Engramme: Making its Mark
When it invested in new equipment in 2007, the Engramme print studio (Québec) set itself an ambitious goal: to make its mark in an even more meaningful way and to remain, after 35 years, a leader in the realm of printmaking.
A key element of this objective is Engramme's master's residencies, whereby local artists spend a month in the best print shops of the world; the expertise they will acquire will ensure that they can use the new equipment at home to the best advantage.
“Experience has shown us that classes and residencies in studios elsewhere in the world show us other ways of working, other ways of organizing space and facilities that give us precious insight into ways of improving the operations of our own studio.”
With support from the Canada Council, Engramme organized these master's residencies: Laurent Gagnon, UV silk-screening, at CIB Communications imprimées Bellemare Inc. (Montreal), Madeleine Samson, stone and plate lithography, at Tamarind Institute (Albuquerque, New Mexico), Lise Vézina Beltrami, photoengraving and etching, at Glasgow Print Studio (Glasgow, Scotland), Cynthia Dinan-Mitchell, non-toxic techniques, at Warringah Printmakers Studio (Sydney, Australia).
These artists are established and mid-career professionals and are all highly involved in the development of Engramme. On their return, they wrote reports on their experiences in the newsletter La Morsure, and share their new knowledge with members of the collective through training, and with the arts community at large through print residencies. These are aimed primarily at giving as much latitude as possible to artists who would like to explore printmaking in a perspective of innovative and contemporary creation, rather than the sole goal of achieving perfection in executing a print.
The best printmakers in Canada will be found at Engramme. They will constitute a new generation that will inspire apprentices and activate the presses of this artist-run centre.