Printmaking in Johannesburg - Artist Proof Studio

April 30 – May 9, 2019
Presentation:  Thursday, May 2, 7 PM

Artist Proof Studio in Johannesburg is an innovative printmaking center in the heart of South Africa. The mission of Artist Proof Studio is to provide an environment to develop citizens with a common set of values, expressed in the notion of Ubuntu, that have talent and passion to achieve artistic excellence. APS focuses on printmaking and its allied outreach programs to build capacity of people to reach self-actualization and make a difference in society.  Artist Proof Studio is founded on a sense of shared humanity whereby people of talent and passion can reach for excellence in art making to achieve self-sustainability.

Liz Chalfin, founding director of Zea Mays Printmaking, Florence, MA recently visited Artist Proof Studio to share non-toxic etching techniques and to work with their studio artists.  She returned with an exhibition of prints by teachers, students, and master printers from APS, showcasing their incredible talents and their compelling stories.  APS offers a 3 year, subsidized course of study to talented young artists from the townships around Johannesburg.  They are trained in drawing, printmaking, visual literacy, and critical studies.  They go on to internships and workplace training in and out of the studio.  This educational program equips students with skills and knowledge to pursue careers in the arts.  All of the work in this exhibition will be for sale to benefit the artists of APS.

Join Chalfin for a presentation about Artist Proof Studio, their artists and the impromptu opportunity Liz had to work with William Kentridge during her visit, Thursday, May 2 at 7 pm.

Background of Artist Proof Studio:
Artist Proof Studio was founded in 1991 by Kim Berman and Nhlanhla Xaba as a community printmaking centre that reflected the spirit of a healthy democracy and the ideals expressed in the new South African constitution. As printmaking was seen as a democratic medium and a counterforce to the suspicion and division left from the apartheid years, it was considered to be fitting approach to building a true egalitarian society. The country was on the brink of real change and in many ways it was artists that led the rethinking of how the future could look for all South Africans. Embodying this movement, APS became one of the pioneering community art centers in what would eventually become the cultural hub for the city of Johannesburg: Newtown. During the last 25 years, APS has grown from a small, rudimentarily equipped printmaking studio to one of the largest and most vibrant community and professional printmaking facilities in Southern Africa, accommodating up to 60 students per year and also hosting, publishing, and providing print edition facilities and collaborative project opportunities for many artists each year.

Printmaking in Johannesburg is supported by grants from: Augusta Savage Gallery, UMass, Artist International Residency Program; The Northampton Arts Council and the Amherst Arts Council, local agencies which are supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency; and Zea Mays Printmaking.

Methembe Hlelo Molepe, “An Emotive Journey”, etching 2017
Gildo Soares, “Fatherless,” etching, 2018