“There's complexity, there's mystery behind printmaking, because it might be an artistic medium that people haven't participated in … and it's just quite different than picking up paint and a paintbrush,” Klos said.
A giant cube puzzle offers visitors a hands-on opportunity to closely examine several of Close's works, including two of his self-portraits.
In addition, two drawing stations give people a chance to try out the University of Washington graduate's grid method. To create one of his portraits, Close draws a grid over an enlarged photograph, then transfers a pencil version of the grid to canvas or paper. At one drawing station, visitors can sketch a friend by peering through a gridded window; at the other, they can use a gridded mirror to work on a self-portrait. They then can take their grid drawings — and the concept behind them — home.
“You could even take a selfie — one of the most dominant aspects of social media — and (that's) what Chuck Close is doing, he's always been making selfies. He's been portraying himself as a self-portrait throughout much of his career,” Klos said with a smile.
“We hope that our visitors will then really sort of take that as an inspiration, even in using the grid in their own work.”