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Print Austin celebrates city’s visual arts scene


Call it the little festival that could.

Three years ago, a handful of visual artists — all printmakers of one kind or another — decided that our considerable fine art printmaking community needed a celebration. Austin boasts renowned museum print collections, several respected university printmaking programs and a long-standing and nationally recognized independent fine art printmaking scene.

It just needed to be lassoed together. And that’s what artists Elvia Perrin and Cathy Savage did when they launched Print Austin, a monthlong series of exhibits and events spotlighting the city’s percolating print scene.

If not a wristband-and-a-weekend type of festival, Print Austin is nevertheless now an annual standout on Austin’s visual arts calendar.

It kicks off this weekend with a slew of exhibit openings and continues through Feb. 15. And most of the happenings are free.

Below is a list of our top picks and recommendations. Print Austin features plenty more goings-on, so consult the printaustin.org website for a complete list.

EXHIBITS

Most exhibits continue through Feb. 15

Friday

“Collective Identity.” Opening: 7 to 10 p.m. Invenio Gallery, Canopy, 916 Springdale Road

Artist-founded and artist-run, Print Austin is an all-volunteer effort. So it’s nice that its collective leadership — Annalise Gratovich, Brian Johnson, Elvia Perrin, Cathy Savage and N.J. Weaver — step into the limelight with their latest prints.

“Future Past.” Opening 8 to 10 p.m. Big Medium, Canopy, 916 Springdale Road. bigmedium.org

New York-based artist Melissa Brown creates beguiling images using a difficult layering technique to create linocuts (block prints) charged with narrative mystery.

“Out of the Ruined Place.” Opening: 7 to 10 p.m. Grayduck Gallery, 2213 E. Cesar Chavez St. grayduckgallery.com

Margaret Craig and Tonja Torgerson each have atypical approaches to printmaking. Craig uses a self-invented process to print on discarded plastic for her luminous “Trash Reef” installation. Torgerson explores existential themes via wheat paste street posters.

Saturday

“The Contemporary Print” Opening: 6 to 8 p.m. O2 Gallery, Flatbed building, 2830 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Print Austin’s national survey of the traditions and innovations of contemporary printmaking always proves a terrific overview of what’s happening and what’s new.

“Intersection.” Opening: 6 to 8 p.m. Gallery Shoal Creek, Flatbed building, 2830 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. galleryshoalcreek.com

Karina Noel Hean’s layered, collaged prints are paired with Koichi Yamamoto’s innovative, large-scale works.

“Matter, Material and Metaphor.” Opening: 6 to 8 p.m. Camiba Art Gallery, Flatbed building, 2830 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. camibaart.com

Orna Feinstein blurs the boundaries between printing and sculpture with her optically vibrant creations.

“Julia Lucey.” Opening: 6 to 8 p.m. Wally Workman Gallery, 1201 W. Sixth St. wallyworkmangallery.com.

Lucey’s intriguing aquatint etchings of wildlife lingering behind plants evoke a haunting sense of nature-in-waiting.

Jan. 23

“PrintAustin Invitational: Layers.” Opening: 6 to 9 p.m. Link & Pin Gallery, 2235 E. Sixth St.

Print Austin co-founder Elvia Perrin invited artists who approach form with a fresh perspective and boldness for this select exhibit: Brad Tucker, Cassie White, Joan Winter and Ken Wood.

“Changing The Subject: The Women Artists of the Experimental Printmaking Institute.” Opening: 6 to 8 p.m. Bone Black Gallery, Canopy, 916 Springdale Road. boneblackstudio.com.

Founded in 1996 at Pennsylvania’s Lafayette College, the Experimental Printmaking Institute features work by minority artists. A traveling exhibit features noted women artists who produced work at the institute.

EVENTS AND WORKSHOPS

Jan. 23

“Pinot and Print.” 7 to 9 p.m. Artist’s Screen Printing Cooperative, 507 Calles St. Suite 106. aspco.org.

Printing with wine? Why not? The Artists Screen Printing Co-op is a collective working studio. Join its member artists for a screenprinting with wine demonstration along with a chance to visit with artists and shop for their creations.

“Printmaker Happy Hour and Portfolio Viewing.” 4 to 6 p.m. Lion’s Nest Studio, 1008 E. Sixth St. thelionsnest.com.

See the hundreds of prints produced at this indie East Austin shop and studio while mingling with the artists.

Jan. 24

“Exploring Print: 3 Artists Illuminated.” 1 to 3 p.m. Gallery Shoal Creek, Flatbed building, 2830 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. galleryshoalcreek.com.

A progressive tour with three renowned printmakers — Koichi Yamamoto, Orna Feinstein and Miguel Aragón — each of whom has a different expertise.



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