For seven years now, Ithaca has been home to a creative workshop that deserves to be better known. The Ink Shop is an artists’ cooperative print space just off the Commons, where the studio and exhibition spaces flow together, providing an immediacy and a reverberating excitement to everything that is going on. Walking in off the street, one becomes instantly caught up in the bustle and stimulation of watching the artists at work while also enjoying the various exhibitions that adorn the walls. And not all of these exhibitions show works from the cooperative. The organizers take great care to bring in work from outside, to enhance the experience of the visitors and members alike.
The Ink Shop is the result of the hard work of many volunteers, but particularly that of Pamela Drix, Christa Wolf, and Miri Amihai, who have, over the years, possibly logged more hours of relentless labor than Lance Armstrong’s training for the Tour de France. And it shows. Without their efforts, the Shop would have never got off the ground and survived those first strenuous years. But their dedication and excitement about the venture has proved infectious, and today there are many active members, working in a wide range of media, and classes taught in all areas of printmaking on a regular basis. It’s still a lot of work, but the efforts are bearing fruit.
The role of a teaching studio is an important aspect of what the Ink Shop does. The wide offering of courses provides opportunities for experienced artists to hone their skills and the neophyte to learn a new one. The spirit is a communal one of shared ideas and genuine pleasure in the interaction, harking back to a Ruskinian sense of the joy of labor when done with one’s own hands and to one’s own satisfaction.
This exhibition shows the range and depth of the Ink Shop experience and represents the work of twenty-nine artists who have produced work there over the last five years. It is an exciting mix of media, subject matter, and styles, reflecting the diverse concerns of the people who work there and the spirit of the place itself.
Nancy E. Green
Senior Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs