Riotto Produces Largest Known Intaglio-Type in U.S.

By Purnell T. Cropper | June 4, 2012

Arcadia University graduate Hannah Riotto ’12 produced the largest-known photopolymer intaglio-type in the United States—a 15-foot-long installation where viewers will recognize the icons of Barnesville, Pa., transitioning to the Philadelphia skyline.

Riotto’s senior thesis project—titled “We Are What We Seek (Tapestry #1)”—was produced using a contemporary process developed by Keith Howard of Rochester Institute of Technology. The process is taught at Arcadia University by Adjunct Professor Justin Staller, a 2005 RIT graduate.

Staller was recognized as one of the nation’s “Adjunct Heroes” by Inside Higher Education in April 2012. Arcadia was long known for printmaking under the legendary artist Benton Spruance, and Staller has revived the printmaking studio with a passion for Spruance’s work. Riotto is one of Staller’s first graduates.

The print is a tapestry made with more than 70 individual plates and measures 15 feet by 7.5 feet. It was on display as part of Arcadia University’s Senior Thesis Exhibition in May. “Each plate, which featured a segment or complete photographic image, was proofed on a piece of fabric similar to the final tapestry,” notes Riotto. “After the proof, it was printed onto the final piece.”

“My project is about finding bridges between home and wherever you move on to after that,” says Riotto, originally of Barnesville, and now living in Philadelphia. “My piece is an exploration of the concept of home, what constitutes ‘home’ and how that notion transforms and becomes more nuanced when we relocate.”

Photopolymer intaglio-types utilize ImagOn film, which traditionally is used in circuit board manufacturing but has been developed by Howard to be used in fine art practices. The process is a non-toxic alternative to the historic forms of printmaking.