MONOTHON PRINT WEEK
APRIL 1ST – APRIL 8TH
Monothon Santa Fe 2023 is a community-based fundraising event organized to benefit the local youth arts non-profit, Partners in Education, through the creation and sale of one-of-a-kind monotype artworks by local artists and by the generosity of the Santa Fe community. It is based on the original fundraising concept for the College of Santa Fe Monothon which ran from 1986 through 2004. Unlike the original Monothon, where printing was done mostly in one or two locations, this year’s event will utilize the services of six local print shops.
Artists find sponsors and sponsors find artists.
Artists, don’t be shy! You’ll be pleased at how willing and generous our community can be. Your sponsor may be a friend, a relative, a collector, a gallery, or even a group of people. And potential sponsors, there are tons of artists that would love your support, reach out. Connection and community is the essence of Monothon. Once these connections have been made, a participating studio may be chosen and a printing session may be registered and paid for.
The event formally starts with Print Week, April 1st through April 8th, where the sponsored artists attend their scheduled five-hour, fully assisted printmaking sessions and produce artwork. Following the print session the studio will choose a print to be featured in the Monothon Exhibition, April 22nd through May 26th, hosted by the City of Santa Fe’s Community Gallery.
APRIL 22ND – MAY 26TH
The Monothon Exhibition of selected artworks from Monothon Print Week will be featured in the City of Santa Fe’s Community Gallery from April 22nd through May 26th. A public opening event will be held from 11am to 3pm on Saturday, April 22nd. Artworks will also become available for online purchase at this time.
The Exclusive Gala Sale will take place in the Community Gallery on Friday, April 21st from 5pm to 8pm. This is a private event for participating sponsors, artists, print studios and support staff.
PARTNERS IN EDUCATION
FOUNDATION FOR THE SANTA FE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
The Partners in Education Foundation for the Santa Fe Public Schools is an independent non-profit organization that links the community (citizens, businesses, nonprofits and government agencies) with its public schools in productive partnerships. Partners in Education serves Santa Fe’s publicly funded primary and secondary schools: including charters, the New Mexico School for the Deaf, the Santa Fe Indian School and the Santa Fe Public Schools.
Partners in Education works to effect positive change in the schools by working directly with teachers. Partners in Education continuously seeks to improve education in Santa Fe by providing ways to achieve creative, cost-effective and innovative solutions to educational
A LITTLE HISTORY FROM ONE OF THE FOUNDERS
In the mid 1980’s I was assisting many artists in my Graphics Workshop studio. We had a membership program and offered classes that generated a lot of interest in pursuing monotype to produce “painterly prints.” However, many of these artists could not afford the fee required to pay for assistance. To remedy this, I thought we could perhaps reach out to the community of collectors and art patrons and ask for contributions for a type of scholarship fund. From this fund the necessary fees could be drawn to invite selected artists to do assisted sessions. At the completion of each session, one work would be selected to be part of a temporary collection. And at any point the collectors/patrons would be able to choose works commensurate with their original contributions. It would be a win, win, win situation.
Around the same time Ron Adams, Master Printer and founder of Hand Graphics approached me with an idea. He was a member of the Visual Arts Advisory Council (VAAC) for the art department at The College of Santa Fe. The art department Chairman, Dick Cook and the VAAC were looking for a fund-raiser and Ron suggested an event focused on monotypes. At the time Graphics Workshop and Hand Graphics were the only two professional printmaking establishments in Santa Fe. We were friendly competitors but were soon to become collaborators. We met and developed the formula for a fund-raiser. At the next meeting of the VAAC, a “monotype marathon” was unanimously accepted. Very quickly, gallerist and VAAC member Arlene Lewallen labeled it a “Monothon,” and the first Annual College of Santa Fe Monothon was born.
In the first Monothon (Feb. 1987) we conducted three 4-hour assisted sessions, 8-12, 1-5, and 6-10 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday in both Graphics Workshop and Hand Graphics servicing about 85 artists in total. Our two print shops were just a short walk away from each other in the railyard. The public could pay $5 to view the sessions, walking between the two venues.
After that first year, we no longer charged admission to view the print sessions. Volunteers were recruited to help in both shops and many folks offered food to feed the artists and printers. The sponsorship fee was just $85 of which $25 was a credit towards the purchase of any print from the Monothon Exhibition. A preview for sponsors, artists and print shops preceded the opening Gala for the public in the College of Santa Fe art gallery. Ultimately that first Monothon did not raise a lot of money for the art department, but the community involvement and overall enjoyment for all that participated made it an annual event.
In the fall of 1987 Michael Costello purchased Hand Graphics and took over its operation from Ron Adams. Over the next few years, the enthusiasm grew. More Monothon printing sessions were added, sponsorship fees were increased, and silent auctions at the Gala were added. In 1993 I closed Graphics Workshop and gifted the operation to the College of Santa Fe. It ultimately became the Printmaking Center with Don Messec as its Director. In February of 1994 Monothon print sessions were held for the first time at the College of Santa Fe Printmaking Center with guest Master Printers. Michael Costello continued hosting additional printing sessions at Hand Graphics. This continued until 1996.
To celebrate the 10th Annual College of Santa Fe Monothon, presses were brought in and most of the printing sessions, as well as the Gala, were held at SITE Santa Fe. Well known printmakers, Clare Romano, John Ross, Rudy Pozatti and Don Farnsworth were invited to participate. There were portfolio reviews, a panel discussion, printing sessions for kids and more than 200 artists made monotypes for the Monothon Exhibition.
For the next few years SITE Santa Fe continued to host the Gala and Monothon Exhibition while most printing sessions went back and forth between SITE and The Printmaking Center. Michael Costello continued to do assisted sessions at Hand Graphics. In the meantime other Monothons began in Riverside, CA as well as at the Center For Contemporary Printmaking in Norwalk, CT where it’s been going strong for more than 20 years.
The College of Santa Fe Monothon lasted 18 years until 2004 when the administration of the Art Department as well as that of the college itself changed and interest died. The Printmaking Center closed soon afterwards and ultimately so did The College of Santa Fe.
This 2023 revival of the Monothon was spurred on by several factors. I had frequently thought of how it could be brought back but always let it go as just ideas. But during Covid my thoughts again surfaced with the notion that it might just be the perfect event to again bring the art community back together after two years of sheltering. Then last spring I became aware of PrintSantaFe. PrintAustin had been a very successful month-long celebration of Printmaking in Austin, Texas and to celebrate 10 years of its existence the founders wanted to bring the concept to Santa Fe. Simultaneously Rod Lambert, director of The Santa Fe Community Gallery contacted me wanting to do a “monothon type” event at the gallery. He had never really experienced what a Monothon actually entailed so I met with him to propose the current incarnation and here we are. Unlike the original College of Santa Fe Monothon where printing was done mostly in one or two locations, this year’s event will utilize the services of six local print shops. And the entire month of April will celebrate printmaking in Santa Fe. Welcome to Santa Fe Monothon 2023.