Artists Image Resource (AIR) is an artist-run, nonprofit printmaking studio whose purpose is to integrate the creation of fine art printwork with innovative educational programs that explore the role of the artist in contemporary culture. AIR’s primary purpose is to facilitate the creation of new work with professional artists and to design and implement educational projects based on the artist’s new work.
AIR Programs include: 1) print related projects that directly support the professional artist 2) Educational projects that support the student, the educator and the educational institution and 3) Community access programs, exhibitions and open house events that support and engage the community at large. The studio is located in an urban neighborhood on the Northside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and serves as a broad-based print and imaging laboratory for artists, educators and the public.
Programs and Services
Each year Artists Image Resource invites professional working artists to participate in our Resident Artists program (3 to 6 each year, over 65 artists since 1996). The residency allows each artist to create a new body of original work, using traditional and/or contemporary print and imaging processes and techniques (relief, intaglio, lithography, screen-printing, and digital printing). AIR’s Resident Artist projects last from 12 to 18 months, and normally include multiple visits to the studio by the artist. These projects serve as the engine of all other activities at AIR.
AIR provides an internship/mentorship program that allows aspiring younger artists to work with more experienced artists during their projects. This opportunity enables the younger artists to develop a clearer understanding of the methods and practices of the professional artist while developing technical, organizational and engineering skills in the process. For this program, AIR works closely with numerous academic institutions to support, augment and enhance the development of “best creative practices” in aspiring young artists. The program generally lasts for twelve (12) weeks and university credits can be earned by university students.
Along with AIR’s artists’ projects and internship/mentorship programs, AIR works with area schools, museums and other cultural and educational organizations to design and execute collaborative educational programs. Programs fall generally into two categories 1) semester long projects that include multiple site visits and on-going instruction and 2) single session workshops that explore specific issues and or provide specific technical support to curriculum. AIR works with a number of area schools, institutions and community groups, including The Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA), The Obama Academy of International Studies, The Falk School, Winchester Thurston, The Andy Warhol Museum, The Mattress Factory and others. Through this program AIR generally hosts more than 120 students per year.
AIR further offers technical assistance and direct access to the studio’s facilities to the general public through a variety of community access programs including tutorials, shop rentals and general open studio access. A dynamic mix of visual artists, musicians, entrepreneurs and DIY makers of all kinds utilize the studio’s resources to create new work for a variety of purposes. We continue to develop a strong volunteer driven collective workforce whose members service these community access programs while developing their own personal skills and capacities. This broader collective workforce blends with the more formal mentorship programs to create the overall dynamic laboratory environment at the shop.
Additionally, AIR presents community discussions, exhibitions and events which support the organization’s primary focus on the artist and the role of the artist in our culture. AIR’s activities are predicated on the idea that conventional print and imaging processes provide awareness of how information, knowledge and meaning is created and disseminated in our contemporary environment
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