026: Printmaker Ely Urbanski makes the invisible visible

Ely Urbanski, printmaker, is an incredibly resourceful artist who moves her work forward with a spirit of collaboration and generosity. Ely was kind to come and chat about printmaking, an art form that I know nothing about. In this episode, we discuss about her clothing work in which she prints pieces of donated clothing onto fabric using her own body weight as the press — an innovative technique she developed when she no longer had access to a studio with traditional printmaking equipment. Scroll down to see the upcoming events that Ely’s work will appear in (she’s very busy!). Check out Ely’s website printosynthesis.com where you can see her work and find links to additional online interviews, and her Facebook page to promote collaboration. 

Ely Urbanski studied Arts at the University of São Paulo in Brazil with her main focus on printmaking. Since the 1990’s she’s been working with art and art education and has had exhibitions in Brazil, Japan and the US. Currently, Ely is based in Snow Camp, NC where she creates prints on paper and fabric. Interacting with the local community has been an important part of Ely’s creative process. She is also a coach and helps artists to develop their projects and careers in The Triangle and Triad. Ely is on Patreon and Youtube.

Upcoming Events for Ely:

Public receptions: April 20 and May 18, 6-8 pm
Ely has a studio there during the Third Friday Art Walk (4/20), 6-9 pm to show her works, collect clothes and record videos.
May 31, 2018 – 4-6:30 pm

This episode is brought to you by the Soapboxers, the official patrons of the Artist Soapbox. If you like these episodes and want more, get on the Soapbox! Podcast recorded at Shadowbox Studio in Durham, NC.

Time break-down:

[0:00] Episode intro and Ely’s bio.

[1:36] How did Ely become a printmaker? And why printmaking rather than another type of visual art?

[4:28] What is the ‘traditional’ process of printmaking? What is Ely’s ‘non-traditional’ method of printmaking? How does the fabric hold up with repeated prints and is there variation in her prints?

[10:53] Descriptions of two of Ely’s recent exhibitions: DISTANCE — “This series of prints on paper and fabric is derived from the patterns and experiences of passengers commuting on São Paulo subway system.” IMPRINTED — monoprints on fabric of well-worn clothes (and the emotional stories that often go with them) from friends, family, and previous exhibition visitors. Where did these ideas come from?

[19:23] What is added by having videos of people telling their ‘clothing stories’ as part of the IMPRINTED exhibition?

[21:02] How does Ely hope that people will approach her work? Themes in her work: memory, journeys, making the invisible visible, drawing attention to the connections between…

[27:04] Ely’s coaching and teaching. She’s taught the art of printmaking and has recently focused on the business of being an artist and helping others navigate practical aspects and build their confidence.

[33:00] Ely’s thoughts about value, worth and making money as an artist. “Have you ever had to have a day job to support your dream of being a psychologist?” Question the assumptions.

[37:11] What is next for Ely? She’s received a Regional Artist Program Grant from Arts Greensboro for the project THANK YOU GOODBYE. And video projects on the horizon.

[40:05] Thank you and sign-off

Artist Soapbox podcast is a listener supported podcast. If you listen, please support the podcast by sharing episodes with friends and contributing via our Patreon campaign.

If you have feedback, questions, suggestions, please email artistsoapbox@gmail.com. FEEDBACK IS EVERYTHING TO ASBX.

Artist Soapbox

Artist Soapbox is a platform for original scripted audio fiction and an opportunity for artists to discuss their creative work in their own voices. We do this through our interview podcast, our blog, live events, and original audio dramas.

Artist Soapbox is an anti-racist organization. We believe Black Lives Matter. In addition, as a podcast production company, ASBX has signed the Equality in Audio Pact on Broccoli Content.

Artist Soapbox is more than just a podcast.

We lead writers groups, accountability support, workshops, and events. We produce and create audio dramas too! Listen to the Master BuilderThe New Colossus Audio Drama, Jesus Pancake, Declaration of Love, Food for Thought, and ASBX Shorts. Stay tuned to hear about more projects written by the Soapbox Audio Collective Writers’ Group.

Audio Dramas

Jesus (1400 × 1400 px)-2

Jesus Pancake

Jesus Pancake is the newest scripted audio fiction series from Artist Soapbox. Nine episodes of zany dark comedy.


The New Colossus

The New Colossus Audio Drama is a totally unhinged dark comedy reboot of Anton Chekhov’s classic play, THE SEAGULL.


Master Builder

This audio drama was adapted from Tamara’s 2018 stage play produced by Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern and inspired by Henrick Ibsen’s classic, The Master Builder published in 1892.


Declaration of Love

Co-producers Aurelia Belfield and Tamara Kissane of Artist Soapbox commissioned eleven NC playwrights to craft short audio scenes based on the prompt “Declaration of Love.”


Food for Thought

Three pilot episodes of new scripted audio fiction series inspired by the prompt Food for Thought.


ASBX Shorts

ASBX Shorts are six short audio fiction pieces created and produced by North Carolina artists. Artist Soapbox Shorts were specifically contributed by the artists to aid in fundraising and to get everyone excited about Jesus Pancake, our new audio fiction series in development.

Scroll to Top