Print crazy–Philadelphia rolls the presses

Ben Franklin & his printing press
Ben Franklin demonstrates his printing press

Philagrafika is unveiling its new annual portfolio next week (5-6 p.m., Sept. 20th, 728 South Broad Street), and as I mentioned the other day, Shelley Spector has created a print portfolio with a somewhat different angle (post here).

I asked Philagrafika Executive Director Teresa Jaynes if the organization was feeling the heat of competition, but Jaynes answered that Philadelphia’s hunger for prints is healthy and growing. A sure sign of that is that four new print shops have opened their doors in Philadelphia, in the past couple of years, bringing the number of fine art printers to more than 12.

Here’s what she wrote:

There are four print shops that I’m aware of that have opened in the last few years (not counting numerous artists’ shops that just produce their own work). The Left hand Print Studio (Wendy Osterweil produces silkscreen yardage of custom fabric, in addition to her own prints); Art in the Age of Mechanical Production at Copy Gallery (also screen printing, ranges from prints to t-shirts); Curio Wallcoverings (Adam Wallacavage and Andrew Clark, silkscreen – custom wallpaper); Deer Tree Press (Liz Gross, hand lithography).

nami yamamoto
Nami Yamamoto • Miniature Garden: Trace
15″ x 18″ • pigmented paper, over beaten bleached abaca with watermark
with Brodsky Center
image provided by Philagrafika from this year’s portfolio

She also listed the shops that have been working with Philagrafika to make their prints:

The Philagrafika Portfolio shops that have participated from the beginning are: C.R. Ettinger Studio (Cindi Ettinger, etching), Silicon Gallery (Rick DeCoyte, digital), Brandywine Workshop (Allan Edmunds, offset lithography), The Borowsky Center for Publication Arts at UArts (Lori Spencer, offset lithography), The Brodsky Center for Print and Paper (Judy Brodsky, multiple print processes and paper making–formerly Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper) and Fabric Workshop and Museum (Mary Anne Friel).

And here’s what she had to say about the competition from Spector:

Just like you can never have too many shoe stores – or at least, I can’t! – the more Philadelphia is known for producing prints, the more people who want to collect prints will look to Philadelphia as a market. Just in the last couple years, four new print shops have opened that I know of, and with the seven shops that have been part of our portfolio, we’re up to a dozen plus. All of this activity is great news for Philagrafika and the arts community at large.

As you know, Shelley always brings a high standard to everything that she does and I’m sure that Spector Projects is no different. I say that with well coordinated and ambitious print programs that everyone involved benefits greatly; we welcome Shelley and are excited support her ambitious project as another step that will get us ever closer to /Philagrafika 2010/, [the international, contemporary printed-image art festival that Philagrafika is planning for 2010].

Jane Irish
Jane Irish • Untitled
15″ x 18″ • silkscreen
with Fabric Workshop and Museum
image provided by Philagrafika from this year’s print portfolio

And just in case you are wondering who is included in this year’s Philagrafika portfolio, it’s another great group:

* Anthony Campuzano with Brandywine Workshop
* Marilyn Holsing with Silicon Gallery Fine Art Prints
* Jane Irish with Fabric Workshop and Museum
* Randall Sellers with C.R. Ettinger Studios
* Jackie Tileston with The Borowsky Center for Publication Arts, The University of the Arts
* Nami Yamamoto with The Brodsky Center