La Ceiba Gráfica: Mexican Print Paradise

Escape to Mexico for the perfect printmakers’ retreat!

La Ceiba Gráfica is located in a small mountain town in the state of Veracruz called Coatepec, located between the city and the sea, 4 hours east of Mexico City, 2 hours from Veracruz City. La Ceiba was founded in 2005 as a non-profit studio and residency program by the association “Artistas Veracruzanos Bajo La Ceiba” headed by Per Anderson and Martin Vinaver. This residency and print studio is housed in the old Hacienda of La Orduña. Dating back as early as the 16th century, it once existed as a headquarters to the processing of sugar cane and coffee. After many years of being abandoned, a proposal to the government led to the granting of the hacienda to a project of creating an art center whose focus was primarily on graphic arts including lithography, intaglio, Moku Hanga Japanese woodcut, and papermaking.

What makes this place unique is their focus on locally fabricated and sourced materials and equipment essential for the production of prints, i.e wood to build presses, leather to make leather rollers, hotel sheets and towels to make paper, locally sourced pigments and bamboo for barens to hand print Moku Hanga, and marble and onyx solely used for lithography. They produce their own litho pencils, crayons and tusche. They have begun growing kozo plants for making Japanese style paper for Moku Hanga. A paper beater is fashioned out of an old claw foot tub. The foundry down the road casts the metal for levigators and level bars.
La Ceiba also has a professional lithography workshop where the master printers collaborate and print with visiting artists, and also continue their research and development of the use of marble for lithography. Rafael Ruiz, Director of La Ceiba, holds it all together creating ongoing programming and events, researching projects to participate in like their recent involvement in a large print portfolio celebrating the Bicentenario , 200 years of Mexican independence which involved over 40 artists and 10 other different printshops around the country.

The use of marble for lithography is unusual and rare. But through research and development by Per Anderson they are able to achieve a remarkable range of tones and values. They have become the embassadors of the use of marble equipping printshops across the country with stones and presses and the tools needed to further the spread the passion of printmaking which has had such an importance in Mexico’s history.

In addition to the printmaking studios, there is also a woodshop, a painting studio, classrooms for children’s workshops, and a gallery. There is a true appreciation, excitement, and sheer joy in the research being done here. It is a rare and unique opportunity to be exposed to an intense and eager desire to create the means to create, to begin at the beginning, and to see it through to the final outcome, a truly hand made, hand pulled print.

Residencies are available year round to artists of all media at all levels of experience. Artists from all over Mexico and abroad come to work at La Ceiba. Like many residencies, an artist is afforded the luxury of time to work on his/her work. La Ceiba grants this luxury but provides a warm and comfortable environment that is unique and inspiring. The people responsible for the day-to-day operation share this warmth and truly make you feel at home, in your palace, the hacienda of La Ceiba Gráfica.

For more information, visit their website: www.laceibagrafica.org

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7 Responses to “La Ceiba Gráfica: Mexican Print Paradise”

  1. christine says:

    are those wooden presses?

  2. debchaney says:

    Yes! They are amazing! Beautiful and surprisingly simple design. Made by one of the founders, Per Anderson.

  3. Carlos Pez says:

    I been in la Ceiba several times. !Great expirience! I learn a lot, Fantastic team.

  4. Edgar Cano says:

    Just as Carlos, have been involved with 5 graphic projects from 2007 to date, is a life experience where discipline, quality and which make artistic, recommended for all those interested in the disciplines of graphic. The place transports you to a Mexico of 200 years ago.

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  6. David Russell says:

    Are there classes offered this summer?