The biennial event Mo’Print — Denver’s Month of Printmaking — is taking over metro Denver and spilling beyond in March with shows, tours, workshops and related events celebrating every aspect of printmaking, from nuts-and-bolts monotypes and woodcuts to the more complex realms of intaglio and lithography. For a complete historical overview, you might choose to begin with A Century of Printmaking in Colorado, a trifecta of shows including the main exhibit, which runs March 3 through June 1 on the south end of level 5 of Denver International Airport, next to the Westin Hotel, and two sideshows: Hand Prints, through April 30 at the Denver Central Library, and Colorado Landscapes in Print, through June 29 at Tam O’Neill Fine Arts in Cherry Creek.
Beyond that, be prepared for an onslaught of great variety. Here are our picks to help get you started on an in-depth exploration of printmakers making work in Colorado.
Pressing Matters: In Celebration of Mo’Print
Art Students League of Denver
Now through March 25
Opening reception: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, March 12
Bud Shark, the legendary master printmaker behind Shark’s Ink in Lyons, stepped up to jury Pressing Matters, a big group printmaking-hug sponsored by the Invisible Museum at the Art Students League of Denver. Anything goes in this show honed by the ultimate expert, which allows original print works using any and all hands-on techniques. Awards will be announced at 7 p.m. during the March 12 opening.
Conecut Print Show
Now through April 30
Reception: 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, April 1
Denver street artist Frank Kwiatkowski perfected — and most likely invented — the conecut print, a DIY relief-style technique in which the image is carved into and pulled off of inked slabs of cut-up traffic cones. Kwiatkowski’s political and personal printed messages will hang alongside work by Moeh Haywood, Pickle, Erin McMillin, J.PARTYLORD, Emily Moyer and other unnamed artists at Pablo’s through April, with an April Fool’s Day reception planned for April 1.
Black Box at madelife
Now through March 31
Reception: 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 4
Boulder’s madelife continues to support the area's emerging artists with this print-centric solo show by Chloé Besson, which crosses genres to include lithography, cyanotypes and photography.
Now through April 3
Reception: 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 4
Curated by former RedLiners Sarah Wallace Scott and Chinn Wang, Conveners presents collaborative print works that paired up twelve artists for a hanging of grand printmaking experiments. And just for fun, participating artist Imin Yeh, a current RedLine resident, invites viewers on a scavenger hunt throughout the gallery and its outer environs to search for hidden stamps they can use to create their own prints.
Shark’s Inc – Collaborations II
Pattern Shop Studio
March 4 through May 6
Opening reception: 6 to 9 p.m. Friday March 4
Collaboration — the magical kind that takes place between the artist and the technical master — is also explored in this salute to the painstaking craftsmanship of master printmaker Bud Shark, which doubles as a who’s-who exhibition of name artists who’ve worked with Shark over the years. Betty Woodman, Red Grooms, Hung Liu, Robert Kushner, Don Ed Hardy, John Buck and Enrique Chagoya are just a few of them; the work on view runs the gamut of printmaking techniques.
Salt Water/Bitter Water Girl: Monotypes by Melanie Yazzie
Dairy Arts Center
Now through April 8
Opening reception: 5 p.m. Friday, March 4
Artist talk: 7 p.m. April 6
Encounters 2016: 14 Amazing Printmakers
Firehouse Art Center
Now through April 3
Opening reception: 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 11
Navajo artist Melanie Yazzie has a strong presence in this year’s Mo’Print, with a show of her own at the Dairy Arts Center in Boulder and another she curated, Encounters 2016, at the Firehouse Art Center in Longmont. A pioneer in the quest to find more natural and nontoxic printmaking alternatives, Yazzie creates beautiful work steeped in the symbology and philosophy of her heritage. In Longmont, she’s chosen a collection of artists working in the Southwest, most of whom hail from the Denver/ Boulder area.
Continue reading for more Mo'Print 2016 picks.
Patterns of Being
March 10 through May 28
Opening reception: 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, March 10
Processus plays up its role as a hands-on printmaking studio with this three-person showcase for Morgan Price, Emma Repp and Virginia Diaz curated by fellow artist and gallery/studio manager Viviane Le Courtois. The trio displays printmaking skills while exploring imagery of humorous figures; if you can’t make the opening, tour the studio during weekly coffee socials every Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon throughout the run of the show or from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the March 19 Mo’Print Studio Tour (see below).
The Etching Show
Open Press Ltd.
March 11 through April 16
Opening reception: 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 11
Master printer Mark Lunning’s Open Press gallery and printmaking studio in the Baker neighborhood swings open to the public with an intaglio show featuring area artists Brian Comber, Laura Grossett, Viviane le Courtois, Lunning, Megan O’Brien, Geoffery Ridge and Grant Williams. Lunning’s own works will also be showcased during Mo’Print on the mezzanine at Havu Gallery and he’ll deliver a swanky White Wine and White Gloves lecture on March 26 at Space Gallery.
Fresh Bread: An Edible Collaboration
Red Delicious Press
3:30 to 7 p.m. March 12
Quite seriously, this is art you can eat: In a collaboration with the African Community Center’s International CITY after-school youth program, downtown Aurora stalwart Red Delicious Press will be breaking bread — printed with edible ink — with guests while supporting a sale of handmade prints by International CITY students. Want to know more about the working printmaking co-op? Check out the Red Delicious Press Member Show, which will also be on view in the gallery.
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Mo’Print Studio Tours
Multiple Metro Denver Locations
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 19
What’s the best way to cover all of Mo’Print in one glorious day? Galleries and studios all over the Denver area will welcome guests looking for an up-close-and-personal overview of the local printmaking community: Explore working print environments at the Art Gym, Processus, Open Press, MATTER or Ink Lounge (to name a few) or visit one-on-one in private studios with a host of local artists working in the print realm. Visit Mo’Print online for a complete list of participating locations.
Steamroller Print Event
Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 23
$20 to have a block printed, spectating free
Printmaking goes really, really big — steamroller big — at this crowd-pleasing return event hosted by RMCAD. Artists are invited to create an oversized woodblock in advance for $20, which will be inked and committed to paper while getting run over by a two-ton steamroller. Yes, it’s fun to participate, and it’s also fun to just watch. To receive a block and participate as an artist, register and pay online by April 1. In case of rain, the alternate date is April 30.