Sammia Atoui – MiraMar Print Lab

Author: Sammia Atoui

Yesterday we held our first workshop at the shop, inviting local residents into the studio to made some Mother’s Day Cards.

More than 50 people from toddler to adult joined us for this drop-in workshop! The workshop focus was pochoir (hand stencil) monoprint process.

Our participants inked up monoprint plates and mylar stencils of spring symbols (flowers, leaves, birds, and butterflies) to create unique and beautiful cards.

We just opened our doors this past week and were eager to have people in the studio printmaking. We were thrilled to see friends and meet many new individuals in the community! We hope in a few weeks to have a ribbon cutting and a “grand opening” celebration. While we plan those activities, we will continue to post drop-in activities, especially since yesterday’s workshop was so much fun! Thank you to everyone who came out to the workshop and made some art yesterday!

We're wrapping up the cleaning of the space - here's a little tour of the studio now:


We're getting there! Should have the town walk through for the certificate of occupancy this week. If you're on our website, it's been updated and we've added some classes for the summer. Best of all, the space has been clean enough to start making some art in it!

My mom saved EVERYTHING - and piece by piece, is giving it all to me, including this print.


I made this linocut back in high school. It was probably my first relief print that required the use of a knife. Do you like it? I did when I first saw it, so I stole the image- it's a copy of a Roy Lichtenstein print.

Pop Art was a leading art movement in mid century USA and UK that challenged the traditional and elitist gallery culture by elevating popular or mass produced images into the fine art community. Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997) was a leader in this movement and is most well known for his comic strip style paintings. His peers include Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Marjorie Strider, and more.

Another Lichtenstein piece follows:

Roy Lichtenstein leaves it up to the viewers to decide what has just transpired in his 1964 painting of a tense phone call titled <em>Ohhh ... Alright ..</em>.

The above image, "Ohhh ... Alright ...", 1964 is actually a painting mimicking printmaking marks as they might appear in comics making my print a copy of a painting copying a print (what!).

Printmaking - or the reference to printmaking - was important during this movement because prints/photos/multiples are by nature more accessible versus exclusive; they are designed to reach many, not one wealthy patron. As a form of broad communication, they are often used in advertising, and other mass market operations allowing the images to be found across sectors in society. By bringing these images into the gallery, the artists were highlighting the separation of class in our culture, along with poking fun at the esoteric question - "What is art?". Contemporary artists like Shepard Fairey are continuing to challenge the status quo through print.

And while many new technologies have placed traditional printmaking squarely into a fine art genre, the power of print remains it's accessible and inclusive nature. What is the advantage of one of a kind? That said - I don't think I ever so directly copied another work as I did in my first print.

It's here! All the way from Albuquerque our Takach etching press! Isn't it beautiful? Feel like I should give the babe a name. I can't express how happy I am to have this press here in our space!

Also acquired: "The Excelsior" Kelsey Letterpress. Just gorgeous.


And for our first print from "The Excelsior" - Tulips! This is a 5" x 8" linoleum block.


With the presses here, and the space painted, it's all coming along quickly and we're aiming to be open at the end of April!


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Takach table top etching press, 24" by 48" is on it's way from Albuquerque New Mexico! Can't hardly wait to see it in the space!!!

We'll use this press to print monotypes, collagraphs, reliefs (lino & wood), drypoints and engravings.

Examples of each here:

Vicki OldfieldHydrangea+5

Vicki OldField, Collagraph, Hydrangea, 2010s


Kate McCrickard, Monotype, Parrot Bedspread, 2012

Margaret Burroughs

Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs, Linocut, The Faces of My People, 2003


Alex Katz, Woodcut, Red Ada, 2010


Angie Hoffmeister, Drypoint, 2000s


Andrew Raftery, Engraving, Scene 3 Kitchen, 2008


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