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Open Thread - Blog


air1

Printwork-friendly Pittsburgh facility, AIR (Artists Image Resource), a non-profit artist-run organization, provides the necessary tools for personal, professional, traditional, and contemporary printmaking projects. AIR resources primarily include a Digital Imaging Lab, Lithography Shop, Intaglio Shop (etching), and additional workshops for papermaking and letterpress. Silk screening is a very popular component of AIR.

It has been home to more than 50 professional artists since its launch in 1996, and many of the past artists’ prints can be seen in room after room of the building—some can still be purchased. Local artist Ayanah Moor, is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Carnegie Mellon University who completed Alphabet A-Z in 2001, printwork which was completed at AIR. Each of the 26 screenprints (22”x30”) contained a definition exploring African-American slang. In 2000, John Thomas Pusateri, an Associate Printmaker at CMU, worked with AIR to complete a project that required relief, intaglio, litho, and screen.

Other records include prints from Patricia Villalobos-Echeverría, a transcultural artist who grew up in Nicaragua and addresses many of conflicts and natural disasters that Nicaraguans have faced. Villalobos uses personal texts and imagery to illustrate her themes of humanity and oppression.

But one need not be an established print artist to benefit from AIR. The facility provides public access to an Open Studio on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7-11 PM, which, for a nominal fee, grants guests the use of work space and printing materials for whatever the task at hand. Many regulars spend time at AIR completing flyer/poster projects, book-binding ventures and the occasional line of clothing. If you have the time—and the ink—anything’s possible. Silk screen sizes are available from 8”x10” to 40”x60”. Don’t fret if you forget any supplies: inks (acrylic & textile) and paper materials are available for a small price. Also, the managing artists at AIR are always willing to lend a hand to those new to the silk screening process. It’s also a pretty appealing sanctuary for local artists interested in shop rentals or a place to plan their next exhibition. Once you’re inside, there’s a good chance you’ll feel right at home.

In addition to its studio availability, AIR offers services ranging from Contract Printing to Project Consultation, which includes assistance with print-related academic projects within local schools and universities. AIR has worked with the Andy Warhol Museum on programs for Schenley High School on several occasions.

Artists Image Resource is located at 518 Foreland Street, on the North Side of Pittsburgh.

 



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