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.

Ruth Weisberg works primarily in painting, drawing, printmaking and large-scale installations. Artist and professor, she is the former Dean of Fine Arts at the University of Southern California since 1995. Ruth Weisberg is represented by Jack Rutberg Fine Arts in Los Angeles. Weisberg is well known for her paintings reflecting upon the cycle of life; the continuity of generations. The artist also has long held interests in preservation, extinction and survival. Since her arrival in Los Angeles in 1969, Ruth Weisberg has been a formidable influence and mentor to decades of artists in this city and beyond. Her first major survey in Los Angeles was in 1979 at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery. She was the first artist exhibited at The Women’s Building (Judy Chicago was simultaneously presented with a solo exhibition to inaugurate that venue). With more than 80 solo exhibitions and nearly 200 group exhibitions internationally, Weisberg is the first living painter to have been afforded a solo exhibition at the Norton Simon Museum of Art in 2008-2009. Weisberg also holds that distinction at The Huntington Library. Ruth Weisberg has executed many ambitious large-scale works, including the 94-foot mixed-media painting “The Scroll,” which was exhibited at the Skirball Cultural Center. She painted the 29-foot mural “New Beginnings: One Hundred Years of Jewish Immigration” as part of a commission from the UJA Federation. The mural was installed in the headquarters’ entrance in New York City. Ruth Weisberg’s work is included in the permanent collections of over 60 museums, including the Metropolitan Museum, National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Whitney Museum of American Art, Portland Art Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Getty Research Institute, Norton Simon Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, Detroit Institute of Arts, Biblioteque Nationale in Paris, and the Instituto Nationale per la Grafica in Rome, among many others.
Lorna Turner is a practicing artist, graphic designer and educator. Since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2005, where she received her Masters in Communication Art and Design, Lorna has been collaborating in multidisciplinary design environments, from print to web to dimensional spaces. Working with start ups to established firms, Lorna offer the broad scope of marketing materials for each client and each scale of needs.While at the RCA, Lorna organized the lecture series "It's A Man's World?" featuring dynamic female designers, architects, illustrators and theorist. Topics of discussion ranged from their ways of practicing to 'what was their biggest mistake'. In 2004, she designed the winning graphic identity for the Qatar National Museum. In that same year she collaborated with Tom Lucas to design an anti-fur campaign for the Respect for Animals Foundation. They were awarded 'Special Commendation' by the Design Against Fur jury. Her letterpress print illustrations "Blue Red Black" was featured on a cover of Design Week in support of a gallery exhibition.
Meagan Stirling is an artist and educator who holds a BA from Whitworth University and an MFA in Printmaking from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Meagan lives and works in Santa Barbara, California where she is Assistant Professor of Art at Westmont College. Previously, she taught art at Whitworth University, the Beijing International College, and the University of Colorado Denver.The paradox of daily life as safe and comfortable, juxtaposed with its polar opposite – the uncertainties of life – appears to bully the American Dream itself. My prints and installations examine complexities and illusions created through the antithetical patterns of daily American suburban life by exploring the extent to which perceived safety is part of the national psyche.By combining printmaking, painting, and photography, my work explores the over-exaggerated idea of safety that becomes weakened by isolation, chance, and violence, to which we are all vulnerable. 
Sherry Smith Bell creates innovative prints and mixed media drawings of houses, barns, doors, windows and nature.  Her art works use the tools of the artist: line, tone, color, ink, shape. Her art works are represented in many museum, university and private collections.
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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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LAPS brought to you in part by
pasadenda art alliance
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