Philagrafika's mission is to promote and sustain printmaking as a vital and valued art form by providing artistic, programmatic and administrative leadership for large-scale, cooperative initiatives with broad public exposure.
Philagrafika builds upon the Philadelphia region's rich history and abundant artistic resources to increase critical dialogue, provide benefits for the local arts community, and enhance the city's presence as an international center for printmaking. We do this through an international contemporary art festival, an annual invitational portfolio, and special projects. Our programs have been designed to present new curatorial and critical models for printmaking-models in which the medium is presented as an integral component of current artistic practice.
Philagrafika was originally known as the Philadelphia Print Collaborative. Founded in 2000, the Print Collaborative came together in recognition of a growing convergence in Philadelphia of artists, educators, curators, non-profit arts organizations, galleries, print workshops and museums that needed a central organizing body for cooperative initiatives. The Print Collaborative's programs heightened visibility for the art of print, expanded audiences for member organizations, provided professional development and exposure for artists, fostered new collaborations and networks of mutual support within the artistic community, and enabled thousands of youth and adults to learn about and participate in the art of printmaking. With projects that harnessed collective effort and capitalized upon shared resources, the Print Collaborative achieved ambitious results that exceeded the capacity of any single organization.
In April 2006, the Print Collaborative changed its name to Philagrafika, reflecting a commitment to produce a city-wide, international contemporary art event. Philagrafika 2010 represented not only the culmination of all previous efforts by the organization, but a great leap forward on the way to achieving the mission of establishing Philadelphia as an international center for printmaking. Developments in the field of contemporary art are now global, and the medium of printmaking is no exception. Members of the Print Collaborative saw that the time was right to expand the scope of their artistic dialogue.
Image credit: Francesc Ruiz, Philadelphia Newstand, Philagrafika 2010, Tyler School of Art, Temple University. Photo: Greenhouse Media