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Conference FAQ

SGCI is the largest print organization in North America. Our annual conference is the biggest gathering focused on the field of printmaking. Artists from all 50 states and international attendees come from Canada, South and Central America, and Europe regularly attend the conference. The conference changes location from year to year, with local academic and printmaking institutions serving as the home base for conference events—keynotes by distinguished artists, scholars, and advocates; panel presentations, exhibitions, demonstrations, vendors and publishers fairs, and more! In recent years round-table “inkubator” discussions about the state of contemporary printmaking have become a highlight.

Each year awards are given to highly-regarded artists within the field. Throughout the conference site and in partnering exhibition venues thousands of prints are on display in our Open Portfolio session, Member’s Exchange Portfolios, and Themed Exchange Portfolios. At the conference, related programming is always planned to introduce attendees to the  host city, bringing contemporary printmaking to the local community and providing opportunities for our members to extend their reach. SGCI Conferences are always evolving and endlessly inspiring!

 

Quick Links

Membership

What are the differences between the Membership Levels?

Membership Levels are available for different career stages, for institutions, and for those who wish to donate to the organization. Find out more here.

 

Can an institution purchase an SGCI Membership?

Yes! We recently implemented an Institutional Membership program. Find out more here.

 

What if I purchased my Membership in-between conferences?

Your membership is good for one year from the date of purchase. When logged in to our website, our database will recognize you as an active member. If your membership expires before the conference, you will be prompted via email to renew.

 

Registration

When is online registration?

Online registration opens during the fall of the year prior to the conference.

 

How do I register?

Visit this page for an overview of registration.

What is the difference between Membership and Registration Fees?

An SGCI Membership is an annual membership that supports the operations of SGC International. In addition to discounted rates through online registration to the annual SGCI conferences, members have the opportunity to submit articles, reviews, and artwork to be published on the website, participate in SGCI member exhibitions, and receive news about opportunities within the print community and the art world at large. You must be an SGCI Member to register for the conference online, but you do not need to be a member to register on-site, or attend the Vendor/Publisher/Program Fair or other activities that are free and open to the public during the conference.

The SGCI Registration fee covers the costs of conference programming such as Inkubators, Themed Portfolios, Demos, Panels, and Special Exhibitions.

 

What is the difference between Early Bird, Regular and On-site Registration?

SGCI Members have the benefit of registering for the conference online, and thus receiving discounted rates. The most economical rate is the Early Bird rate. The Regular online registration rate is a discounted rate for student members & professional members, and runs through the end of online registration at midnight. You must be an active SGCI Member to register for the conference online. Anyone may register for the conference on-site at full value. There are no Early Bird or Regular discounted rates for the Daily Registrations.

 

Do I have to register for the conference to attend the Vendor, Publisher, Programs Fair?

No, the Vendor, Publisher, Programs Fair is free and open to the public.

 

Do I have to purchase an SGCI Membership if I register for the conference on-site?

Yes, SGCI Membership is required to register for the conference on-site. Please note that certain conference options such as Open Portfolios, the Member Print Exchange, and Mentorship meetings will only be available for members who pre-register for the conference online.

 

Conference Programs

What is a Panel?

A panel is a topic of conversation pitched to the local steering committee pertaining to anything of interest to printmakers and print enthusiasts. The selected panels are chaired by the person who submits their application in the Round 1 Call for Participation (typically close to a year prior to the conference).

Individuals interested in speaking on one of the selected panels contact the Panel Chair directly during the Round 2 Call for Participation. The steering committee requests that the Panel Chair choose two individuals to be on their panel from the Round 2 Call, and one individual that they personally request. SGCI encourages the inclusion of student members on panels.

Panels typically consist of four people:
• The Panel Chair, who will introduce each speaker, contextualize their presentations, and lead any Q&A sessions at the end of the panel discussion
• Panelists, who share their own expertise and experience on the topic

Set-up for a Panel discussion is theater-style; the panelists are seated at a table in the front of a room or onstage with microphones, and usually a projector or A/V screen set up next to/behind them. Conference-goers sit facing the panelists.

Panels are scheduled for a two hour increments, but typically last about an hour and a half.
The number of panels change at each conference, depending on the amount of spaces available and/or number of proposals. There are always three SGCI Designated Panels, chaired by members of the SGCI Board:
• Education Panel
• International Panel
• Student Panel

 

What is the Call for Participation?

The Call for Participation is the official call made by SGCI for members to apply to be a presenter at the annual conference.

Click here to learn more about the Call!

What is a Demo?

A Demo is a demonstration of a printmaking technique, material, tool or process by an SGCI Member, utilizing the presses, equipment, spaces, and/or materials available at the local conference venues.

Individuals submit an application during the first or second round of Calls for Participation. Often, they may need to bring their own specialty supplies or tools. Based on the space, equipment and press availability for the conference venues, the local steering committee makes selections that showcase as much novelty, breadth, beauty and innovation as possible!

Demos can be challenging to access after they begin due to their popularity; therefore it is highly recommended to get to a Demo early for a good spot and commit to the entire demonstration. Hand-outs and PDF forms may be made available to conference-goers during or after the conference.

 

What is a Themed Portfolio?

Themed portfolios are curated by SGCI Members, and are based on the conference’s theme. There are a number of different Themed Portfolios that are displayed during the conference.

In the Round 1 Calls for Participation, individuals who are interested in curating and collating a Themed Portfolio (based on the conference theme) are invited to submit an application. The local steering committee selects Themed Portfolios based on space availability, applicability and interest. Artists who are interested in having their work considered for a particular Themed Portfolio contact the organizer and submit an application during the Round 2 Call for Participation.

Selected participants in the Themed Portfolios create an edition of prints; one complete set of prints are exhibited during the Conference, and the participants receive a portfolio with a full set of prints. One set from each Themed Portfolio is added to the SGCI Archives at the Zuckerman Museum of Art.

Read this Guide for details on how to organize or participate in a Themed Portfolio.

 

What is an Inkubator?

Inkubators arose out of the desire for more informal, group discussions at the conference. They are set up as round table discussions, moderated by the organizer. Calls for Inkubator topics are requested during the Round 1 Call for Participation. Inkubators are scheduled for two hour increments, but typically last about an hour and a half. Unless otherwise indicated for a specific session, there are no pre-registration required to attend an Inkubator. Drop-ins are welcome.

 

What is a Career Mentoring Session?

Mentoring Sessions are one-on-one, and are available for individuals at all stages of their careers – whether you are an undergraduate student thinking about an MFA, a graduate student seeking career advice, an independent artist looking to start a press, or someone in a tenure-track position looking for advice about navigating academia. There are a limited number of spots, so sign ups will be first-come, first-served until sessions are full.

TOPICS: Mentoring Topics include (but are not limited to):
• Artist Portfolio Reviews
• Career Advice for Emerging and Mid-Career Artists
• Tenure and Academic Advancement
• Independent Presses, Non-Profits, and Community-Based Art
SESSION TIMES: Mentor sessions are 20 minutes in duration. Wifi is not guaranteed, so if you plan to show any artwork, documents, etc on your computer or tablet, it is recommended that you download PDF documents or other files that do not require wireless internet to see before you arrive for your session.
COST: Free! There is no cost for any SGCI Member to register for a Career Mentor Session.
MENTORS: Mentors are SGCI Members who are experienced professionals, and want to serve our membership and foster interest in our field. This is a volunteer service that they provide.

 

What is a Mobile Event?

Mobile Events are demo kits, projects, discussions, performances, or talks intended to take place on conference buses while in transit between venues. Flexible and innovative, mobile events vary from year to year and include things like sticker exchanges, zine demos, artist talks, inkubators, and Pecha Kuchas on-the-go!

 

What is the Vendor, Publisher, Programs Fair (VPP)?

The VPP Fair is a showcase of leading businesses and individuals who specialize in printmaking presses, papers, and a variety of tools for printing, bookbinding, and papermaking. Individual and community print shops can display, promote, and support their organizations. Schools and residences can present and recruit for their programs.

The VPP Fair is part of every annual conference, and is free and open to the public. Learn more here!

 

What is the Member Print Exchange?

This is a print exchange open to all active SGCI Members. SGCI Members create an edition that is turned in during the first half of the conference, and receive an exchange portfolio of 10 prints at the end of the conference to take home! Your work from this Member Exchange will be collected by the SGCI Archives at the Zuckerman Museum of Art, as well as local conference area institutions. There is no restriction as to the number of participants in this exchange.

Read this Guide for details on how to participate in the Member Print Exchange.

What is Open Portfolio?

Open Portfolio provides an opportunity for conference delegates to present their work on tables alongside one another in 1-hour sessions. These displays are free and open to the public. There are a limited number of spots, so sign up with be limited to first-come, first-served until sessions are full.

Read this Guide for details on how to  participate in Open Portfolio.

What are the Open Portfolio Exhibitions?

This year SGCI is putting a new twist on the Open Portfolio! We’re transforming it into a live, malleable “happening” where exhibitions will be culled from the work shown by Open Portfolio participants and featured at the conference as the Open Portfolio Exhibitions. Learn more here.