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The Print Sale Celebrates its 50th Anniversary

A Cherished Tradition Lauding Art Students and Alumni
Students working on prints in a lithography class.

The Art Department is celebrating the 50th anniversary of UC Santa Cruz’s annual print sale. The widely beloved event features unique, handmade works and it is open to the public. Over the years the print sale has become a staple for the Santa Cruz community, and this year will feature new emerging artists and a wide array of very reasonably priced art. 

“​​The event marks 50 years of the UCSC Art Department’s most socially engaged calendar activity born from its commitment to higher education in the arts and specifically to printmaking,” says Enrique Martinez Leal, the director of graduate studies and associate professor of print media. “The print sale is a unique gathering of the public of Santa Cruz with our art students who are not only able to sell their creations but who have the opportunity to be engaged in local community building events.”

To participate in the sale, students must also take on a three-hour volunteer shift to help run the event. “There must be some kind of contribution and dedication,” says Jimin Lee, a professor of print media. “I think students will learn so much from holding this community event.”

Planning for the print sale begins in the fall quarter. Throughout the year the Art Department offers around 12 printmaking courses. Students often use what they’ve made throughout the year to sell at the print sale. “By spring the studios are really ramping with activity,” says Sarah Sanford, an assistant professor in printmaking.

Bridget Henry, the organizer of the event and a research associate in print media, has helped coordinate print sales for the past 20 years. “My very favorite experience is when students are working at the checkout and someone comes through to buy a print and the student looks up and they say ‘That's my print!’” says Henry. “It's the first time for a lot of people where they get that experience of meeting someone that's not a friend or a family member who connects with their work.”

New this year, the 50th anniversary will have some special additions to the event including live printmaking. Along with the 60-70 students who are participating there will be 10 alumni also selling their works.

A select group of students who work as monitors in the print studio are also getting together to create a themed group show. Along with their original works, the show will also feature memorabilia from the past 20 years of monitors. 

This year will additionally include 16 alumni who are established artists working together to compile a portfolio of printwork. Each alumni was hand-selected by faculty with graduation dates ranging from last year to 1989. The portfolio is part of a fundraising effort for the printmaking program, and will be given to the person with the largest donation. Bids start at $1,000, but the estimated cost of the collected works is far more. For those who can’t participate in the bidding, the works will be shown in an exhibition on the third floor of the Institute of the Arts and Sciences. You can also donate on the printmaking crowdfunding page.

Carla Fisher Schwartz (UCSC ‘09) is not only a visiting artist at the Contemporary Print Media Research Center on campus this quarter, but is also creating a work for the alumni portfolio. “All the different artists are working in tons of different mediums, different strategies, different technologies,” she says. “It's been great getting to work in the studio where it all started for me.” Following the theme of Points of Origin, Schwartz is creating a silk screen print based on the ecological and technological movements from the 1960s.

The print sale offers a rare opportunity for the campus and the public to collect original handmade art. “Being in the studio space, surrounded by the specialized presses and equipment used to make the incredible range of works on display - from woodcuts and screenprints to  traditional copper etchings and stone lithographs – is a wonderful reflection on our staff and faculty’s commitment to providing a strong program for our Art students," says Sanford. “Getting a glimpse at the different artists that have come through the UCSC Art Department, and being able to see the diversity of their work come together in this portfolio is really exciting.”

More Information
Art Department 50th Anniversary Print Sale

Friday June 7, 2024 and Saturday June 8, 2024
10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

UC Santa Cruz
Elena Baskin Visual Arts Center, Room G-101
1156 High St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

Point of Origin
Print Alumni Exhibition

A collection of prints created by 
UCSC Print Alumni in celebration of the 50th Annual Print Sale

June 7, 5-7, June 8th, 12-6 and June 9th, 12-5

The Institute of Arts and Sciences, Third Floor
100 Paneta Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Opening Reception
Saturday June 8, 2024
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Institute of Arts and Sciences

Free and open to the public.

Donate to help raise money for UC Santa Cruz’s printmaking equipment, classes, and other resources.

More information about the print sale here on the Art Department website.