Posters bring graphic and fine arts together with screen printing and beer

Everybody wants to connect their event to beer and art. Jess Hinshaw is just taking the concept to a whole new level.

Prints & Pints combines both aspects with the screen-printing process in a two-day event coordinated by Hinshaw's Upright Press and held at Four String Brewing Co.'s Hilltop taproom.

“I like art, and I like beer,” Hinshaw said, only half-joking, in an interview at Upright's South Side print shop. “I've been trying to pitch a poster project to [Four String founder Dan Cochran] for years, and I finally found the right one.”

With help from artist and Blockfort founder Adam Brouillette, Hinshaw sought out 10 local artists and graphic designers to create works connected to and/or inspired by 10 Four String brews. Once he had his slate of artists, the beers were assigned on a first-come basis.

“Everybody jumped on it immediately. We made it really open-ended, no parameters, and they really embraced that,” Hinshaw said. “They just had to use the name of the beer in the poster somewhere. None of them tried to disguise it either. They were all very respectful of the project.”

Not surprising, according to Matthew Mohr, a local artists and professor at CCAD who will select the winning poster. (“Best in Show” will receive a prize package from Four String and be featured as part of a social media campaign.)

“This is the top talent in the city,” Mohr said. “I feel like graphic posters are supposed to communicate but [also] be conceptually rich in a way that it engages and grabs you and draws you in. Each of these works shows an exemplary skill set.”

“We've never done anything like this before,” Cochran said, “but working with the arts is something we've always been interested in doing. The [Four String] brand comes out of my experience as a musician. This gave us a wonderful avenue to connect with the arts.”

Upright will print 25 copies of each poster that will be available for purchase at the event. The Friday night viewing will also double as a vinyl release party for local band Doc Robinson. The “Best in Show” announcement will be held Saturday.

“I don't want art to be this thing that exists ‘over there,' but I want to bring it into a place where people maybe aren't necessarily looking for it,” Hinshaw said. “Pairing it with the beer creates an avenue for people to immediately jump into the whole idea.”

“These are all pieces that communicate something the way a poster should, but also that you would want to hang on your wall, that make you want to come back to it again and again,” Mohr said.