The prints are the result of Tipping Points, a collaborative project between the City of Albuquerque and Tamarind Institute at The University of New Mexico, with an aim to offer local artists the opportunity to advance their careers through experience at Tamarind Institute with fine art lithography.
With this goal in mind and pre-pandemic, Albuquerque Public Art Urban Enhancement, a division of the City of Albuquerque’s Department of Arts and Culture, put out a public announcement seeking proposals from artists. Five artists were then selected from a very large pool of applicants by a committee of Public Arts Board members and Tamarind staff. The five chosen were artists considered best poised to benefit from expanding their practice to include collaborative printmaking, specifically at Tamarind Institute.
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.
The project was scheduled to run through Spring 2021, and though the pandemic caused some hurdles, each artist was able to complete a two-week workshop residency. During the workshop residency, each Tipping Points artist made one lithograph in collaboration with Tamarind student printers, under the supervision and guidance of Tamarind master printer and education director Brandon Gunn.
The resulting portfolio of five prints will become part of the City of Albuquerque Public Art Collection, Tamarind’s own in-house archive, and the formal Tamarind Archive, housed at the University of New Mexico Art Museum. In addition, all five prints will be available for purchase through Tamarind Institute.
A video about the project, including artist interviews and images of the resulting lithographs, will be released this fall. The video highlights each artist’s experience at Tamarind and their chosen subject matter. Tipping Points artist Eric Garcia created a lithograph honoring his recently deceased cousin and as a reminder to viewers of New Mexico traditions which are on the brink of being lost.
When asked what Garcia will take away from the project he said, “I’ll take away a new partnership with Tamarind; I’ll take away a friendship with [Tamarind student printer] Austin Armstrong; I’ll take away six new prints; I’ll take away an experience that not many people get. To be frank, not many people in Albuquerque understand what Tamarind is — a world-renowned institution, and not everyone gets to step into here and make art—it’s a precious thing and I won’t take that for granted.”
- Tamarind student printer Lindsey Sigmon fans an aluminum plate as student printer Brian Wagner discusses options available to Tipping Points artist Zahra Marwan.
- Tipping Points artist Gaby Hernandez with Tamarind student printer Lindsey Ingram and Tamarind master printer and education director Brandon Gunn.
- Artist Szu-Han Ho with Tamarind student printer Austin Armstrong