For almost five decades now, St. Michael’s Printshop (SMP) has been celebrating, promoting and helping grow the art of printmaking in the province, giving both emerging and established artists the chance to develop their skills and showcase their work.
Established in 1974 by artists Heidi Oberheide and Don Wright in the quiet outport of St. Michael’s, the printshop has seen a boatload of talent pass through over the years, including Mary Pratt, Christopher Pratt, Frank Lapointe, Jerry Evans and many more.
These days, located at 72 Harbour Drive along the waterfront in downtown St. John’s, the artist-run print studio continues to provide facilities and opportunities for local and visiting artists through workshops, scholarships, an artist-in-residence program, exhibitions, and other events.
Soon, folks will have a chance to browse through almost 50 years of SMP’s history, and take a piece of it home, through the printshop’s Holiday Print Sale and Fundraiser.
The event, taking place from November 24-25, will consist of a salon style installation of prints, spanning 49 years of printmaking within SMP. Opening night on Friday (from 5pm to 8pm) will also be a fun, social event where guests can check out and purchase artworks while enjoying refreshments and mingling with artists and SMP staff and members.
SMP keeps two prints from every edition that is made at the facility, “one of which goes to our archive and the other goes to our sales collection for fundraising purposes,” explains Christeen Francis, Executive Director of SMP.
“So we have a wide variety of prints made by members, Don Wright Scholars and visiting artists,” she adds, including Christine Koch, Jerry Evans, Kym Greeley and Anita Singh (SMP members), Shazia Ahmad and Amery Sandford (past Don Wright Scholars), and Kathryn Durst and Eric Mummery (visiting artists), to name a few.
“We have exhibitions in our gallery but we don’t often select work from our sales collection to display and purchase. This is a chance for folks to come see what has been made at SMP over the years and take a piece of our history home with them!” Francis says.
“It’s also an exciting way to get to know about prints and printmaking as well for those unfamiliar. Staff will be on hand to answer questions about the prints and print processes employed in the prints.”
This is the second print sale fundraiser to take place this year and with SMP looking toward their 50th anniversary in 2024, most of the fundraising efforts are focused on supporting special programming “to celebrate SMP’s past and future” Francis says.
“This includes three exhibitions composed of prints from our archives that will take place at the Rotary Arts Centre in Corner Brook, Union House Arts in Port Union and a third exhibition will take place in St John’s, site TBD, at the end of the year.”