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Axellence in Fine Art

(May 2006) posted on Thu May 11, 2006

Discover how Axelle Fine Arts approaches the printmaking process and why it continues to rely on traditional methods.


By Andy MacDougall

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Many printmaking programs are shrinking due to lack of interest. What is your experience?
From my experience, academic printmaking programs are not shrinking as a result of lack of interest among the students. They are shrinking from lack of interdepartmental support. For example, the Parson printshop came under fire a few years ago. The powers-that-be decided to expand the school's neighboring café/coffee shop and do away with the shop. The students went ballistic over it, and rightly so—within a block radius of the school there are 10 places to get coffee and nowhere else to print! The students picketed, had sit-ins, and brought in the media, without the faculty. The school then agreed to move the printshop to a new location. The students kept at it still, and as of now, the coffee shop is completely gone, and the printshop actually got a little more room. Part of this shrinking trend has to do with technological changes. While I was at Ohio State, the print department was moved out of the main art building to make way for a digital lab. By the way, this has also happened here in Manhattan to the entire print industry. When I moved to New York, there were a hundred printshops of various kinds on Varick St. Now, all but a handful are gone mainly because landlords could get more money per square foot and less mess by turning them into apartments and offices. Printmaking departments are being moved away from the epicenter of art programs and more towards the periphery.


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