Episode 1: Hugh Merrill
Recorded in Kansas City, Missouri in November of 2017.
Episode one features an interview with artist and lifelong printmaker Hugh Merrill. Chances are, Hugh has taught you at some point, or most likely someone you know. Today he is an artist and a professor at the Kansas City Art Institute. Over the years I’ve had many encounters with Hugh because he’s a prominent figure in the Kansas City art community. If he’s not teaching, he’s in his studio, or maybe a badass studio in China somewhere (he travels there to print almost every year). When he’s not abroad, Hugh supports lots of activities around the city including many social causes and philanthropic programs. Most recently he put his support behind Print League KC, the new KC community printshop! It’s amazing that he can juggle it all, but he does, and all along the way there is a massive trove of creative output coming out of his studio.
When I first met Hugh I ran a now-defunct community shop where we hosted artists from around the area. Hugh was the backbone to this operation and had “donated” almost the entire shop to the cause. For the short time it existed, it was the best community printshop in the Midwest. It was funny because Hugh wasn’t around a lot, but once in a while he would roll through and drop piles of his prints on me saying, “Sell these and raise money for the shop.” Never mind that I am not a print dealer, it was still a great demonstration of the things he values most, community and printmaking. It was great sitting down to chat with Hugh, and it proves the potential of podcasts. Hugh’s stories will now be preserved for the future, and there are more artists to come. I hope you enjoy it!