Founded in 1978, Island Press is a research-based printmaking workshop at Washington University in St. Louis that is committed to creating and publishing innovative prints and multiples, educating students and the broader community about print media, and advancing the printmaking field.
In the context of intensive visiting artist residencies, Island Press explores the expansive theoretical and material terrain of the print. The Press is project-driven, tapping into the place where the artist's creative activity intersects with the philosophical underpinnings of printmaking. Experimentation with new modes and technologies is a natural part of this pursuit, resulting in the creation of innovative and ambitious editions in a wide range of media.
Visiting artists work in collaboration with the master printer, faculty, and students to create a reciprocal environment for education and research. Artists reap the benefits of numerous dedicated, energetic student assistants to help push to new levels of complexity and originality in their projects. At the same time, undergraduate and graduate students taking part in the development of artistic ideas gain access and insight into both the technical and conceptual challenges that make each artist’s project unique. Fostering the creative relationships of the printmaking workshop is central to the Island Press mission.
Past visiting artists to Island Press include Radcliffe Bailey, Chakaia Booker, Nick Cave, Tom Friedman, Willie Cole, Squeak Carnwath, and Ann Hamilton, among many others. Current and upcoming visiting artists include James Siena (fall 2012) and Nina Katchadourian (spring 2013).
- To serve as a research workshop for the publication of, education about, and advancement of prints and multiples.
- To provide an educational environment for students, research assistants, and interns through hands-on, experiential learning and participation in the collaborative process.
- To provide invited artists with the opportunity to engage in innovative, creative research and to develop projects in our versatile facilities that explore, challenge, and advance the strength and character of their work through the print and/or multiple.
- To promote original multiples, works on paper, and prints as vital to the practice of contemporary art.