Idyllwild Arts: Fine Print

Published : Monday, June 19, 2017 | 1:36 PM

The necklace that Linda Santana often wears announces her first love: PRINTMAKING, it says.

Before teaching her first class at Idyllwild Arts Academy, in September 2013, she had spent two weeks reconditioning the school’s pair of neglected, rusty, sixty-year-old presses. Now the presses get plenty of use from students who apply the ancient printmaking techniques Linda teaches while they listen to hip hop or classic rock.

“I had one student say she wanted to take my class just for the music,” she admits. “Whatever gets them in the door!”

Linda’s passion for traditional methods took her to Istanbul in 2015 to study with a world-renowned master of ebru, Turkish paper-marbling. Next year she might undertake another traditional study at La Ceiba Gráfica, in Veracruz.

Having grown up and attended high school in Visalia, in California’s Central Valley, she had “never heard of printmaking until college, at the University of California at Santa Cruz.” She honed her printmaking skills while earning an M.F.A. at the University of North Texas.

With students, Linda relives the thrill of discovery by preparing them to share their own discoveries with the world. For example, the work for her Senior Seminar class includes teaching students how to build a portfolio for college and how to write résumés and artist’s statements.

Watching her students grow as artists—and simply grow up—is always thrilling.

“Some of our international freshmen barely speak English when they arrive, but as seniors they defend their works in front of a roomful of people. And last month’s graduating seniors were the first ones I’d watched go all the way through high school.”

One of the joys of teaching illuminates Linda’s face before she continues.

“It was hard to stay composed at graduation.”


Idyllwild Arts, 52500 Temecula Road, Idyllwild, CA 92549-0038, (951) 659-2171 or visit












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