Leadership in the SGCI is a tremendous way to create opportunities for colleagues, especially students and emerging artists and teachers, and in this way, to ensure the future of printmaking. I have attended most SGCI conferences since 1986, and have served on the board, was SGCI president, edited the organization’s newsletter Graphic Impressions for four years, and have been involved in hosting four conferences. While often challenging, these activities were always meaningful, and made a difference in the lives of others. I have seen my current students transformed by attending an open portfolio session at one of our conferences, making lasting connections with new peers. Most exciting, some of my former students have gone onto play an active role in SGCI leadership, and in this way, one can see the torch passed to another generation of printmakers. SGCI is not a monolith, but a professional and academic organization of our own creation, and will evolve and grow as it is able to attract new leadership to it ranks.
Images control self-esteem. After joining the board, I have been in the company of kindred spirits inculcated with a sense of duty to recalibrate print practice in the 21st century. As someone who directly benefited from being a member of SGCI and a supportive print community, serving on the board of SGC International gave me the opportunity to give back, open doors, and create opportunities for younger artists. I strongly believe in SGCI and its mission, and encourage anyone with the time and means to volunteer, to do so. With each new board comes a unique opportunity to make SGCI a better organization.
As someone coming from another country, building a network of colleagues and friends is never easy but the SGCI conferences have given me so many opportunities to contribute to growing the relationship between artist and community.
Immediately after my first SGCI conference, I knew I wanted to get more involved. Having the opportunity to show a demo the following year was a great experience, and I still regularly contact printmakers I met there.
Receiving the SGCI graduate student fellowship award in 2017 helped propel my involvement in printmaking communities further. The financial award was certainly appreciated, but the lasting acceptance, promotion, and engagement with my work from the organization contributed to the confidence and support needed to move my career forward.”