Zygote Press: Bringing Green Life into Old Practices
Whether you are a ceramicist, painter, designer, or printmaker, your process is your craft—the ability to create, to bring ideas to light. At Zygote Press, we are a shop of printmaking artists. Every artist who walks through our door has developed their own unique process of making, but we share the medium and space with one another in an ecosystem of idea exchange, collaboration, and community.
Knowing, then, that process is inherent to our practice, what happens when our process causes harm to both health and environment? Many printmaking practices utilize damaging solvents and other corrosive substances. How do we as artists take responsibility for the impact of our process?
At Zygote, we take this question seriously. As individual artists we interrogate the methods through which our work is created. As an institution, we strive to set an example for more responsible practices. This mindset led us, in 2015, to intense training and research to transition our print shop to a “green” health-conscious space. We now have artists safely print in a space free of fumes, and have been able to reduce our negative environmental impact. Today, we are excited to be in our final phase of greening: research to transition the printmaking process of lithography.
Thanks to generous support from the Ohio Arts Council and The George Gund Foundation, we have installed a new sink for graining lithography stones, acquired a nineteenth-century Fuchs and Lang lithography press, and collected a library of twenty-three lithography stones.
We have been diligently working on restoring the old press, and it is now de-rusted and freshly painted. Many thanks to Kristina Paabus, Richard Wood, and the fabrication lab at Oberlin College for lending their expertise and assistance. We are excited to get the press operational and begin our research.
As collaboration is inherent in Zygote’s practice, we are thrilled by the response we have received from other artists working towards more eco- and health-friendly printmaking practices. We look forward to sharing our progress and results with partners nationally and internationally, with artists who are interested in furthering green lithography research.
Over the next few months we will be conducting research, and thereafter will be hosting workshops and free member demonstrations to share our findings. You may follow our progress on our blog here: zygotepress.com/tag/the-green-litho-project/
CAPTURING THE AURA OF THE ALREADY SAID: WORKS OF DEBORAH CARRUTHERS, GABRIEL DEERMAN, MARGARET HART, PETRA NIMM & MARK ROTH, CURATED BY MARGARET HART | MARCH 8 – APRIL 26
RECEPTION & ARTIST TALK 6PM–8PM FRIDAY, MARCH 8
1410 East 30th Street
Cleveland, Ohio 44114