St. Michael’s Printshop (SMP) exists to develop and grow printmaking as a participatory and accessible art form. SMP provides the facilities and opportunity for visual artists from across the province, Canada, and internationally, as well as for its local community, to learn and engage in the art of printmaking. One of the province’s few artist-run centres and the only artist-run printmaking studio, SMP promotes and continues to push the boundaries of printmaking as a contemporary art form. SMP provides space and specialized equipment for artists to work, educational opportunities through scholarships and workshops, and residencies through its visiting artist program.
The operation of a year-round, fully equipped printmaking facility and public gallery
Providing artist residencies to local and visiting artists, to explore printmaking in the creative, collaborative, environment with regular interaction with the local community.
Providing low cost and free workshops to artists and the public as an opportunity for them to learn and engage in printmaking processes.
Providing gallery space so that members of the general public can view and appreciate contemporary print work.
Providing opportunities for the exchange of artistic ideas between artists and the community through public events, artist talks, workshops and open studio nights.
Facilitating and promoting activities that encourage exchange and education on technical and philosophical issues related to contemporary print and art practices on a local, national, and international level.
Engaging in exchange activities with other artist-run centre printshops, as well as galleries, across Canada.
Preserve a Print Archives Collection that holds one print from each edition printed in the studio since its inception in 1972 to promote and share our ongoing and vibrant history.
St. Michael’s Printshop (SMP) strives to be a leading organization that can facilitate the foundation for diversifying the arts sector in the province. We intend to be self-examining and responsive as an institution, while also acting as a catalyst for the arts community. SMP is the only publicly accessible printshop in Newfoundland and Labrador. We strive and aim to be more integral to the arts and local community, and will do so through the following:
Continued work toward addressing oppression within the shop to make it a more welcoming and meaningfully inclusive space.
Work to become more financially sustainable
Offer more low cost and free programming to our local community and be more of a community resource, gathering spot and artistic hub.
Update the facilities to include more digital methods to keep up with changing and expanding contemporary printmaking processes.
Increase artist fees and ways in which we support artists locally, provincially, nationally, and internationally.
Increase our presence across the province of Newfoundland and Labrador with initiatives such as a portable/touring printing press.
Partner with existing artist-run printmaking centres across Canada to increase our programming and reach.
Obtain a building to ensure longevity and stability as an organization as well as expand our printmaking capabilities.
St Michael’s Printshop was formed in 1974 in St Michael’s, a small, rural outport community in NL. It was founded by two artists and printmakers Heidi Oberheide and Don Wright. They founded the printshop with the help and material support from Memorial University’s Extension Services and started an informal visiting artist program that grew over the years. Artists came from all over, and were drawn to the quiet but wild landscape the printshop was situated in. In its first 15 years SMP attracted many local and visiting artists from across the country including: Frank Lapointe, Mary Pratt, Christopher Pratt, Jerry Evans, Bill Ritchie, Anne Meredith Barry, David Umholtz, Otis Tamasauskas, among others.
In 1986 SMP relocated to its current location; an old sail loft in the heart of St John’s and along the waterfront. Along with the move came a shift and a rededication to promoting printmaking and facilitating the development of print artists. It was during this time of transformation that SMP established the Don Wright scholarship in memory of co-founder Don Wright. This scholarship provides one emerging artist, or recent BFA graduate, with $1000, free access to the printshop for a year, and an exhibition in the gallery.
SMP has continued its Visiting Artist Program to this day, each year hosting six visual artists for one month each. During the residency artists make work in the printshop, connect with the SMP community, and host a workshop of their choosing, sharing their specialized knowledge with the local print community. In recent years and in an effort to address accessibility issues at SMP (we are located on the second floor with stair access only) we acquired a mobile printing press that we bring to local outdoor events and community spaces. SMP continues to grow its membership and holds a variety of intro to advanced workshops for local artists, community members, and visitors.
Since its founding 49 years ago, St. Michael’s Printshop has published 2 books, hosted 270 visiting artists, awarded 29 Don Wright scholarships and holds a print archive of over 3500 prints that were created in the printshop. SMP hopes to continue this trajectory while expanding and growing to best serve our local, national, and international arts community.
Meet The Team
Christeen Francis completed her BFA at NSCADU, spent nine years in New York City, and returned to her hometown of Montreal to complete her MFA at Concordia University. A printmaker and musician, she ran a print shop in Brooklyn and played in several bands. She is committed to social and political print that engages with local communities and the public at large. She has exhibited in Canada, the United States, Germany, and Iceland and is a member of the Justseeds Artist Cooperative. Her research interests include the right to the city, urban wildlife and wild spaces, and the homogenization of cities and culture.
Christeen has admired SMP from afar for a long time but only recently visited and fell in love with the place and the members. As the new ED, Christeen is passionate about getting more people in the shop on a regular basis, seeing people try printmaking for the first time, as well as seeing how SMP can grow and transform as an ARC.
Luca is a mixed media artist and arts administrator, and a lifelong nomad: raised in Missouri, educated in B.C., and now residing in St. John’s. He received his BA from the University of Victoria, followed by a postgraduate degree in Office Administration from the College of the Rockies. He began his work in the non-profit arts realm in 2021 as a Gallery Assistant for POMOArts in Port Moody, B.C., and – in addition to his work at SMP – he now serves remotely as the Executive Director to the Esquimalt Community Arts Hub.
As an artist, Luca creates with acrylics, wood, and found objects to form surreal, three-dimensional, and texturally engaging works. In 2022, Luca had his first solo show at the Brittania Gallery in Vancouver and was a featured artist during the Hold Fast Contemporary Arts Festival. In 2023, he was short-listed for VANL-CARFAC’s Emerging Artist Award. Currently, he is working on a wood-carving project depicting deities and mythological characters from Polish Folklore, funded through the Canada Council for the Arts.
Luca Jesse Apel
Diana is a multi-instrumentalist, performer, designer, storyteller and songwriter. Originally from St.John's, Newfoundland and Labrador she has lived and worked in British Columbia, Montréal and Nunavik. A lover of story through song, image, dance and spectacle, Diana has a keen interest in Printmaking and Ethnomusicology. Favorite projects that she has created include: The Fogo Island Song Share, the Lhasa de Sela Youth Stage for the Montréal Folk Festival, her EP "When Women Kill", being the "Femme d'Orchestre" for the puppet show "Kate Crackerberry", all of the musical experiences with her students in Puvirnituq and Kangirsuk as well as being the Managing Producer of the St. John’s International CircusFest for its initial five editions. Diana is one third of the Daly Family Collective where she gets to tell stories about her extraordinary family with her dear friends, Louise Moyes and Anne Troake in the stage show "If A Place Could Be Made". She is also the author of the book based on this show, “A Wonderful Bigness”, illustrated by Bruce Alcock and published by Running the Goat, Books and Broadsides. The medium of printmaking has always fascinated her for its magical elements and immediate graphic impact. HOW it is made is as exciting as the image itself. Creating image and texture in negative space. Diana is happy to devote time to this important cultural space and hopes that it continues to foster creation and camaraderie for artists in all stages of their careers. Diana lives quite happily on Signal Hill.
Elijah Garrard (he/they) is an artist and storyteller with an academic background in Latin American Studies, visual arts, and film. Elijah’s award-winning work brings a narrative lens to his eclectic, curiosity-fueled practice, which includes printmaking (collagraph, linocut, and screen printing), drawing, zines, comics, mask-making, and tattoo design. His thematic interests include folklore, inheritance, cultural ephemera, queerness, and historical Jewish understandings of the unseen world. Elijah is originally from Seattle, but comes to Newfoundland by way of Argentina, Turkey, Mexico, and Mongolia. Currently based in St. John’s, he can often be found running zine exchanges in-person or online, loitering at SMP events, or scavenging for recyclable art supplies.
Member at Large
James Stenson is a multidisciplinary artist focusing primarily in ceramics, and more recently in printmaking. He has a background in both carpentry and design, continuously striving to incorporate a variety of non-traditional approaches into his practice. He is inspired by the art found in his Slavic roots, as well as his significant time spent living and working throughout rural Canada.
He has worked as a ceramics educator through The Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador as well as privately, with his work being shown in various galleries throughout the province and on virtual platforms. His functional art can be found living in the hands and homes of various individuals throughout the world.
He is actively involved in the local arts community, working towards interdisciplinary collaboration between local craftspeople and artisans. He can regularly be found at local craft markets throughout the city and attending as many workshops as time allows. With experience in various community studios and communal building spaces, James works to inspire participation in those from outside the existing community.
When not making art, James drives a Zamboni and spends afternoons hiking with his dogs, Rocket and Hector.
Member at Large
Drew Pardy (she/they) is an artist working in textiles, performance, and installation based in St. John’s, NL. She received her BFA in 2019 from Grenfell Campus, Memorial University. They use “radical silliness” as a vessel for change— exploring themes of labour, feminism, and queerness. This play is a way of taking care. Drew is one half of the friendship heart necklace that is HOT 4 THE MOMENT, a collective and loveship with Georgia Dawkin and is a member of TRUCK Collective with Annie Canto and Emily Neufeld. Drew has exhibited nationally and internationally.
If you asked Drew what vehicle SMP would be, they would say it's a Sprinter Van. Why? Because it's resourceful, resilient, creative, it holds an enormous amount of special things and people within in, and with all of its roles and responsibilities, it's still really hot.
Admin & Communication Coordinator
Andrew Testa is an artist, writer, and educator working through prints, drawings, books, words, and installations. He has been awarded SSHRC and the Elizabeth Greenshields grants for his research, has exhibited nationally and internationally (UK and USA), and has participated in residencies and conferences across Canada. Currently he is working towards a new body of work for a solo exhibition at SNAP (Edmonton, AB) and group exhibitions at Modern Fuel (Kingston, ON) and Eastern Edge (St. John’s, NL) in 2021 that have been awarded a VP Grenfell Campus Research Fund. Testa is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in printmaking at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland, and has additionally taught at Thompson Rivers University (Kamloops, BC), and Algoma University (Sault Ste. Marie, ON). He completed his MFA and BFA at York University (Toronto, ON).
Printmaking, for me, is inherently about the idea of working ‘with’…whether that ‘with’ is material, process, spaces, or others. To print is to be a part of something that extends beyond the self, bringing awareness to the sense of community that cannot be separated from printmaking. By working with SMP, I have the opportunity to celebrate and support this community…the materials, the processes, the spaces, and the people. With SMP, I get to participate in one of the most vibrant and exiting print communities I have had the pleasure to be a part of!
instagram: @andrewtestaart, headshot by Lucas Morneau
Julia Hobden is an Accounting Representative in the Insurance and Finance industry. She has been a long time admirer and supporter of St.Michael's printshop, with a modest home collection accumulated over the years from numerous SMP print sales and markets. Julia is a seasoned financial professional and is excited to be combining her appreciation for the arts and her financial background in her role as treasurer. In her spare time, Julia enjoys cooking, singing, and taking trips to the dog park with her black lab Daisy.
Karen Ann Pink (@kafpink) of Partridgeberry Press, is an interdisciplinary artist with a focus on experimental printmaking, digital/audio interactive collage, and watercolour painting. They are settled in Katalisk / Codroy Valley, on the southwest coast of NL, with a background in Visual Arts from Grenfell Campus, Memorial University. Karen began showing their work professionally in 2018, most recently in group exhibitions including The Little Connections House with The Little House Gallery at Grenfell Campus, and Western Newfoundland: People, Landscape, Culture at the Tina Dolter Gallery, Rotary Arts Centre. They completed residencies with the FARR Program at Eastern Edge Gallery and St. Michael’s Printshop.
My practice is community-driven, and heavily influenced by being a parent-artist: this informs how and when I work, the space and materials I use, and what I create – often soft, small, interactive works. Both create opportunities for organic collaborations— intentional or otherwise. I seek out and explore connections within both rural and urban spaces, and examine the idea of “home” as community, as nature, as feeling. As a parent of three, I feel that children should be immersed in the arts, and arts spaces from infancy. Being on the Board at St. Michael’s allows me to be a part of a welcoming community that has these collaborative efforts at its core and that prioritizes safe and supportive practices for its membership and community!
Karen Ann Pink
Member at Large