Print exchanges are great ways to build up a collection of art as well as get your own work out into the world. You would be surprised at how many opportunities can arise just from participating in a few print exchanges. There is usually a gallery exhibition as part of the exchange and often an online gallery where all the participants' work archived giving your little print BIG exposure. It is also a great way to learn about new artists and make new print buddies!
Print exchanges are a great opportunity to experiment. Editions are usually quite small 15-25 prints with typical print sizes ranging from 4x6 to 8X10. Entry fees are usually affordable for most people- even students ranging from $10-$30. It is a good way to try out new techniques, brainstorm new ideas, or work out layouts for more ambitious projects. I often use print exhanges as a testing or sketching edition, working out images, colours and media experiments on a smaller scale. You can try something you've always wanted and if it's a total bust those 15-5x7 prints isn't going to break your heart or your bank account! One of the best resources for print exchanges is the blog of a virtual pal of mine, Christopher Clark.
Chris is one of the ringmasters of Inkteraction! an online social networking site for print artists. His blog called Print Exchanges details upcoming opportunities in which print artists can participate. He lists the date, the entry fee, and a link to the site of the organization hosting the exchange. A few of the big ones are:
- Print Zero Studios (Seattle) They cancelled their exchange this year but promise to be up and running again in 2012.
- Oregon INKSpot (Eastern Oregon University) Held annually this is a great place to start. Their Sixth Annual print exchange will begin in May of 2012
- 8th Annual British Mini Print Exchange (London, England) an Excellent opportunity to get noticed! Open for participation now! Deadline for application is September 21st, 2011! Downlaod the entry from from their website and keep your eyes open for next year!
- BIMPE is a Biennial mini printe xchange held every two years in Vancouver BC (Canada). Next opportunity to participate is 2013.
- Original Print Exchange (Ontario, Canada) an Open call for international print exchange.Open for participation now. Affordable and Fun!
- Greendoor International Print Exchange (Derbyshire, UK) Another great opportunity that you can participate in NOW! Edition of ten and the entry fee is reasonable as well. What have you got to lose?
I highly recommend joining Inkteraction! and following Chris's blog whether you live in a bustling metropolis or the blissful middle of nowhere. As long as you have access to a post office, you too can participate in the international world of print exchanges! Now get out there and play!