January 26, 2012  |  Print Studio
Opening Day at Print Studio

This display wall features Print Studio editions made on day one.

Print Studio opened on Monday, January 23—and right away visitors began arriving to make the first prints. Having spent much of last week installing graphics, printing equipment, and furniture into the mezzanine of MoMA’s Education and Research Building—including translocating the Reanimation Library from Gowanus, Brooklyn, to its “mid-Manhattan branch” at Print Studio—it was exciting to finally see the studio in action. Drawing from the classic CMYB (Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Black) printing color palette, we painted the mezzanine with dots that denote areas for the display of prints created in the studio. Additionally, wall labels give further information about specific programs and workshops taking place throughout Print Studio’s run.

We welcomed our first participants, who arrived eager to delve in and make their first prints. Throughout the day we had different visitors, running the gamut from professors and printing students to children accompanied by parents, and from those who came specifically for Print Studio to those who stumbled upon it unexpectedly during their visit to the Museum. A steady stream of keen art-makers came throughout the day to try their hand at a unique print.

At once specific and sometimes strange, there are many fascinating subjects and resources to be perused, selected, and borrowed from the Reanimation Library’s collection, offering inspiration for the various creative printing projects that emerge through Print Studio’s drop-in program. After selecting and scanning an image such as the one shown here, from the book Above and Beyond: The Encyclopedia of Aviation and Space Sciences, participants can digitally add to or edit parts of the image according to their own interests and artistic impulses.

Image 100047_0096, from Above and Beyond: The Encyclopedia of Aviation and Space Sciences

After saving and printing their work, participants are invited to continue the printmaking process by using a host of recycled materials available on site, including mixed paper and yarn for collage, rubber stamps for colorful imprinting, fabric or other textures for rubbings, and stickers for vibrant additions. The result of the first day was an array of printed editions for Print Studio’s wall, many of which are on display in the Education and Research Building mezzanine.

Starting today, participants are also invited to engage with an ongoing activity that re-imagines the Collective Task project. In early 2006, poet Robert Fitterman invited several other poets and artists to participate in a collective project: one participant would offer the group a new task on the first day of each month, to be completed within that month, and participants would respond to any or all of the tasks. Tasks have ranged from “Create a piece around your first purchase of the month of March” to simply “One act.” The group named itself Collective Task and published a book in 2009. Collective Task is now in its second round, with many new participants, under the curatorial care of Lanny Jordan Jackson. Stay tuned for a 10-Minute Talk on this project, coming soon to the blog. We have adapted several original Collective Tasks for Print Studio, and we ask visitors to respond to the week’s adapted task through the medium of print, using the materials available in the studio.

Join us at Print Studio to learn more about the print medium, respond to an adapted Collective Task, and make your own masterpiece!