Inaugural Lawrence Print Week to celebrate art form with events, exhibits

If New York City has a lively annual print week, why can’t Lawrence?

That’s what local organizers figured when they pulled together all things printmaking for the inaugural Lawrence Print Week. A flurry of free events celebrating the art form is scheduled next week, with some related exhibitions open this week.

The Lawrence Arts Center collaborated with Wonder Fair, Kansas University School of the Arts and the Spencer Museum of Art to plan Print Week, a group effort Arts Center exhibitions director Ben Ahlvers says is a “big deal.” The well-rounded event invites print experts and novices alike to make, see and buy prints of all kinds.

The main event is the Sept. 21 Lawrence Print Fair, a unique opportunity for patrons to peruse and purchase prints. Rather than being hung on a wall like works in a typical gallery, most prints will be presented in loose-leaf form, enabling viewers to thumb through them and see them up close.

It has potential to be a great introduction for people to buy original art, Ahlvers says.

“Some of these are really affordable, and it’s not as formal or intimidating as maybe the traditional white-cube gallery space will feel to some folks,” he says.

The lineup of participating artists includes local, regional and national printmakers and workshops, one of which is Lawrence Lithography, started in Lawrence and now based in Kansas City, Mo.

Meredith Moore, owner of Wonder Fair, says Lawrence prides itself on being a community that supports the arts. But, she said, in addition to supporting artists “emotionally” it’s important to support them financially.

The Lawrence Print Fair will have artwork priced from $1 to $1,000, she says, so there should be something for everyone.

“There is a way that they can afford to collect art physically and to support art socially with their actions,” Moore says.

To cap the week, Wonder Fair is playing host to something called a Wayzgoose. The party, a nod to printmaking history, is inspired by fetes printmasters since the 17th century threw for their employees.

Moore, a printmaking history buff, says the event will combine geekery and a good time.

“It should be extremely nerdy and fun,” Moore says.

Lawrence Print Week happenings

For more details and a list of artists and workshops appearing at the Lawrence Print Fair, visit


Sept. 17

• Print Factory Workshop, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Wonder Fair, 803 1/2 Massachusetts St. Members of the Kansas City Print Factory will lead a hands-on workshop and history lesson where guests can learn how to make their own printing presses, pull their own prints and discuss the impact of prints on everyday life.

Sept. 19

• Kansas University Printmaking Studio Open House, 2 to 4 p.m. in Room 212 of the Art and Design Building, 1467 Jayhawk Blvd. See printmaking demonstrations and student work on display.

Sept. 20

• Walk-ins Welcome Friday, 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. in the Print Study Room at the Spencer Museum of Art, 1301 Mississippi St. See works from the museum’s print collection up close.

• Print Fair Preview, 6-8 p.m. at Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St. Admission $40. Get first crack at seeing and purchasing prints featured in the Print Fair.

Sept. 21

• Lawrence Print Fair, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Arts Center. See and purchase original prints from close to 20 artists and workshops, local and national.

• Print Demonstrations, 10 a.m. to noon in the printshop at the Lawrence Arts Center. Watch printmaking artist in residence John McCaughey and Lawrence printmaker and teacher Clinton Rickets create art.

• Wonder Fair Print Week Wayzgoose, 7 to 10 p.m. in the Beer Hall at Burger Stand, 803 Massachusetts St. An end-of-the-week party for printmakers and print lovers, with a cash bar, specialty menu and letter-press-your-own beer coasters.


Tugboat Printshop Showcase

On view through Sept. 23 at Wonder Fair. Featuring prints by artists Paul Roden and Valerie Lueth of Tugboat Printshop, a creative partnership producing hand-carved woodcut prints from their Pittsburgh studio.

Big Ten Print Exchange

Friday through Oct. 19 at Lawrence Arts Center. Featuring a portfolio of prints from students at each university in the Big Ten Conference, a project created by Arts Center printmaking artist in residence and Ohio State University grad John McCaughey.

Midwest Pressed

Sept. 16 through Oct. 20 at Lawrence Arts Center. Featuring work from Midwest Pressed, owned and operated by Aaron Wilson and Tim Dooley, who teach printmaking and foundations at the University of Northern Iowa and have shown work across the United States.