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April 1, 2020
Today SGC International had planned on joining members of the Puerto Rican and Latin American printmaking communities in San Juan, Puerto Rico for an epic celebration of printmaking. While sadly we remain spread across the world in our homes doing our best to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s a bright spot towards which we can turn our attention—our printmaking spirit has traveled to Puerto Rico in spite of our trying world circumstances. Members and friends of the SGC International (SGCI) community and patrons of the Puerto Rican art community successfully completed a crowdsourcing campaign to raise funds to donate a press to the University of Puerto Rico Recinto de Río Piedras (UPRRP) Printshop. Today, that press is working its way to its new home.
Puerto Rico has a rich printmaking tradition, which draws on the island’s unique history while always being in dialogue with contemporary art. Puertográfico 2020 conference planning began shortly before Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico. The SGCI membership saw its devastating effects leveled not only buildings, infrastructure, and the environment, but the economy, citizens’ ways of life, and their sense of security and well-being. Knowing the healing potential of the arts and understanding the circumstances of fellow artists in Puerto Rico, SGCI’s community of printmakers was eager to assist Puerto Rican printmakers as they continued to promote printmaking and its democratic practice as a way to engage with citizens in their communities.
SGCI’s efforts came to fruition under the leadership of Joseph Velasquez, associate professor of art at Florida Atlantic University and chair of the SGCI Ad Hoc Committee on Community Exchange, and the assistance of Hannah March Sanders, associate professor, and Blake Sanders, instructor, both in the Department of Art & Design at Southeast Missouri State University. On a planning visit to Puerto Rico, Mr. Velasquez and fellow printmaker John Hancock, professor of art at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, recognized the great need for a lithography press in the UPRRP printshop, led by Professor Martin García-Rivera. Upon their return the team launched Let’s Leave a Press in Puerto Rico, a crowdfunding campaign. The initiative offered perks including prints donated from well-known professional printmakers and tools and supplies from printmaking vendors. The group also asked school print and art clubs to participate by raising funds in their respective club/school names while SGCI created a portal for donations to the organization earmarked specifically to support the campaign. These collective efforts raised nearly $11,000 in 60 days. These gifts, along with the difference and shipping costs generously donated by the Takach family, enabled the acquisition of a brand new Takach Manufacturing Corporation 2648 Floor Model Lithography Press!
The SGCI Ad Hoc Committee for Community Exchange has continued gathering equipment, tools, and materials from its membership through a registry created understanding the specific needs of Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Diseño and other printmaking programs in the region. SGCI is developing a plan to transport these donations to San Juan where they will be delivered to the programs for which they are intended. https://sokindregistry.org/registry/puertografico
SGCI would like to thank Joseph, John, Hannah, and Blake for the tireless work that they put into making these ideas happen and these gifts a reality. To the Takach family, you are amazing! Your generosity is humbling. We would also like to thank everyone who donated to the press fundraiser and equipment, tools, and materials registry. Thank you for your generosity and for helping SGCI support Puerto Rican printmaking!
During site visits and Puertográfico planning meetings members of the SGCI board and conference steering committee have learned of the rich history of Printmaking in Puerto Rico and the many practitioners and advocates there who shared our love of printmaking.
Following the devastation of Hurricane Maria, the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, UPRRP, lost a third of the student body and many of the facilities were damaged or destroyed. In the area of printmaking they do not have foreseeable funding for their studio needs, to repair equipment , or to buy a badly needed new press The printmaking area is headed by Martín García Rivera who has been teaching printmaking at UPRRP since 1993. He not only leads a dynamic printmaking program, but also has established many projects over the years to engage the many community demographics.
In order to help Martin, UPRRP students and our other printmaking colleagues in Puerto Rico, SGCI is launching a fundraising campaign to buy a press for the UPRRP printshop. Donations will be taken in through multiple streams, including Indiegogo, cash donations, and through conference registration.
Puertográfico 2020, April 1-4 in San Juan, is the perfect opportunity to learn about the rich history of Printmaking in Puerto Rico and engage with our hosts who are generously preparing a fantastic conference experience for us all. Let’s show our appreciation for their efforts and our commitment to lasting connections by contributing to the future of their printmaking community.
A lo largo de varias visitas y reuniones de planificación de Puertográfico en San Juan, miembros de SGCI fueron expuestos a la rica historia de artes gráficas de Puerto Rico y supieron de los muchos grabadores y propulsores que comparten nuestro amor por las artes gráficas.
Tras la devastación que dejó el Huracán María, la Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Río Piedras (UPRRP) perdió un tercio de su estudiantado y muchas de sus facilidades fueron afectadas o destruidas. En el área de grabado, no se vislumbra fondos para atender las necesidades del taller, reparar equipo, o adquirir la prensa que les urge. El áreade grabado es dirigida por Martín García Rivera, quien enseña grabado en UPRRP desde 1993. No solo lidera un programa dinámico de grabado, sino que además ha desarrollado diversos proyectos para envolver a las múltiples demografías comunitarias.
En apoyo a Martín, a las/los estudiantes de UPRRP y a nuestros colegas en Puerto Rico, SCGI acaba de lanzar una campaña de recaudación de fondos para comprarle una prensa al Taller de Artes Gráficas de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Río Piedras. Los donativos serán admitidos por diversas vías, incluyendo indiegogo, donativos en efectivo, y mediante la inscripción al Congreso.
Entre el primero y el cuatro de abril, 2020, el Congreso SCGI será la oportunidad perfecta para conocer la gran tradición de las artes gráficas en Puerto Rico, y compartir con nuestras y nuestros anfitriones, quienes están preparando una fántastica experiencia para nosotras y nosotros vivir en el Congreso. Mostremos nuestra apreciación a sus esfuerzos, así como nuestro compromiso con establecer lazos duraderos, contribuyendo nuestra aportación al futuro de su comunidad de grabado.