open to the public! So, whether you’re an aspiring artist, an art enthusiast, or simply curious about art Washington University is a must-see when exploring the vibrant arts scene in St. Louis. 

ps. as always check out my portfolio as I am always adding new works!