Sales of a new canvas tote designed by an artist from the Tamarind Institute at The University of New Mexico will support scholarships for students of lithography. Tamarind is credited with reviving the medium of lithography in the U.S. and fostering research that has led to technical and economic breakthroughs in the art.

Tamarind tote

“Tamarind invited artist Matt Magee to design our new tote bag. As a Tamarind artist who has a great graphic sensibility, we thought of Matt immediately for this project,” said Tamarind Institute Director Diana Gaston, adding that the design is based on a painting by Magee. The Phoenix-based artist has completed two residencies at Tamarind Institute and has become a part of the Tamarind family.

The tote design is screen-printed, produced in the U.S. on recycled canvas.

Gaston explained that Tamarind provides different kinds of scholarship support to student printers during the rigorous one-year Printer Training Program for students who wish to pursue careers as fine art collaborative printers. While proceeds from the special edition tote bag are not tax-deductible, they will directly support scholarships.

Matt Magee
Tamarind artist Matt Magee

“Tamarind has several items available for sale on our website,” Gaston said. “Some items are produced as special editions − meaning once they sell out that's it, they will not be reprinted − to support scholarships and are not tax-deductible. Other merchandise items such as our classic printer's apron are staples of our Tamarind designed merchandise.” 

Merchandise is just one way to support Tamarind scholarships and programs, Gaston said, and tax-deductible donations may be made through the UNM Foundation where Tamarind established an endowed fund to honor its previous director with the Marjorie L. Devon Scholarship Fund.

Over a career spanning over four decades, Matt Magee has experimented widely with abstract and conceptual art practices. Influenced by the minimalist movement of the 1960s, Magee merges his interest in language and his mastery of design aesthetics to create meticulously arranged compositions and sculptural installations.

His work is found in the collections of the Tucson Museum of Art, Houston Museum of Art, Phoenix Art Museum, JP Morgan Chase Collection and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, among many others.