About the Commissioned Print Program

About the Commissioned Print Program
70 x 70 inch (h x w)

About the Commissioned Print Program

Print Club launched the Commissioned Print program to celebrate its tenth anniversary in 1992. The objective was to help members build their collections, contribute prints to the Des Moines Art Center’s Permanent Collections, educate others about the printmaking process, and support artists. Proceeds from the sales help to fund Print Club projects such as the annual print gifts, print exhibitions, publications, and conservation of works on paper.

Print Club dedicated nearly two years to investigating the ins and outs of publishing prints for its members to add to their personal collections. Once research was complete, eight underwriting members each contributed $500 to start the program. In addition, Renato Polliero, a Venetian bookbinder, was contracted to make 50 custom-designed, handmade albums to hold the prints.

Each year, members of a committee work with the Art Center’s director and curators to select the Commissioned Print artist. In the early years of the program, Iowa-affiliated artists who pulled their own editions were invited to make the prints. Initially, the prints were to be no larger than the page size of the album. Keith Achepohl created the first Commissioned Print, a hand-colored etching titled A Place in Time. The first members in 1992 received Achelpohl’s print and an album. Over time, size restrictions were dropped, and the edition size varied between 50 to 60 prints. Nationally and internationally known artists including Glenn Brown, Cecily Brown, Enrique Chagoya, Jun Kaneko, Phyllida Barlow, Ann Hamilton, Martin Puryear, and Jaume Plensa have designed prints exclusively for Print Club. Editions have been printed in New York; Venice, Italy; London, England: and Madrid and Barcelona, Spain. To date, Print Club has commissioned 27 prints: including lithography, intaglio, relief, screen printing, and digital processes. Print Club members have priority in purchasing the prints, and all prints are available for purchase through The Shop at the Art Center.

All of the Commissioned Prints from 1992 to 2019 are on view in this exhibition.

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