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.

When Smith was accepted by the Royal College of Art in London to participate in the Post Experience Programme, which offered him the opportunity to draw from cadavers at the University of London’s School of Medicine, he worked on variations of images, including interpretative anatomical sketches of body parts. These drawings are captured in his powerful series “Silent Orators”.  Additional work on this series includes the lithographs produced in Berlin, Germany, working at the Professional Association of Berlin Artists (BBK) printmaking facilities, as well as etchings from acrylic hard grounds, and the non-toxic etching process using photopolymer film. Smith developed his “Berlin Air Lift” studies drawn in situ at Berlin’s Templehof airport, and later re-interpreted, and printed them as linear images with the photopolymer film process at Berlin’s Druckstelle Printmaking Studios. Continuing his work at BBK, Smith further developed a selection of drawings done in India and produced as lithographs.Other thematic works i.e., Smith’s etching editions of “Warrior Suit of Armor”, “The London Bagpiper” and “Italian Youth”, as well as conté crayon drawings and digital prints, represent interpretations of images captured in selected art museums abroad and in the U.S.  Currently, Smith produces drawings and prints in his printmaking studio in San Diego, California, and works periodically in professional printmaking facilities in Berlin, Germany.Smith’s prints have received juried awards, including a purchase prize by the Pasadena Art Museum for its permanent collection.  His heavily embossed etching triptych titled  ‘Ranger I,II, III’  was  on loan from the Los Angeles County Art Museum Rental Gallery  to the NASA Jet Propulsion  Lab in Pasadena California.  Smith’s work has been shown in numerous private and public solo and group juried exhibitions. His works are currently being prepared for national and international exhibitions, and for public and private galleries and collections.
Originally from New York City, Cathie returned to Illinois in the fall of 2004 after living overseas with her husband (three years in Jeddah Saudi Arabia and then three years in Grenoble France).  Since completing her Master of Fine Art degree in 1987 from Bradley University in Peoria, IL, she has concentrated on the color reduction woodcut.   Her work has been included in more than three hundred exhibitions, twenty-five solo exhibitions, seventy juried national shows and fifteen international juried exhibitions since completing a BFA from The Ohio State University.  Crawford has won over thirty-five awards at both the national and regional level.  Her prints have been exhibited in 26 states as well as France, Poland, Saudi Arabia, and the UK. 
In his graphic work, Endi Poskovic invokes influences as disparate as early cinema, classic Japanese woodcut prints, devotional pictures, and Eastern European propaganda posters. By combining visual representation with text, Poskovic shifts the reading of the image by providing a new context for the viewer to continually reinterpret. Reminiscent of youthful whimsy and playful fantasy, the unsettling juxtapositions and invented constructions in Poskovic’s prints convey a sense of the habitual, like a window into the everyday reality of a different world. The hybridized narratives of toy-like objects and fantastic landscapes in Poskovic’s work imply stories from personal and social histories, referencing themes of displacement, shifting cultural identity, environmental transformation, migration, and alienation—all of which are presented in images that are as tragic as they are magnificent.Endi Poskovic was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in1969. From an early age he studied music and art, which eventually led to performances of traditional music and songs of the Balkans at festivals throughout Europe and the Middle East. Poskovic completed his B.F.A. at the University of Sarajevo Academy of Fine Arts in 1990. A Minnefindet Scholarship, funded by the Norwegian government, enabled him to live in Norway for a year to study art as well as the Nynorsk language and culture. From Norway, Poskovic moved to the United States to study with Harvey Breverman and Adele Henderson at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he earned his M.F.A. in 1993.Poskovic has been the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, most recently from the John D. Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Study Center in Italy and the Open Studio Centre in Canada. Other notable awards include grants and fellowships from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Camargo Foundation in France, MacDowell Colony, Art Matters Foundation, New York State Arts Council, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Indiana Arts Commission, Confucius Institute, Durfee Foundation, Flemish Ministry of Culture-Frans Masereel Centrum in Belgium, Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies, McColl Center for Visual Arts, Can Serrat International Art Centre in Spain, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Kala Art Institute, Valparaiso Foundation in Spain, and the University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies.Widely exhibited, Poskovic has presented his prints in some of the most prestigious venues for print media, most recently in the 14th Taipei International Print Biennial, and the 2009 Krakow International Print Triennial. He has also shown work in the Egyptian International Print Triennial, La Biennale Internationale d'Estampe Contemporaine de Trois-Rivières in Canada, Deutsche Internationale Grafik-Triennale in Frechen, Tallinn International Triennial in Estonia, Xylon International Triennale in France, and Ljubljana International Graphic Arts Biennale in Slovenia. Comprehensive surveys of Poskovic’s prints have been organized by the Philadelphia Print Center in 2001, the Des Moines Art Center in 2006, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in 2007, and again in 2008 by the Frans Masereel Museum in Belgium—which traveled to Stad Leuven Academie en Conservatorium and Atelier Vrije Grafiek, Academie voor Beeldende Kunst-Ghent.Works by Endi Poskovic are in many permanent collections, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Royal Antwerp Museum of Fine Arts, Centre National des Arts Plastiques in Cairo, the Fogg Art Museum—Harvard University, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, New Orleans Museum of Art, Orange County Museum of Art in California, the Kennedy Museum of American Art, the University of Iowa Museum of Art, Des Moines Art Center, Seattle Arts Commission, The Krakow International Print Triennial Society Museum of Art, Tampa Museum of Fine Arts, Vaasa Ostrobothnian Museum in Finland, and the Musée d'Art Contemporain Fernet Branca-Saint-Louis in France.Poskovic is a Professor at the University of Michigan School of Art and Design, as well as at the University of Michigan Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies.Poskovic’s current series of lithographic prints and animations are a roman à clef reminiscing Mostar, a city with several distinct ethnic communities in Southern Bosnia and Herzegovina. Through faith in the process of drawing, the series offers a personal tale of displacement and discovery.
Donna Day Westerman grew up in Ontario and Michigan, where she attended the Detroit Institute of Arts and Crafts (now the Center for Creative Studies) and the University of Michigan. She began her professional career at the age of 14 when she produced greeting cards for National Artcrafts. In 1960 she moved with her family to Boston, where she attended the Boston Museum School. After a year in Spain and England, where she attended London Polytechnic, she returned to the family home in Tustin, California, and enrolled in the masters program at Otis Art Institute. She majored in painting and printmaking and graduated summa cum laude in 1966. She is now a professor emeritus, retired after 32 years at Orange Coast College, where she served as department chair for 20 years and taught printmaking, painting, experimental painting, illustration, life drawing, color and design, computer graphics, set design and humanities.In 1979 she started the first computer graphics department in the nation to be housed within a fine arts division. She developed its curriculum and served as its director for 11 years. During this time she was considered one of the early pioneers in the field and served as a consultant and appeared as a speaker at numerous conferences and events. She won many honors and awards for her efforts, including the “Innovator of the Year” award for both the college and the district. She has been the subject of a number of videos and articles of artists in Southern California and has appeared on CBS TV as the subject of a 15 minute interview. Donna is past president of the Los Angeles Printmaking Society (LAPS), has served as editor of Newsprint, the journal of LAPS, and as Chair of the 18th National Printmaking Exhibition held in Pasadena in the fall of 2006. In 2009 she curated a major exhibition of large scale prints held at the Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion at Orange Coast College.Recently she has moved to the Bay area where she is an artist-in-residence at Kala Art Institute in Berkeley and also works out of her studio in the warehouse district of Oakland, near Jack London Square. She is currently developing a new body of work based on natural elements.
Born in Canton, Ohio; Lives and works in Los Angeles, CaliforniaLinda Lyke, a L.A. artist and Professor of Art at Occidental College, is known for her printmaking, multicolored abstract monotypes and mixed media work. Linda has shown in fifteen one-person exhibits and 80 national print and drawing exhibitions. Linda’s work explores two distinct artistic directions; one which investigates the intuitive process of abstraction and the other which references the destructive beauty in nature.
Tallmadge Doyle is a printmaker, painter and public artist. Born in New York City, she has lived and worked in Eugene, Oregon, for twenty-­five years.She received her BFA in Drawing from the Cleveland Art Institute and an MFA in Printmaking from the University of Oregon.Recent exhibitions include one person shows at Davidson Gallery, Seattle; Augen Gallery, Portland; and Schrager Clarke Gallery in Eugene. Her work is included in more than one hundred national and international exhibitions and is featured in over forty public collections in the United States and abroad.Tallmadge taught as an Adjunct Professor of printmaking and drawing at the University of Oregon for 15 years and teaches annual workshops at Sitka Center for Art and Ecology.
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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 February 1st, 2020 from 1PM-3PM
For or a Gallery Walk through with participating artists followed by a
Panel Discussion on "Migration and Art”  with

Pavel Acevedo, Marianne Sadowski and Phumilelele Tshabalala

Included in this exhibition is a special preview of PAPER BOATS, a small flotilla will be on view in preparation for LA Printmaking on view at SGCI 2023 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The ImMigration Project, back from an exciting installation in Venice Italy, in October 2019 currently comprises 145 artists from all over North America and Europe!

Here is a short video clip of the first installation of ImMigration at the 2019 SGCI.

This unique collaborative art project will continue to grow and travel. Help us find the next venues! And stay posted on all the news when you follow the ImMigration project on Facebook and Instagram!

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