Printshop Tour: Zygote Press

Zygote Press is a non-profit based in Cleveland, Ohio, situated in the city’s Quadrangle arts district on the banks of Lake Erie. Liz Maugans is the Executive Director of Zygote Press, as well as one of the co-founders, along with Kelly Novak, Bellamy Printz, and Joseph Sroka. While visiting, I also met Jen Craun, the Associate Director.

Zygote’s mission is twofold: to be a resource to printmakers by providing affordable access to their print shop and studio spaces, and to offer exhibition opportunities in their galleries. Beyond this, Zygote offers a residency program and educational programs for all ages, often partnering with schools. With support from the Ohio Arts Council, Zygote founded the Collective Arts Network, a group of visual art organizations that publish the Collective Arts Network (CAN) Journal. The journal focuses on art in Northeast Ohio, and has thus served to unite and link the art community there. Zygote also has a internship program, during which, their interns swap with other art organizations from time to time, as part of an intern Shop Swap, to gain broader arts management experience.

An American French Tool Press in front, with two Conrad Etching Presses.

Charles Brand Press

Jason Lehrer’s screen is set to print.

Since 1996, Zygote Press has loaned equipment to schools and other institutions, reaching more than 1,500 students through their initiatives. The Press-on-Wheels program, POW!, is one such initiative and is an umbrella for several mobile units including their etching press-on-wheels, the multimedia Zyprint Cart, the Print Pony Gallop (a rocking pressure press, which promises a  “joy ride”), and their stackable Suitcase unit that holds an array of tools for classroom instruction.

During my visit, the Zygote exhibition spaces housed two shows. The first, New Deal Update: New Deal Graphic Works, featured prints created by the New Deal, a federal program that provided jobs to artists (and many others) during the Great Depression, from the collections of William Busta, Rachel Davis, and Tom Sodders. The second show, one that resonates with the first as it handles labor rights and social justice issues, included works by contemporary artists Claudio Giacone Orso, Guillermo Trejo, and Bec Young in New Graphic Updates.

Here’s Inky, the rocking pressure press, and the Zyprint Cart screen print station, with the New Deal Update: New Deal Graphic Works exhibit in back.

The New Graphic Updates exhibition with work by Claudio Giacone Orso, Guillermo Trejo, and Bec Young.

Guillermo Trejo‘s After the Grapes of Wrath

Prints by Guillermo Trejo were installed on the windows to look like broken glass.

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4 Responses to “Printshop Tour: Zygote Press”

  1. It is great to see a hard working press like Zygote get noticed. I was a resident artist at Zygote last summer and stayed in the Zpass loft. It was a great experience.

  2. katie loesel says:

    Congrats Zygote friends! Seeing how well the shop is doing always makes me miss Cleveland!

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