In the name of enterprise( I don't mean the Star Trek kind) and resourcefulness, we printmakers have to be pretty adept at finding ways to market ourselves and get our work out to the masses. In any number of art fairs found in this country, one can find an excellent printmaker selling their prints for pennies on the dollar, or selling their work in a cafe. A university's annual Christmas print sale is a good option for finding some great work and supporting local art students, because honestly, if we don't sell them there we'll end up giving away prints for Christmas presents because, well, people(family) need our work to grace their bathrooms and closets, and we don't have the inclination nor means to go Christmas shopping at Neiman Marcus(Needless Mark-ups). Sorry, I digress......
I want to discuss an idea that involves community support for local printmaking programs (in this case at a university, but it would work equally well for an independent print shop or studio). University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point is hosting its 3rd biennial Monoprint symposium May 31- June 6 whereby a dozen artists are invited to come make as many prints as they can within a week's time. The purpose of making these prints is that at the end of the week, the artists donate a couple of prints to an art exhibit/art auction. At the auction, people from the community come in to bid on the pieces, and the proceeds from the auction go back to the university's printmaking department to help support the program with supplies, maintain and improve facilities and bring in guest artists.
For those uninitiated to our inked up profession, the monoprint process is a singular, one of a kind print versus the tried and true nature of the medium where we make multiples (editions) of the same image. The artists invited to this year's Monoprint 2013 are a diverse lot, and well equipped to making alternative prints. They are as follows:
John Armstrong (Phoenix, AZ)
· Bob Erickson (Amherst Junction, WI)
· Julia Goos Pence (Portland, OR)
· Caren Heft (Stevens Point, WI)
· JinMan Jo (Plover, WI)
· Joshua Kolbow (West Bend, WI)
· Kristen Martincic (Columbia, MO)
· Dennis Nechvatal (Madison, WI)
· Deb Oden (Savannah, GA)
· John Schulz (Boston, MA)
· Eung-Won Suh (Seoul, South Korea)
· Cerese Vaden (Tempe, AZ)
· Danielle Wyckoff (Grand Rapids, MI)
The entrepreneurship of such an idea helps the university or printshop establish ties with the community, and it establishes a little financial freedom from budget cuts, which has crippled university art programs in recent years. This isn't a new idea, but it's one that works. Robert Erickson (Big Bob) heads the printmaking program at Stevens Point and if any of you are in the area, then pop in and see what's happening. I guarantee there will be some kick-axx prints happening and it will be worth the effort to go to the art auction (Thursday, June 6, 6:30-8:30p, at the Edna Carlsten Gallery) to support a fine printmaking program such as found at Stevens Point.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to this link for the symposium, http://www.uwsp.edu/art-design/monoprint