Austin's popular Flatbed Press & Gallery is celebrating its twentieth anniversary during 2009. Founded in 1989 by Katherine Brimberry and Mark L. Smith in Austin, Texas, Flatbed is a publishing workshop where contemporary artists in residence collaborate with master printers to create original, limited-edition lithographs, etchings, woodcuts, and monotypes. From the beginning, Flatbed's dual mission has been to help artists create top-quality original prints and to educate the print audience through exhibitions and classes. Flatbed's 18,000 sq. ft. space is the premier facility of its kind and size in the south-central U. S. Flatbed's professional staff in Austin includes printers Tracy Mayrello, Veronica Ceci, Jerry Manson, Heather Parrish, Angela Morales, sales representative Cynthia Holmes, and financial liaison Melissa Ladd. Flatbed's master printer in Houston is Pat Masterson, founder of the Flatbed affiliate shop Madcap Press.
Over 100 artists from all over the world have worked in Flatbed's printmaking studios to create over 200 editions of multiple originals. Impressions from the shop's editions are in the collections of many individuals and such institutions as the Museum of Modern Art New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the New York Public Library, The Albright-Knox Museum, the Museum of Fine Art Houston, the El Paso Museum of Art, and the Austin Museum of Art. Many corporate collections such as American Airlines, The Capital Group, Belo Corporation, and Hallmark Cards also include Flatbed prints.
Some of the events planned for the 2009 Anniversary Year are: Mid-America Arts Alliance's ExhibitsUSA is booking currently a touring exhibition--"Advancing Tradition: 20 Years of Printmaking at Flatbed Press". The legendary New York Graphic Workshop artist Lilliana Porter will visit Flatbed's studios in August to create an edition of multiple originals. Other upcoming resident artists include Texas artists James Drake and Randy Twaddle. Flatbed will be an invited participant in the annual Cleveland Art Museum Print Fair in October, the Editions & Artist's Books Fair in New York City in November, and was included in the 2009 McNay Art Museum San Antonio Print Fair in March. The exhibition "Off the Edge: The Experimental Prints of Cynthia Brants" continues through June 27 in Flatbed's galleries; other 20th-anniversary exhibitions include the new prints of noted El Paso artist Suzi Davidoff through June 18.
Also as a part of Flatbed's anniversary plans the press will initiate two awards in printmaking: A Flatbed Biennial Award to honor an outstanding artist-printmaker and a Printmaking Legend Award for outstanding lifetime achievement in the medium. Also planned are parties and receptions for Flatbed's patrons, supporters, business associates, and collecting clients. In addition, plans are underway to place Flatbed's entire collection and archives in a permanent location where it will be exhibited and available for study by students and scholars.
American artists who have created multiple originals at Flatbed include John Alexander, Terry Allen, Keith Carter, Ann Connor, Suzi Davidoff, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Arthur Huang, the late Luis Jimenez, Greg Murr, the late Robert Rauschenberg, Dan Rizzie, Josephine Sacabo, Peter Saul, Laurence Scholder, Jeff Scott, Hills Snyder, Julie Speed, James Surls, Francis Xavier Tolbert 2, Casey Williams, and Joan Winter.
International artists include Samson Mnisi from South Africa, Abel Barosso from Cuba, Nguyen Bach Han from Viet Nam, Teresa Gomez Martorell from Spain, Diego Perez from Mexico, and Katie van Scherpenberg from Brazil.
Austin artists who have worked at Flatbed include Bale Allen, Sterling Allen, Jill Bedgood, Michael Ray Charles, Lee Chesney III, Peat Duggins, David Everett, Kelly Fearing, Cassandra James, Kenneth J. Hale, the late Robert Levers, Melissa Miller, Annette Morris, Burton Pritzker, Joel Salcido, Margo Sawyer, Bob Schneider, the late Patrick Wadley, and Sydney Yeager.
Flatbed's 20th Anniversary celebrations will continue through 2009 and into 2010.