History

The LAPS story

In 1962, Los Angeles artists Connor Everts and Paul Darrow began discussing ways to improve the perception of printmaking as an art form. They decided that the best method to accomplish this goal would be to improve exhibition opportunities, educate the public, and popularize printmaking as an art form. They received support and encouragement from Ken Ross, of the newly formed Los Angeles Arts Commission, and Ebria Feinblatt of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. They were joined by artists Leonard Edmondson, June Wayne, Ynez Johnston, Emerson Woelffer, Guy Maccoy, Dick Swift, Tom Fricano and others to form the Los Angeles Printmaking Society.

Within a year, by-laws were drawn up and LAPS was incorporated as a non-profit organization. The organization began with thirty invited members. In the early years LAPS was fortunate to have the support of a wonderful artist and patron, Esther Lewis, who generously donated studio and gallery space on the second and third floors at 818 Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles. At that time LAPS was a small cooperative organization providing various services, including gallery and studio space to its members.

Over the years, the local LAPS group has expanded and now is an international society of well over 400 artist/printmakers from all across the USA, including members in Canada, Europe, Australia, South Korea and Egypt. New applicants are juried in every other year by distinguished jurors during the LAPS National exhibitions and by fellow members twice a year. LAPS members include artists, curators, educators and collectors. LAPS offers Associate, Student, and Patron memberships and encourages participation of all members in membership and exchange exhibitions, symposia and print related journalism.

In 1973 the first "LAPS National Print Exhibition" was held at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery in Barnsdall Park. James Brown, director of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, juried it. One hundred and eleven works were selected from 800 entries. The Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts at UCLA hosted the Seventh, Eighth and Ninth National exhibitions.

Since 1973, LAPS has sponsored a National Print Exhibition approximately every two years with the 20th National in 2009 returning to the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery once again. Unlike many other print exhibitions, LAPS includes recent work from the major presses that are so prominent in Los Angeles, encouraging a thorough dialogue of the contemporary print. Artists of international stature exhibit alongside local and national artists juried into the show. Many generous vendors, corporations, organizations and private collectors have been supporters of the National Exhibition, donating cash awards and purchase prizes.

Over the years, jurors have included Peter Frank, Archana Horsting, Ruth Weisberg, Kevin Salatino, Ed Ruscha, Nathan Oliveira, Ynez Johnston, Laddie John Dill, Henry Hopkins, Elizabeth Smith, Bruce Davis to name a few. In 1995, LAPS began organizing with a consortium of galleries in Los Angeles to exhibit prints and print related exhibitions in conjunction with the National Exhibition.

Besides the National, LAPS sponsors many member exhibitions and exchange shows. Exhibitions have been held not only in Los Angeles, but also in Ireland, South Korea, France, Great Britain, Sweden, Norway among the locations.

LAPS publishes a newsletter called Interleaf and a journal, Newsprint. The organization continues in its educational role by sponsoring symposia, student portfolio critiques, and offering low-cost student memberships.

From the initial conversation between two artists in 1962, the Los Angeles Printmaking Society has grown and enriched the art of printmaking and created an active community beyond its founder’s expectations.

LAPS logo created by Connor Everts circa 1963:

LAPS logo created by Connor Everts circa 1963.

David Avery continues to exploit the constraints inherent in traditional black and white line etching in his studio in San Francisco for his own suspect purposes. His work is included in the collections of the Library of Congress, the Fogg Museum at Harvard University, the New York Public Library, the Achenbach Foundation for the Graphic Arts, the Stanford University Library among others, and has been noted in the New York Times. Originally trained as a classical musician, he discovered etching almost by accident in a class at the local community college. After learning the basic techniques, he intently pursued his own course of discovery, developing an exceptional technique and creating a remarkable body of finely wrought miniature etchings and drypoints. Even though “black and white doesn’t sell”, he has eschewed the use of color, finding the subtleties and tonalities of black and white most capable of creating the psychological mood that allows his work to be effective.
Clovis Blackwell is an interdisciplinary artist with expertise in screenprinting. His work explores themes of suffering, perseverance, and transformation, and is regularly exhibited in Southern California and internationally. Juried competitions and group shows includes at the Kennedy Center Terrace Gallery in Washington, D.C. and the World Financial Center Gallery in New York City. He received his BFA from San Francisco Art Institute in 1999, MFA from Azusa Pacific University in 2009, and has taught printmaking for many years. Blackwell is a juried member of both the Los Angeles Art Association and the Los Angeles Printmaking Society. He owns and operates Fleur de Boom Editions, a publisher of limited edition fine art serigraph prints. Find out more at www.clovisblackwell.com.
I choose printmaking as my primary medium. The printmaking process is reminiscent of the relationship between light and shadow. Etching and aquatint help me express my interest in light and shadow by using their rich tones of black and white. The graphic nature of black and white leads me to lines and shapes found in architectural elements. Once I eliminated color from my work, I found myself drawn to the exploration of space itself. My work became about the physicality of three dimensional space.
I am continually exploring the ephemeral nature of movement, integrating performance concepts into my visual art. The art I create is imbued with a sense of movement - lines, form and color travel through space trailing an invisible wake behind. My work is often not fixed in place, which creates a John Cage quality of possibilities. Chance and change are possible. Work can often be configured in different ways - picked up and moved as though it were a performance that was evolving for a specific site.
Walter Askin, painter, printmaker, sculptor, and teacher, was born in Pasadena, California on 12 September 1929. He studied sculpture, painting, and printmaking at the Pasadena City College where one of his mentors was Leonard Edmondson. Askin went on to study at the University of California, Berkeley where he earned his BA and MA degrees. He began his lengthy teaching career in 1956 at the California State University, Los Angeles where he became Professor of art. He was also a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley; the California State University, Long Beach; and the University of Hawaii. He served on the board of directors of Pasadena Art Museum; Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art; and the Baxter Art Gallery, California Institute of Technology. Askin is member of College Art Association of America and one if the originalk members of Los Angeles Printmaking. He was honored with awards for his teaching and his art and his work is represented in the collections of the Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; the Kunstlerhaus, Vienna; the Oxford Museum of Modern Art, England; and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
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ImMigration Project_Venice
Jan. 11, 2020

ImMigration Project at Self Help Graphics

Saturday, January 11th to February 22nd, 2020

Opening Reception, January 11th, 7PM - 9PM

Join us for a special Gallery Walk-thru & Panel on Migration and Art:
Saturday, February 1st, 2020 1PM- 3PM

with
Pavel Acevedo and Francesco Siqueiros and special guests

The ImMigration Project is back from an exciting installation in Venice Italy, in October 2019.
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