Associate Professor of Printmaking


  • Website:

  • Office Hours:

    by appointment
  • Role:

  • Position:

    • Associate Professor of Printmaking
    • Graduate Advisor of Printmaking
  • Concentration:

    • Printmaking
  • Department:

    • Art and Art History
  • Education:

    • M.F.A. (2012 Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University), B.A. (2008 University of California, Santa Cruz)
  • Curriculum Vitae:


Johnny Plastini received his BA in interdisciplinary studio art from the University of California, Santa Cruz [2008] and received his MFA in printmaking from the Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania [2012]. He has completed group artist residencies at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine [2012], the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont [2019], and MUDHOUSE in Crete, Greece [2021]. He has also been invited as a solo visiting artist-in-residence at Temple University, Rome both in [2017] and [2021].

Professor Plastini employs sustainable printmaking, papermaking, and book arts processes to meaningfully link the arts and sciences together. Plastini’s current research interests are guided by symbiotic lichen ecosystems and rhizomatic networks across the globe. He asserts that "lichens represent a particularly potent metaphor to consider because they are a composite organism of fungi, algae, and/or cyanobacteria, which form a symbiotic relationship. They offer a seemingly simple, yet complex example of how human communities could evolve into a more mutually beneficial state, apart from our current hierarchical exploitation strategies. I am interested in re-examining the definition of culture through an interdisciplinary lens. By “culture” I am referring to both the scientific definition (a collection of cells maintained in a condition suitable for growth) and anthropological culture (the customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people or other social group). I am interested in how non-linear rhizomatic networks in their various forms of multiplicity can offer images of thought. I encourage us to analyze these architectures together, holistically, as expansive models for discovering new cultural ecologies".

Plastini has exhibited extensively at museums, conferences, non-profit spaces, art fairs, and galleries, nationally and internationally. Recent exhibition venues include: CU- Boulder Art Museum, Bendheim Gallery, The Lincoln Center, SPARK Gallery, Tointon Gallery, Cheltenham Center for the Arts, Ulrich Museum of Art, Bradbury Art Museum, New Bedford Art Museum, SITE: Brooklyn, Center for Contemporary Printmaking, Manhattan Graphics Center, Lee Gallery at Clemson University, and McMaster Museum of Art, among others. Plastini has been featured in numerous publications including CRED, West Branch (Bucknell University Literary Arts Journal), Studio Visit, New American Paintings, Embodied Forest, and The Earthkeepers Handbook. Plastini’s work is held in the permanent public collections of Zayed University in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), the Zuckerman Museum of Art at Kennesaw State University in Georgia (USA), Witchita Falls Museum of Art at Midwestern State University in Texas (USA), and the Nickle Museum at the University of Calgary (Canada). His work is also held in the Special Collections Archive in the Norlin Library at the University of Colorado, Boulder, the Mid-America Print Council archive in the Eskenazi Museum of Art at the University of Indiana, Bloomington, and in the Artist Printmaker Research Collection (AP/RC) at the Museum of Texas Tech University.


  • ART 265: Introduction to Printmaking


    This course at its core focuses on introductory processes in both intaglio and relief printmaking. Historic East Asian processes of woodblock printing and Renaissance era methods of Central European etching from copper plates will be explored in depth as well as contemporary approaches to these media. There will be six required projects in total: three in relief and three in intaglio. In addition to the six hours of in-class time, students will be expected to work independently outside of class for an additional six hours a week on their projects. Due to the small workshop nature of the course, more projects can and should evolve based on the artistic sensibilities and interests of individual students, however at minimum there are the basic required six, which will provide a necessary foundation in intaglio and relief.

  • ART 366: Community and Sustainability in Printmaking


    This course focuses on expanding students’ intermediate knowledge of printmaking to incorporate sustainable non-toxic methods and community-based art projects. Historical as well as contemporary topics will be addressed throughout the semester and students will be expected to confidently articulate, not only what a print is and how to make one, but also what creative potential printmaking, as a medium, has to offer from a democratic standpoint. All project prompts are intended to catalyze student engagement towards issues of environmental, cultural, and/or economic sustainability. Students are encouraged to take risks and view each required project as an experimental starting point for what may evolve into a more cohesive series of advanced works in 400-level course engagement.

  • ART220: Book Arts – History, Meaning, and Form


    This team-taught course focuses on book arts and their histories from a diverse perspective. Students explore and apply conceptual, theoretical, and historical frameworks of the book as an expressive art form. There are six required assignments: Four tangible art projects: paper/ink making, eastern and western binding samples, relief printing, and contemporary book arts making. Historical and theoretically relevant topics are reinforced through reading, writing, and discussion modules and two written responses. Instructional conversation that is collaborative, inclusive, and supportive creates a sense of community in a class that may already have familiarity with the book as a form but will now explore their sense of the book as a concept and a vital creative opportunity for artistic expression.

  • ART 465: Printmaking Research in Art/Craft/Design


    This course provides an opportunity for students to advance their study of printmaking toward professional standards. Individual instruction and guidance will develop each students’ sensitivity to issues surrounding their own personal artistic voice and group critiques will provide an opportunity to discuss how those narratives could evolve over the duration of the semester and beyond. Special attention will be paid to how personal studio work engages our larger sociological sphere from both a historical and contemporary perspective. Students must demonstrate a relatively strong grasp of printmaking as a process-based medium and formulate a honed artistic vision in which to engage pertinent issues surrounding art, craft, and design within 21st century discourse.

  • IDEA310N: Post-Digital Printmaking


    Develop proficiency with specific prototyping skills utilizing post-digital printmaking methods. Students explore the open source software GIMP in the digital space and then translate imagery from that software into the physical world through innovative ECO-UV printing, historic cyanotype, non-toxic relief printmaking methods from laser-engraved woodblocks, and non-toxic screen-printing on paper and fabric. Learning occurs in an interactive classroom environment and online discussion/research through a hybrid modality. The instructor presents course information through lectures, collaborative group discussion, and hands-on demonstrations. Students complete a variety of tangible assignments designed to integrate conceptual information from the lectures and develop crucial skills. Evaluation and assessment is based on real-world applications that demonstrate each students’ understanding of the material. Our goal together as a class is to cultivate a socially responsible space that reflects professionalism and integrity through inclusive community support.