Coming soon: Leeds Print Workshop, a new hub for printmaking in the centre of Leeds. The workshop will be a co-operative, membership-based printmaking studio, open to all those with an interest in print. Members will come to the space to do screen printing, intaglio, linocut, bookbinding and other print techniques in a friendly, well-equipped workshop. Currently in the process of preparing the space and gathering support, Leeds Print Workshop hopes to be open by the end of summer this year.
The Leeds Print Workshop founding committee is made up of fine artists, teachers, graphic designers, illustrators and others all with one thing in common: a love of printmaking. As teachers, and as artists in the community, we’ve had the same conversation hundreds of times: printmaking is so much fun, and where can I do more of it? Leeds has a terrific arts scene, but a space entirely given over to printmaking is missing. We aim to fill that gap, and while we’re at it fulfil our primary goal: to bring together a new creative community.
Anyone can become a member of Leeds Print Workshop and then gain access to the printmaking facilities. As a not for profit co-operative our mission is to provide an affordable and accessible workshop space.
Membership will also provide the opportunity to participate in exhibitions of members’ artwork held in the space, which will raise the profile of the workshop as well as our members professional practice. We’ll also seek out community partners to help us put on exhibitions in other galleries and get out into the Leeds art scene. Above all, membership will have the advantage of being part of a family of fellow printmakers, sharing ideas, techniques, innovations and feedback on artwork.
As well as offering resources to already-practicing printmakers, we hope to bring new people to the medium. The workshop will host a programme of classes where people can learn new printmaking skills or get a refresher on techniques they haven’t practiced for a while.
In collaboration with East Street Arts, we’ve found an ideal space for our fledgling workshop. We’ll move into a large, airy building on Vicar Lane which was formerly a restaurant. The building is handily located in central Leeds, so that members and visitors can easily make their way to the workshop. The space has huge, distinctive arched windows which will let in floods of light to make art by. Students from the Leeds College of Building are undertaking renovations on the space and getting it ready for the presses, inks, screens and rollers to move in.
The workshop has already benefitted from the generosity of our friends in the artistic community. We put the call out for printing presses, tools and equipment for either donation or permanent loan. The workshop has had a wide range of printmaking equipment donated to us, as well as some furniture. But we’re still on the look out for any other useful printmaking equipment ready for a new lease of life, so let us know if you can help!
Leeds Print Workshop aims to be open for business at the end of this summer. We’ll be enlisting the help of the Leeds community to get the word out, raise funds, and join in on the art party so you’ll be hearing more from us over the coming months! Look out for a crowdfunding campaign with some brilliant perks for supporters, including limited edition prints made by the founder members of Leeds Print Workshop.
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