July 24, 2018
If you’re an art aficionado, love the look of silkscreen, woodblock or lithography prints, are an artist yourself or just wonder what printmaking is all about, you’ll find a great resource at the Center for Contemporary Printmaking. The non-profit, dedicated to the art of the print, including intaglio, lithography, monotype, silkscreen, woodblock printing, paper works, book arts, and digital arts, is located in Norwalk in Mathews Park.
The Center’s Founding
Artist and Silvermine Arts Center member the late Grace Ross Shanley founded the Center in 1995. “Grace wanted a place that was dedicated to educating, and giving people the opportunity to not only get to know this unique art form, but do it, “ says Executive Director Kimberly Henrikson. The Center is unique in the region as it is the only facility between New York and Boston dedicated to printmaking that is open to the public and not simply a museum.
Classes, Studio Space, Art On Display and For Sale
The Center offers a variety of ways to discover, learn and get involved in printmaking. The Center’s gallery is open to the public, displaying and selling works of contemporary printmakers, local, national and international. The Center also holds classes and workshops regularly. “We have classes for everyone from the novice to seasoned printmakers,” says Henrikson. “We invite artists from all over to teach, and we encourage anyone interested to take a look at our offerings – they will find a class that’s right for them whether it’s just to gain an appreciation of the art or to hone their skills.”
For serious printmakers, the Center offers studio space in which to work. With a membership structure, printmakers can come and use the studio and equipment. The organization also has a popular artist-in-residence program to which artists can apply in order to stay for various durations. This program draws artists from all over the world throughout the year, giving them a unique opportunity to live and work at a cottage with a studio at the Center where they can develop their skills and produce a body of work.
The Center is consciously working on producing the next generation of printmakers and print enthusiasts. It regularly hosts students from second grade up that come for a few hours to visit the exhibit gallery and then use the studio to make something. “We also have internship programs for both high school and college students,” says Henrikson. “For high school this is a 2-year program, where students come once a week after school to learn different printmaking processes the first year, then delving deeper into ones that interest them the second year.”
Businesses Invited to Get Involved
In addition to membership fees, the Center receives its funding from a variety of sources, from grants to foundations and individual donors, as well as from sales of the prints on display in the gallery. Area businesses are invited to come visit the gallery. Often businesses will hold corporate receptions there among the art. Companies can also arrange for smaller team-building events in the studio to get a hands-on experience in printmaking. Companies can also sponsor and underwrite exhibits, scholarships or artists in residence.
The Center for Contemporary Printmaking is located at 299 West Avenue. The gallery and studio hours are Tuesday–Saturday 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. and Sunday 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. For more information, visit contemprints.org or call (203) 899-7999.