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We are announcing new initiatives in response to a recent call for organizational change generated by the membership and from an introspective review by the board. We acknowledge these claims and reassert our dedication and commitment to creating a non-profit that is equitable, accessible, and relevant to our printmaking community.
Recent weeks have brought an intense period of organizational reassessment. We have taken the time to square our organization as it exists against those ideals that were laid out before us. We are seeking new members to fill open positions within our board who are committed to doing the work required to create real change along with us. We are dedicated to listening to and standing by this community, our members, and our employees.
The executive board is composed of volunteers drawn from the membership. Consequently, the board fundamentally reflects representative and shared governance. We welcome all efforts to constructively reform the organization, and are working to expand leadership opportunities at SGCI. We are a community that shares values regarding civil discourse, collaboration, and collegiality. As we continue to reform our organization we must dedicate ourselves to working together in a restorative manner and avoid strategies that rely on divisiveness.
It has come to our attention that there are some misunderstandings of the concrete work performed by the board and staff over the past several years. It would be an institutional loss to disregard this work without understanding it fully, as much of the work completed by former board members can address many of the questions asked about SGCI over the past few weeks. We want to direct those with questions about past work to the SGCI Executive Board Reports. These reports contain information about the financial transparency of our organization, the work of the previous boards, and the Program Coordinator, who executes their duties at the direction of the Board in an administrative capacity and supporting role. As we continue the work of enhancing the organization in ways that align with our members’ needs, we must also consider the operational requirements of this dynamic and multifaceted nonprofit organization that we’ve built. In the coming weeks and months, we will be rolling out a number of new reform-based initiatives that prioritize the members’ concerns while bolstering the good work that has been done by past leaders and boards. Initiatives will include:
In addition to our regular board activities, we are also continuing to work on:
To inform you of our ongoing commitment to update our best practices as a non-profit organization, we will be using our Facebook and Instagram pages to post an info series which will help clarify many of the questions surrounding how SGCI operates, what funds it has, how voting takes place, and more. The info series will be archived on our website, at Organizational FAQ, and we hope by using different channels, this series will get out to more members and provide answers for many frequently asked questions. Please continue to share your questions, comments, or concerns to The Listening Channel, our newly established source for reaching out to the executive board with your concerns. You can also report anonymously by visiting the link https://www.sgcinternational.org/about/contact/.
Finally, we also must acknowledge that our announcement is overdue. Although we have had a change in President and shift in board positions, we did not act fast enough to anticipate the responses from our membership during this time of crisis. We have proceeded with caution after seeking both legal and HR counsel and this has also caused us some delay. We extend our gratitude to the past leadership of SGCI and hope to continue in the tradition of the positive changes they created. As we have transitioned into our roles on the board, we have met new challenges and centered the importance of crucial social movements in our organization. We hope you will continue to join us as the next chapter of SGCI takes form, and our commitment to advancement transforms our future.
SGC International Executive Board
Dear SGCI Members,
The events of the past few weeks have set our world on a new quest. Public protests being met with a belated reluctance – because change takes time and is reciprocal. But despite the adage art thrives in times of social unrest cultivating innovation and community cohesion. If we aspire to forge a new normal with art at the center – there is a hybrid space of infinite possibilities.
Our members are encouraged to be vanguards in the discipline, affirm art as the vehicle to evolve independent judgment, elevate analytical ability and develop social responsibility.
Moving forward the board has formed a committee to review the comments and concerns sent via various channels and we have several new initiatives, outlined below.
In response to critical member feedback the board has updated the The Listening Channel so as to reinforce its role as a safe space for members to anonymously provide feedback or express concerns to named members of the board.
In closing, as President I exercise an open-door policy and will answer questions, suggestions and complaints at my personal email to ameliorate any concerns with our board and its members as outlined in the Handbook:
The President is responsible to the membership of the organization and the Executive Board, as provided for in the Bylaws and Constitution of the organization. The President provides leadership for the organization by overseeing routine operations of the organization, by identifying opportunities or problems, and establishing priorities for initiatives to be undertaken by the organization.
My 30-day tenure has been memorable and I remain steadfast with renewed optimism that we can weather the storm, be better to each other and be an example to our community beyond the confines of SGCI.
Dr. Faisal Abdu’Allah
President, SGC International
Dear SGCI Members,
On behalf of the Executive Committee, it is my great pleasure to serve as the next President of SGCI. I would like to thank the past President Sarah Ellis who navigated our board through the tide of uncertainty and remained committed to the concerns of our members. I would also like to extend gratitude to Stephanie Alaniz, Sage Perrott, and Charles Beneke who have resigned from their roles.
We are amid two pandemics, the indiscernible (COVID 19) and the ever-present implicit bias called racism – both affecting the bodies of black and brown people disproportionately. The SGCI board’s attempt to initiate meaningful change for our members and printmaking community fell far short of the restorative change needed to pull society towards a deeper reckoning with race and provide achievable goals. But the board is committed to the work of questioning and dismantling the systems that have been in place within SGCI and that space it inhabits in the printmaking community.
Our 2020 Strategic Plan on Space: Inclusivity & Intersectionality in Action in the SGCI Handbook states:
Space is generated by the fundamental principle of mandating a culturally responsive framework that creates space for all through the cultural kaleidoscope created by welcoming intersectionality and inclusive perspectives. Space is where alterity, diverse ways of seeing, and freedom of expression provide an appropriate testbed to educate and influence artists, students, and professionals beyond the boundaries of the organization. To realize the profound potential of Space, SGCI must insure that inclusivity and intersectionality are reflected in:
SGCI is committed to making an honest appraisal of its history to dismantle the hostile environment experienced by some of its members. The key to reconciliation is listening to each other as power concedes nothing without motive or demand.
The board has reviewed the open letters and online discussions from the members and acknowledge this is the time and season for change. We would implore our patrons to exercise patience whilst we commence our evaluation. To address this, we have created firstname.lastname@example.org, an email address that will be received by multiple board members and revisited at board meetings. Currently, this email address is being checked by myself, Arron Foster, and Nicole Geary. Please reach out to us at this email, or for an anonymous form, please visit our Contact Us page.
As an artist and scholar, I have been unequivocal in my duties and responsibilities, and as President I ask you to judge me and the board by our actions. We remain committed to you, the organization and making the arts accessible to all.
The Founding Member Boyd Saunders felt printmaking never held a position of special prominence as a serious art form in the American South. The board is listening to our members to write in unison the next chapter of SGCI to insure it remains the space where alterity, diverse ways of seeing, and freedom of expression provide an appropriate proving ground to educate and influence artists beyond the organization.
Dr. Faisal Abdu’Allah
President, SGC International
“Verified by Proof ” is taken from the broadside This is a Printing Office, written by Beatrice Warde in 1932. In a high-speed digital age, the phrase gains importance and embraces the meticulous nature of the hand-pulled print. The Verified by Proof steering committee seeks proposals that engage the message of This is a Printing Office—establishing truth, validation through proof/proofing, and the power of the press—and invites you all to celebrate print and its important role in countering the turbulent culture that we all currently face.
Providence is a city that has historically been a refuge for dissidents and a stronghold in the battle for individual freedoms. It is a city where print is celebrated in all its forms, from conceptual art to communication design. Printmaking often intersects with other media in Providence’s rich artistic community, which is host to a variety of creative spaces ranging from traditional academic settings to community shops and maker/DIY spaces. We encourage proposals that embrace this cross pollination and celebrate the broad scope of printmaking, graphic media, and independent publishing.
SGCI stands with those who are demanding an end to systemic, institutionalized racism in the United States. Looking inward as an organization, there is an imperative need to reevaluate and expand our efforts to provide our membership with a space that is wholly inclusive.
We believe in taking immediate action to facilitate education and understanding of what it means to be anti-racist.
The SGCI Executive Board is currently assembling a collaborative list of educational resources focusing on the art and lives of Black and Indigenous Printmakers of Color. This list will be available to all of our members to learn from and use.
This will include (but is not limited to):
–Articles, Journals, and Scholarly Publications
–Editorials, Catalogs, and Exhibition Materials
–Interviews (Written and Recorded)
–Biographical and Autobiographical Materials
We will invite the membership in the coming weeks to contribute to this living document. Our goal is to celebrate these artists as we uplift underrepresented voices and perspectives in a format that is accessible to all. These resources should be present in learning environments.
For our members who are allies and wondering what can be done in this very moment, we would like to reference action items that we have seen from generous Black voices on social media:
This is simply a start, though, and there is much more work to be done. We are so proud of the printmaking community we all share and it is our privilege to stand in solidarity with our members. As we continue to educate ourselves and develop new initiatives, our minds and hearts are always open to how we can improve. SGCI will continue to share resources for how our membership can contribute to equality for all.
Stay tuned for more information on how to add to our collaborative list. Please feel free to contact us at email@example.com.
Black lives matter every single day.
Our shops may be closed and we were not able to gather for the annual SGCI conference, BUT the energy of camaraderie, friendship, and love found in our printmaking community never stops traveling. The strength of the print world is boundless and our bonds are resolute. Through the distance that we are all living and feeling, SGCI is determined to help keep us together. In this spirit, we are pleased to announce MakeReady, the social platform addition to our Conference App.
MakeReady will allow our members to share resources, ideas, projects, observations, and inquiries to broaden our discourse. Like a makeready process of preparing a work for printing, this community space provides the opportunity to observe potentials, expand understandings, define contexts, and explore the resonance of printmaking history, theory, and practice.
To get started: on your phone, go to the App Store and search for SGC International. Download the app, and log in with the username and password linked to your SGCI account! A desktop version will be coming soon.
Louise Fisher, our Web Editor is, an Iowa-based printmaker and a 2019 graduate of Arizona State University. She was the 2018 recipient of the SGC International Graduate Fellowship Award. Louise states about her process and artwork that she is “an interdisciplinary artist working in the expanded field of print; using methods of layering, impressing and repetition for it’s literal and visual enactment of time and the body. By integrating constructed and celestial time, geometric and organic forms, and digital and hand-drawn printmaking processes, I point to the complexities of our current experience with nature. Through an investigative visual language, I aim to rekindle an appreciation for natural light and ask viewers to consider how their rhythms are impacted by this new incessant LED world.” To get to know Louise a little better, you can read her complete bio and artist’s statement on her website and check out her interview from VoyagePhoenix.
Blake Sanders, our Web Curator, is a printmaking and foundations Instructor at Southeast Missouri State University. He has been an active member of SGCI since 2005 and has participated conference portfolios, exhibitions—both sanctioned and peripheral—and chaired two panels. His work looks “beyond anthropocentrism, emphasizing humans as a part of a global community—residents, not lords of the manor—who should be good neighbors to each other and all of nature.” In works that range from diverse print media to collaborative installation he strives to “provoke compassion within the culture” by intently observing himself and his family “to mine for the universal within the personal.” One of Blake’s most recent projects, Encountering Our Indelible Mark, is an exhibition that was installed in Santander, Spain at IMPACT10: Encuentro and an accompanying extensive web catalog. In an essay originally intended to be published in Graphic Impressions, Adriane Herman has reviewed this project. We are publishing Disrupting Our Disruption: Recycling Our Indelible Mark to mine a “wee bit of hope” here so that you can get to know Blake and his curatorial work.
Look out for further announcements about the development of the written and visual content that Louise and Blake will be leading for our website. The submission process will be launching soon.