History

The LAPS story

In 1962, Los Angeles artists Connor Everts and Paul Darrow began discussing ways to improve the perception of printmaking as an art form. They decided that the best method to accomplish this goal would be to improve exhibition opportunities, educate the public, and popularize printmaking as an art form. They received support and encouragement from Ken Ross, of the newly formed Los Angeles Arts Commission, and Ebria Feinblatt of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. They were joined by artists Leonard Edmondson, June Wayne, Ynez Johnston, Emerson Woelffer, Guy Maccoy, Dick Swift, Tom Fricano and others to form the Los Angeles Printmaking Society.

Within a year, by-laws were drawn up and LAPS was incorporated as a non-profit organization. The organization began with thirty invited members. In the early years LAPS was fortunate to have the support of a wonderful artist and patron, Esther Lewis, who generously donated studio and gallery space on the second and third floors at 818 Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles. At that time LAPS was a small cooperative organization providing various services, including gallery and studio space to its members.

Over the years, the local LAPS group has expanded and now is an international society of well over 400 artist/printmakers from all across the USA, including members in Canada, Europe, Australia, South Korea and Egypt. New applicants are juried in every other year by distinguished jurors during the LAPS National exhibitions and by fellow members twice a year. LAPS members include artists, curators, educators and collectors. LAPS offers Associate, Student, and Patron memberships and encourages participation of all members in membership and exchange exhibitions, symposia and print related journalism.

In 1973 the first "LAPS National Print Exhibition" was held at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery in Barnsdall Park. James Brown, director of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, juried it. One hundred and eleven works were selected from 800 entries. The Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts at UCLA hosted the Seventh, Eighth and Ninth National exhibitions.

Since 1973, LAPS has sponsored a National Print Exhibition approximately every two years with the 20th National in 2009 returning to the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery once again. Unlike many other print exhibitions, LAPS includes recent work from the major presses that are so prominent in Los Angeles, encouraging a thorough dialogue of the contemporary print. Artists of international stature exhibit alongside local and national artists juried into the show. Many generous vendors, corporations, organizations and private collectors have been supporters of the National Exhibition, donating cash awards and purchase prizes.

Over the years, jurors have included Peter Frank, Archana Horsting, Ruth Weisberg, Kevin Salatino, Ed Ruscha, Nathan Oliveira, Ynez Johnston, Laddie John Dill, Henry Hopkins, Elizabeth Smith, Bruce Davis to name a few. In 1995, LAPS began organizing with a consortium of galleries in Los Angeles to exhibit prints and print related exhibitions in conjunction with the National Exhibition.

Besides the National, LAPS sponsors many member exhibitions and exchange shows. Exhibitions have been held not only in Los Angeles, but also in Ireland, South Korea, France, Great Britain, Sweden, Norway among the locations.

LAPS publishes a newsletter called Interleaf and a journal, Newsprint. The organization continues in its educational role by sponsoring symposia, student portfolio critiques, and offering low-cost student memberships.

From the initial conversation between two artists in 1962, the Los Angeles Printmaking Society has grown and enriched the art of printmaking and created an active community beyond its founder’s expectations.

LAPS logo created by Connor Everts circa 1963:

LAPS logo created by Connor Everts circa 1963.

When Smith was accepted by the Royal College of Art in London to participate in the Post Experience Programme, which offered him the opportunity to draw from cadavers at the University of London’s School of Medicine, he worked on variations of images, including interpretative anatomical sketches of body parts. These drawings are captured in his powerful series “Silent Orators”.  Additional work on this series includes the lithographs produced in Berlin, Germany, working at the Professional Association of Berlin Artists (BBK) printmaking facilities, as well as etchings from acrylic hard grounds, and the non-toxic etching process using photopolymer film. Smith developed his “Berlin Air Lift” studies drawn in situ at Berlin’s Templehof airport, and later re-interpreted, and printed them as linear images with the photopolymer film process at Berlin’s Druckstelle Printmaking Studios. Continuing his work at BBK, Smith further developed a selection of drawings done in India and produced as lithographs.Other thematic works i.e., Smith’s etching editions of “Warrior Suit of Armor”, “The London Bagpiper” and “Italian Youth”, as well as conté crayon drawings and digital prints, represent interpretations of images captured in selected art museums abroad and in the U.S.  Currently, Smith produces drawings and prints in his printmaking studio in San Diego, California, and works periodically in professional printmaking facilities in Berlin, Germany.Smith’s prints have received juried awards, including a purchase prize by the Pasadena Art Museum for its permanent collection.  His heavily embossed etching triptych titled  ‘Ranger I,II, III’  was  on loan from the Los Angeles County Art Museum Rental Gallery  to the NASA Jet Propulsion  Lab in Pasadena California.  Smith’s work has been shown in numerous private and public solo and group juried exhibitions. His works are currently being prepared for national and international exhibitions, and for public and private galleries and collections.
Kathryn Maxwell‘s recent installations, 3-dimensional graphic works, and prints, examine points of intersection of science, spirituality and art, as they help define our understanding of what it means to be human and our relationship to the universe. Her works have been exhibited throughout the U.S as well as numerous other countries, most recently, China. Venues include Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee, Scotland; Denver Art Museum; Detroit Institute of Art; and the Indianapolis Art Center. She has been awarded artist residencies in China, Greece, Scotland, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Maxwell received her MFA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and BA from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.She currently resides in Tempe, AZ where she is a Professor in the School of Art at Arizona State University.
More Laps Members 
Folded Paper Boat by Florence Alfano McEwin
July 9, 2021
"Paper Boats Portfolio"

Museum of Art Fort Collins
Colorado 201 S. College Ave. Fort Collins, CO 80524

July 9 - August 15, 2021
Opening Thursday, July 8th, 2021

Artists in the Paper Boats Portfolio:

Florence Alfano McEwin, Mary Sherwood Brock, Lise R Drost, Aunna Escobedo, Beth Fein, April Flanders, Sherry Jankiewicz, Gesine Janzen, Irena Keckes, Catherine Kernan, Carolyn Liesy, Hilary Lorenz, Martyna Matusiak, Kerry McAleer-Keeler, Stephanie Mercado, Bill Pangburn, Jennifer Anderson Printz, Mumu Wang, Cathy Weiss and the artists of Mono Grafico Colectivo, including Marianne Sadowski, Kay Brown, Nguyen Ly, Don Newton, Beth Peterson, and Victor Rosas.

The Paper Boats Portfolio was sponsored by Los Angeles Printmaking as part of the 2020 SGCI conference that has now been re-scheduled for the 2023 SGCI in San Juan, Puerto Rico, with a stop visiting the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica, Venice, Italy in May, 2022.

All LA Printmaking members, both students and artist members, may join the Paper Boat Flotilla going to Venice in 2022!
Stay tuned for the CALL for ART coming in August 2021.

#PaperBoats2020 #PaperBoatsPortfolio #Paperboats2023 #LAprintmaking #PaperBoatsFlotilla

Exquisite Corpse
July 6, 2021
Exquisite Corpse is a collaborative approach to making Art first used by the Surrealists to create bizarre and intuitive writing and drawing. The LA Printmaking membership, both Student and Artist members, are invited to get creative and collaborate in this project this summer!

International Printing Museum
August 4th to September 30th
!

Members interested in this call, sign up HERE
More information on the Exquisite Corpse SUMMER Call HERE

ImMigration Project_Venice
Jan. 11, 2020

ImMigration Project at Self Help Graphics

Saturday, January 11th to February 22nd, 2020

Opening Reception, January 11th, 7PM - 9PM

Join us February 1st, 2020 from 1PM-3PM
For or a Gallery Walk through with participating artists followed by a
Panel Discussion on "Migration and Art”  with

Pavel Acevedo, Marianne Sadowski and Phumilelele Tshabalala

Included in this exhibition is a special preview of PAPER BOATS, a small flotilla will be on view in preparation for LA Printmaking on view at SGCI 2023 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The ImMigration Project, back from an exciting installation in Venice Italy, in October 2019 currently comprises 145 artists from all over North America and Europe!

Here is a short video clip of the first installation of ImMigration at the 2019 SGCI.

This unique collaborative art project will continue to grow and travel. Help us find the next venues! And stay posted on all the news when you follow the ImMigration project on Facebook and Instagram!

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