Five Things to Do at PrintAustin This Year
Printmakers showcase their work at venues all over town
The PrintAustin Collective was co-founded in 2013 by local printmakers Cathy Savage and Elvia Perrin to bring attention to the vibrant printmaking scene in Austin. Together, they and their advisers produced the first monthlong festival in 2014 (Jan. 15-Feb. 15). PrintAustin has since grown to include more than 60 print-focused events serving thousands of audience members annually, with returning and new participants each year. This means there's a lot to try and take in, citizen – even without considering those damned 'ronas still gumming up the works this year – and so here's five recommendations for you. But, yes, do check the relevant websites (especially printaustin.org) for any pandemic-spurred last-minute schedule changes.
The Contemporary Print
Ah, Big Medium in the Canopy complex on Springdale – that's been the epicenter for PrintAustin from the get-go, and it remains a must-see foundational exhibition for each festival. Witness a survey of traditional printmaking techniques and innovative approaches in contemporary printmaking, as curated by John Hitchcock, a professor (and 20-year printmaking teacher) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The show has an opening reception on Fri., Jan. 14, 7-10pm, which serves to inaugurate the whole fest. Note: They'll be taking appointments for 30-minute visits in the gallery with only a 10-person capacity for each time slot, and of course everyone will be masked.
This is a Slugfest show, but it's not at Slugfest – so you won't get to pet any of the kitties that reign over that storied bastion of local printing excellence. No, Tom Druecker and Margaret Simpson and their ink-stained cohort – Shailee Thakkar, Theresa Bond, Alan Tull, Jill Thrasher, and Carol Hayman – are exhibiting their recent projects at Link & Pin, further accompanied by the presence of the annual trade portfolio, "Extreme Weather." And it begins with a reception on Sat., Jan. 15, 5:30-7:30pm.
Link & Pin, 2235 E. Sixth #102
Not close in town, but at Contracommon out there near Bee Cave's Galleria, this show's a fine excuse to go for a leisurely drive and wind up at a booth-style group exhibition surveying contemporary print work in Austin and the Central Texas area. The show includes works in a variety of print techniques, including monotype, collography, intaglio, cyanotype, screenprint, linocut, woodcut, and alternative relief printing – by such talents as Forrest Aderholt, Molly Knobloch, Taylor Bailey, Kyle Saldaña, Ashlyn Briscoe, Brock Caron, Denise Elliot Jones, Qarthian, Stephanie Khattak, and more.
Opening reception: Sat., Jan. 15, 6-9pm
Contracommon, 12912 Hill Country Blvd., Ste. F-140
We're gonna send you back to Canopy with this one, because on Fri., Jan. 21, 6-10pm, Ivester Contemporary hosts the reception for this virtual exhibition juried by Caitlin Clay, curator of exhibitions at the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, featuring works by five contemporary artists from the United States, Mexico, and Poland – Kena Kitchengs, Ryan O'Malley, Junli Song, Anna Trojanowska, and Linda Whitney – providing a broad survey of printmaking from across the globe.
Ivester Contemporary, 916 Springdale, Bldg. 2, #107
The Printmaker's Ball & Print Expo
And here's the big fundraising soirée and the opening night for the final weekend's PrintExpo. That expo is where you can purchase original prints directly from the artists, observe live demonstrations, and experience the large-scale limning of steamroller printing (accomplished in cahoots with Texas A&M's Department of Art) – and all the action unfolds at the expansive Blue Genie Art Bazaar. Note: All y'all Ballers will get first dibs on prints during a cocktail-fueled mix & mingle, and the evening's VIPs can also see Bob Schneider's work up close and personal, with a chance to meet the artist.
Ball: Fri., Feb. 11, 7-10pm
$20 ($75, VIP)
Expo: Feb. 12-13; Sat., noon-6pm; Sun., 10am-2pm
Blue Genie Art Bazaar, 6100 Airport
PrintAustin 2022, Jan. 15-Feb. 22. printaustin.org.