Greetings from Sitka!
Every year at Sitka, our Smith Studio printmaking space comes alive with a special residency program designed for three individual artists. Each artist receives an independent two week stay to learn printmaking from Julia D'Amario, master printmaker. The Jordan Schnitzer Printmaking Residency program (JSPR) provides intensive one-on-one mentorship & technical support, and is designed for artists with little or no printmaking experience. Imagine for yourself stepping into a beautiful studio space and discovering new ideas to bravely take on as a beginner.
Founded in 2002 and funded by Jordan Schnitzer, 36 artists have participated in this residency program. Sitka maintains the collection of these prints for our archive and for sale. Artists such as Roy DeForest, Akio Takamori, Ray Troll, Larry Thomas and Deb DeWit are some of the many talented sculptors, ceramists, and painters who have expanded their art practices through the introduction of printmaking here at Sitka.
In late January, for the first time in the sixteen-year history of the JSPR program, we shared a wide selection of the prints from the Sitka archive at the Portland Art Museum Fine Print Fair. In its fifth year, the event is planned by Sam Davidson of Davidson Gallery in Seattle & Mary Chapin, Curator of Prints and Drawings at Portland Art Museum.
I'm very happy to say the fair was a success for Sitka - and being there was so upbeat! Over 3400 people in total attended to view work from eighteen dealers and printmaking groups. In addition to showing the prints, our space was alive with educational opportunities, several JSPR artists who volunteered to discuss their work and residency, and Julia D'Amario, Kathy Kuehn and Frank Boyden answering questions about the copper plate etching process.
We were honored to be invited and share Sitka's story, our history, and information about the workshop and residency programs. The proceeds from print sales will support our mission, and we look forward to seeing the new friends we made in Portland. Of the many people we met, one college-aged artist mentioned that she was inspired by our JSPR residents, who put their heart into trying something new, exploring both their strengths and the unknown. I was reminded how fortunate it is to be part of a community that values that wonder of creativity, inquiry, risk taking and generous collaboration.
We wish you a daily dose of exploration into the unknown, and a celebration of your discoveries!
Leslie Jordan, Executive Director