49th Susan Garretson Swartzburg ’60 Memorial Book Arts Lecturers: Erin Zona and Lauren V. Walling ’97 from Women’s Studio Workshop

October 22, 2020

Women’s Studio Workshop’s Erin Zona and Lauren V. Walling ’97
Cracking Open the Universe: Women’s Studio Workshop Since 1974

Enjoy a recording of the lecture below:

Through the 200+ artists’ books produced since it began publishing in 1979, Women’s Studio Workshop (WSW) has been steadily chipping away at assumptions built into mainstream publishing and the mainstream art world. 

Through an overview of Women’s Studio Workshop’s Hudson Valley facilities, history and its catalog of uniquely innovative book projects by women-identified artists, Artistic Director Erin Zona and Executive Director Lauren V. Walling reveal the depth of Women’s Studio Workshop’s mission to be slightly more than the sum of its parts. 

Founded in 1974, by Ann Kalmbach, Tatana Kellner, Anita Wetzel, and Barbara Leoff Burge as a response to a lack of opportunities for professional women artists. From the start, WSW has insisted that representation in the arts is a human right, therefore an issue of creative equity for women.

WSW envisions a society in which women’s visual art is integral to the cultural mainstream and permanently recorded in history. WSW’s mission is to operate and maintain an artists’ workspace that encourages the voice and vision of individual women artists, provides professional opportunities for women artists at all stages of their careers, and promotes programs designed to stimulate public involvement and support for the visual arts.  

WSW’s Shawangunk Mountain (Munsee Lenape territory) studios have extensively equipped and well-maintained facilities for etching, letterpress, papermaking, book arts, silkscreen, 3D work, ceramics, and darkroom photography. WSW’s programming includes artist residencies; an internship program for young artists; intensive week-long workshops through the Summer Art Institute; year-round classes in ceramics; an award-winning arts education program in partnership with the Kingston City School District; monthly public events; and much more.

As one of the largest publishers of artists’ books in the United States, WSW foments radical cultural change from within the collections of academic and art institutions across the country and beyond.

Go to the Women’s Studio Workshop website for more information about the organization.

This lecture is the 49th in a series named for Susan Garretson Swartzburg. Working closely with Wells faculty and staff, Swartzburg helped to organize the press, bindery and other components that became Wells’ Book Arts Center. She served on the Book Arts Board and established a biannual book arts lecture series in memory of her father, developing contacts, raising funds, organizing events and finding speakers.

For more information, email bookartscenter@wells.edu

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