National Non-Toxic Printmaking Invitational
Cynthia Blasingham - Independent Curator
In 2001 Indiana artist Cynthia Blasingham was awarded a Creative Renewal
Arts Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis with Lilly Endowment
to study the new non-toxic printmaking methods that achieve the beauty
of the traditional but toxic methods of etching, lithography, and aquatint.
Her focus was on the methods originated by Keith Howard, Head of Contemporary
Printmaking at the Rochester Institute of Technology and presented in
his book Non-Toxic Intaglio Printmaking, using the photo-emulsion film
With a subsequent grant from the Indiana Arts Commission, she created
a suite of “Prints of the Indiana Wetlands: An Artist’s View”
using the method Photo Intaglio-Type from Transparency, and Keith Howard’s
next book The Contemporary Printmaker. Selections from this suite have
already been shown in fifteen invitational and juried national and state
exhibits since January of 2003, attracting interest in the non-toxic methodology.
The concept of a Non-Toxic Printmaking National Invitational emerged naturally
as Cynthia planned with the Indianapolis Art Center to host a “Focus
On Printmaking” in the gallery spaces for May of 2004 to include
the Non-Toxic Invitational, Cynthia’s one-person exhibit “Prints
of the Indiana Wetlands,” two suites of 18 prints each by members
of INprint, and the permanent collection of Graphic Chemical Company,
another one-person exhibit by Mark Hall, and traditional prints in the
print studio. An unusually high exposure is anticipated because the show
dates of May 7 – July 4 encompass the Broad Ripple Art Fair, one
of the largest art fairs in Indiana at 25,000 attendance, on the grounds
of the Art Center.
As a founding member in 1997 of INprint, a regional group of 30 fine art
printmakers, Cynthia Blasingham is in her sixth year as its Chairman and
has helped set the group’s direction toward a balance of artistic
development, mutual support, career development, and community service.
The artistic focus is on original hand-pulled prints including monotype,
monoprint, etching, silkscreen, woodcut, linocut, lithography, and the
new technologies using Photoshop, ImagOn Ultra, and Solarplates. Since
1999 Cynthia has organized 17 regional exhibits of six annual INprint
Suites, created in affiliation with community non-profits such as the
Julian Center for abused women and children, the Indiana Historical Society,
the Gennesaret Free Clinic, and the Nature Conservancy.