On June 7-14, 2024 the VDA assoc. prof. Jolanta Mikulskutė from the VDA Graphic Art department hosted the Erasmus BIP programme "Uncovering. The magnetism of the lithography stones".

20 students from the VDA partner institutions in Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Poland, and Spain attended the practical litography course.

Lithography is the youngest printmaking technique and it is the most direct. Artists who work with creating and developing their lithography prints on grained surface of the stone engage in the dialogue with the stone that is millions of years old. The lithographic stone is extraordinary, the magnetism of the stone inspires artists. Uncovering course focused on exploring the possibilities of the print culture phenomenon, i.e.the possibilities of stone lithography. Lithography is one of the greatest artistic printmaking adventures of our times. Where we choose to create our work is a fundamental groundwork of the creative process. 

Seven days was all it took – creative stone (and not only) lithography in-depth concentrated workshop, lithography is one of the significant artistic adventures of our times. "Uncovering. The magnetism of the lithography stones" took place from 7th of June till 14th of June at VDA  in Vilnius faculty, Graphic (Printmaking) laboratory. Choosing the lithographic stones, grinding, creating astounding conceptual compositions, etching with gum Arabic and nitric acid mixture, rolling-up and… printing! That’s how vigorously and intensely we have been working all seven stimulating creative days. Printmaking matters! 

It's exciting to share that creative participants have produced a number of great lithography prints, it's possible that some prints will turn into new printmaking projects. Lithography is a particularly auspicious form of creative expression, encompassing a wide variety of expressive forms: an expressive drawing method, a watercolor like treatment of color, the drawing of miniatures, the raster offset printing, the art of ink etc. During the course the participants have been introduced to the specifics of the planography print: stone and offset lithography, also polyester lithography and mixed media; and it’s main technological image creation principles that separate it from other graphic printing methods. The students have been encouraged to use the plentiful and unique plastic expression opportunities offered by stone lithography. During the printmaking process the students will be encouraged to experiment and use common as well as non-traditional means of lithographic image creation and search for their own individual artistic style.

It’s fascinating, and the creative group was attended by students with already lithographic experience and skills, those with the experience have been assiting others, sharing skills and awareness, including students who were working on stone lithography for the first time.
It was mentioned that several academies no longer have stone lithography printmaking lecturers, but those academies still have lithography equipment as well some stones and all base. So there is a hope and enthusiasm to revive stone lithography in these academies after this intensive course.
The map of BIP participants is very motivating: Art Academy of Latvia (latvia), RUFA (Italy), Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw Branch Campus in Białystok (Poland), Maria Curie Skłodowska University in Lublin (Poland), Estonian Academy of Arts (Estonia), Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki (Finland), Academy of Fine Arts in Macerata (Italy), Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, in Milan (Italy), Fine Arts and Art Sciences at the University of Ioannina (Greece), TAI, Madrid (Spain), Icelandic University of the Arts (Iceland), Trondheim Academy of Fine Art (Norway), KMD in Bergen (Norway) – twenty students participated in the BIP and an assoc. professor from the University of Ioannina  joined the group as well. 

The creative artist has a vision, it concerns the expression, the extraordinary lithographis expression. A dialogue between the artist and the stone begins during the intensive moving work on the surface of the living lithographic stone. 

The practical litography course has been a fascinating enriching experience for the students and staff involved!