Many artists aspire to work at UNM's world-renowned Tamarind Institute, publisher of fine art lithographs by artists such as Jim Dine, Hung Liu, Louise Nevelson, Toyin Ojih Odutola, and Ed Ruscha, to name a few. Founded in Los Angeles in 1960, Tamarind Institute relocated to The University of New Mexico in 1970, and operates as a nonprofit within the College of Fine Arts. Tamarind works with only a handful of artists each year as the process is so labor intensive.

However, five New Mexico artists will be working at the prestigious institute during 2020 and 2021. The City of Albuquerque Public Arts Program recently issued a call for artists living in the state of New Mexico to submit proposals for a commission of lithographs for the City’s public art collection. Details for Tipping Points at Tamarind Institute: A Collaboration with ABQ Public Art can be found at or through Application deadline is Feb. 24, 2020.

Inspired by the momentum of the City initiative Tipping Points for Creatives, this project at Tamarind will engage artists who are ready to expand their practice to include collaborative printmaking. For many artists, the opportunity to collaborate with Tamarind’s highly skilled printers yields new thinking about their creative practice and builds new international audiences for their work, essentially tipping local professional artists into the next phase of their career and into new markets. Beyond the workshop, through social media, online promotions and national art fairs, Tamarind will promote a talented group of New Mexico artists to a large audience, and build new and unexpected opportunities for the participating artists and printers.

In addition to benefiting the local artists, the City of Albuquerque receives two complete portfolios to display throughout the city, Tamarind retains one portfolio for its own use, and one portfolio enters the University of New Mexico Art Museum who holds Tamarind's official archive.

This year Tamarind celebrates 50 years in New Mexico and its participation in numerous community projects. Last year, Tamarind sent students to Roswell to establish a functioning workshop at the Roswell Artists in Residency Program. Tamarind printers have traveled around the state to present workshops, and has become a regular participant in the Southwest Print Fiesta in Silver City, N.M. The workshop produced a documentary short film on Tamarind featuring three New Mexico artists with local filmmaker Melinda Frame in 2017, and the film was screened in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos.

In 2014 eight local artists were chosen to make lithographs for a portfolio titled Foodie, sponsored by the City of Albuquerque Public Arts Program. That same year Tamarind partnered with VSA Arts of New Mexico to create a suite of prints with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Further back in its history, Tamarind participated in collaborations with ArtStreet, the Harwood Art Center, New Mexico’s pueblos, Albuquerque community centers, and Spanish Santero/a artists within the Hispanic community. Tamarind regularly lends work for exhibitions around the state, including venues in Albuquerque, Gallup, Santa Fe, and Las Cruces. 

Tamarind’s mission to introduce contemporary artists to lithography brings both established and emerging artists to the workshop. Over the years Tamarind has collaborated with numerous New Mexico artists, often partnering with local organizations and with the City of Albuquerque. “We are dedicated to the New Mexico arts community and are always open to ways that we can introduce collaborative printmaking to arts organizations and educational programs across the state,” according to Tamarind Director Diana Gaston.

The Albuquerque Public Art Program was established in 1978 and has over 1000+ works of art in the collection. From tapestries to sculptures on overpasses, and from murals to photographs, pastels, and prints there’s something for everyone in public places all over Albuquerque.

Tamarind Institute is an internationally recognized fine art lithography workshop affiliated with the College of Fine Arts at The University of New Mexico. Tamarind is dedicated to the preservation and advancement of lithography through education, research, exhibitions, and artist residencies, and is credited with introducing collaborative printmaking among contemporary artists around the world. Tamarind frequently sponsors programs with diverse populations, locally and internationally, benefitting University, Albuquerque, and New Mexico constituencies.

For more information, call 505-277-3901, email or visit Tamarind Institute.