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Founded in 1978, Island Press is a research-based printmaking workshop at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis that is committed to creating and publishing innovative prints and multiples, educating students and the broader community about print media, and advancing the printmaking field.

Spacious, light-filled printmaking studio space; two students are working at a table in the middle of the room.

Dubinsky Printmaking Studio. Photo: Joshua White.

In the context of intensive visiting artist residencies, Island Press explores the expansive theoretical and material terrain of the print. The Press is project-driven, tapping into the place where the artist’s creative activity intersects with the philosophical underpinnings of printmaking. Experimentation with new modes and technologies is a natural part of this pursuit, resulting in the creation of innovative and ambitious editions in a wide range of media.

Visiting artists work in collaboration with the master printer, faculty, and students to create a reciprocal environment for education and research. Artists reap the benefits of numerous dedicated, energetic student assistants to help push to new levels of complexity and originality in their projects. At the same time, undergraduate and graduate students taking part in the development of artistic ideas gain access and insight into both the technical and conceptual challenges that make each artist’s project unique. Fostering the creative relationships of the printmaking workshop is central to the Island Press mission.

Mission & Vision

  • To serve as a research workshop for the publication of, education about, and advancement of prints and multiples.

  • To provide an educational environment for students, research assistants, and interns through hands-on, experiential learning and participation in the collaborative process.

  • To provide invited artists with the opportunity to engage in innovative, creative research and to develop projects in our versatile facilities that explore, challenge, and advance the strength and character of their work through the print and/or multiple.

  • To promote original multiples, works on paper, and prints as vital to the practice of contemporary art.

The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum serves as the official archive for Island Press, holding at least one print from each Island Press project in its permanent collection. In addition, the Museum has hosted past exhibitions of work by Island Press, including Island Press: Recent Prints (2018) and Island Press: Three Decades of Printmaking (2011).

Installation photo of a white-walled gallery space featuring nmerous prints hung on the walls, as well as several white pedastals with work.

Installation view, Island Press: Recent Prints, on view February 2-April 16, 2018 at the Kemper Art Museum.