By Jason McDowell Creative Director Published Aug 03, 2022 at 2:01 PM

What do you get when you mix artists with heavy machinery? You can find out this Saturday, Aug. 6, at the second annual Steam Roller benefit, from the hosts that always go big because their home is the House of RAD (900 E. Keefe Ave. - enter between the buildings located on the north side of Keefe Avenue, straight off Bremen Street).

A group of artists preparing to drop cloth onto large woodcut on the ground.X

Steam Roller is a multi-arts community engagement event that supports youth outreach and programming. Throughout the day, a selection of 12 artists will prepare their original, wall-sized woodblock panels for the printing of a lifetime. Once ink is applied and a medium is laid over, the magic begins – a 1.5-ton steamroller is driven over it to set the transfer to the page.

An artist pilots a small steam roller over their woodcut print.X

The resulting artwork will be auctioned off to support Anchor Press, Paper and Print (AP3) and non-profit print shop, workspace and gallery that brings together a diverse community of youth.

Artists show off their steam roller-printed tapestry.X

The day will also feature live music, live apparel printing for purchase and tours of the House of RAD. Beer will be provided by Water Street Brewery and Little Beefy food truck will serve up hot Italian beef.

Steam Roller starts at noon and ends at 8 p.m. The event is free to the public.

Close  up of a CNC wood cut.X
A pile of door-sized wood block prints await ink application.X

Watch a recap from last year, below.

Steam Roller MKE 2021 from brandon minga on Vimeo.
Jason McDowell Creative Director

Jason McDowell grew up in central Iowa and moved to Milwaukee in 2000 to attend the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.

In 2006 he began working with OnMilwaukee as an advertising designer, but has since taken on a variety of rolls as the Creative Director, tackling all kinds of design problems, from digital to print, advertising to branding, icons to programming.

In 2016 he picked up the 414 Digital Star of the Year award.

Most other times he can be found racing bicycles, playing board games, or petting dogs.