Kala Art Institute studio tour

Third in a series of studio tours from the Bay Area, in celebration of the Printeresting-edited issue of The California Printmaker.

Continuing our mad dash through California: next on our free-wheelin’ agenda was a tour of Berkeley’s Kala Art Institute, led by the organization’s Executive Director Archana Horsting. Kala has provided a range of programs and services since its beginnings in 1974. Facilities include a broad-based range of equipment designed to support artists working in print, book arts, photo, and digital media.

The organization’s renowned Artists-in-residence program is just one facet of Kala’s diverse programming. Along with an active calendar of classes, workshops, lectures, exhibitions, performances, and special events, Kala “provides curriculum-based visual arts education to children in schools” throughout the region. Amongst all this activity, the studio facilities clearly form the heart of the Kala community. Though packed with equipment, the space feels open and filled with light. Even after a brief stroll through the studios, it’s clear to me that this is an enjoyable place to work. Join the tour below!

Kala is housed in an old Heinz factory. Check out the “57” medallion near the top of the building.

The space boasts impressive square footage, though seemingly none of it goes to waste; every nook and cranny is filled with equipment.

Check out those ceilings. An architectural highlight of the space.

…from the litho area.

… from the letterpress area.

Words to Live By.

When you’re done printing, you can bake a loaf of bread in this full kitchen. Just be sure to wash your hands first and remember: no solvents in the sink.

…from the digital area

And all that stuff is just in the main print studio. Kala also boasts a more recently-acquired, and very large expansion space. This includes a print archive, artist project rooms, offices, and an attractive exhibition venue (the timely current exhibition, Cashing Out, explores art and the economy). When we visited, a wide range of print work was still on display from a recent fundraising event called Kalassal.

To everyone at Kala: thanks for opening your doors to us! More photos from the tour after the jump.

Look at that light!

Seriously, look at that light!!

…and that’s where the gross stuff goes.

photo darkroom, and screenprinting table

This was the tallest aquatint box I had ever seen… until later that afternoon.

more from the letterpress area

more from the digital area

What’s that by the monitor?

Dinosaur alert!

This is just a small fraction of the expansion space.


Thank you again for a great tour of a fabulous space!


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Categories: Printeresting, Printshop Tour


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