Canada has a rich and multi-faceted history of fine art printmaking. NSCAD’s internationally renowned Professional Lithography Workshop (1969-1976) is at the forefront of this history. Its influence in establishing a practice of collaborative printmaking throughout North America re-defined the art potential of print in the 20th century. Anna Leonowens Gallery in co-operation with Tamarind-certified Master Printer Jill Graham, seek to build upon the enduring legacy of NSCAD’s Professional Lithography Workshop by inviting 8 high-profile, diverse, contemporary Canadian artists to collaborate in the production of a portfolio of limited-edition, hand-printed lithographs. The creation of these prints will serve as a launching point for a series of public artist talks and open-studio workshops, a series of short docs profiling each artist during production, and ultimately a folio of prints to be exhibited at the Anna Leonowens Gallery and subsequently other venues including the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in 2019.
This proposed collaboration recognizes the historic relationship between NSCAD and Kinngait Studios and contributes to the emerging critical discourse surrounding decolonizing practices within the arts. It formalizes community collaboration and shared creative space between new artists and printers in both Cape Dorset and Nova Scotia, suggesting the kind of cross-cultural exchange that arctic communities and institutions already thrive on, and that are imperative for the rest of Canada to begin engaging with. Connecting these artists and studios represents an important new chapter in Canadian art history, one based on the premise of sharing artistic and technical knowledge, facilitating new experimentation, and co-operative construction: all goals historically held by both arctic indigenous cultures in Canada and print culture the world over.
Production of Print Folio
The Anna Leonowens Gallery houses the entire collection of prints from the NSCAD LWS. Using this archive of prints as a departure point, each of the 8 participating artists will work in the NSCAD printmaking studios with Tamarind-certified Master Printer, Jill Graham, for up to two weeks, creating an original lithograph edition of 25 (approx. 22×30” in paper size). Highlighting past, present and future collaborative methods in Canadian printmaking, each artist will then also be offered the opportunity to collaborate further on another lithograph with either a fellow project participant, NSCAD faculty, or an artist from the community likely resulting in an additional 4 collaborative prints. The resulting 12 editions will be assembled into 25 folios. Two folios will be produced and framed for the sole purpose of exhibition loans.