About Us

Mandate

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. 

A photograph with a color transition overlay (teal to purple). Two women printmakers stand in the foreground, wearing masks. They are printing on a teeny tiny print press at an art market. In the background there are other vendors and market attendees.

mission

  • 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.

vision

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.

A black and white photograph at the old printshop location in St Michael's. A printing press is wrapped up, and suspended from a crane, surrounded by four people as they remove it from the printshop.
 

Our History

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 46 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

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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.

Christeen Francis

Executive Director

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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

Andrew Testa

Chair

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Lily Taylor is an illustrator and designer based in St. John’s, NL. She graduated from OCAD University with a BDes in Illustration and a minor in printmaking. Her work consists of drawings, paintings, murals, screen printing and structural forms. Lily is an avid print maker and loves to be involved with local arts organizations. She’s on the board of SMP to learn from fellow artists and organizers, and to offer support and involvement in making the print shop a functioning and welcoming space.

Lily Taylor

Member at Large

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Marlies Rise is the Director of Strategic Institutional Research Initiatives (SIRI) at Memorial University.  In addition, she is currently enrolled as a BFA student (Major in Print Media) at Concordia University.  As a Senior Administrator at Memorial, Marlies leads and manages initiatives in the Vice-President Research portfolio to facilitate services in support of the institution’s growing research activity. She is responsible for oversight of Memorial’s core instrumentation network which includes approximately $60M in infrastructure, and over 30 highly skilled research associates. Marliesfirst became interested in printmaking by attending a workshop at SMP nearly a decade ago, and has sought to engage with artists and learning opportunities at SMP since.  The aspects she values most about print are strength of community, inclusivity and collaboration in the practice.  She hopes that her growing experience as an artist, combined with her career experience in fundraising and management of communal infrastructure, will enable her to offer a unique perspective on the activities of artist run studios towards benefiting the mandate of SMP.  

Dr. Marlies Rise

Secretary

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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. 

@witsendceramics 

James Stenson

Member at Large

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Drew Pardy is a multi-disciplinary artist working through installations, performance, textiles and social engagement. She received her BFA in 2019 from Grenfell Campus, Memorial University and is currently based in St. John’s, NL. Pardy has exhibited her work provincially and internationally at venues such as Grenfell Art Gallery, the Tina Dolter Gallery, and PULP Gallery in Corner Brook, NL; St. Michael’s Printshop in St John’s, NL; and Gatehouse Arts in Harlow, England.

My practice explores the importance of taking care — of our human connections, of the places we occupy, and of the material objects we encounter. This exploration of relationships is often rooted in community and site-specific histories, where roaming, rambling, crafting, and collaborating are all a part of the creation of positive social spaces. With community-engaged and friendship as method practices, I strive to form sustainable community bonds. The collaborative, generative community of SMP wraps all of these practices into one sweet little printshop on the waterfront!

Drew Pardy

Admin & Communication Coordinator

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Diana Daly is a multi-instrumentalist, performer, designer, storyteller and songwriter, production manager and arts administrator. Originally from St.John’s, NL  she has lived and worked in BC, Montréal and Nunavik and is currently the Managing Producer of the St.John’s International CircusFest with Wonderbolt Productions. A lover of story through song, image, dance and spectacle, Diana has a keen interest in printmaking and Ethnomusicology. 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 Daly

Vice Chair

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Patrick Power is an associate lawyer in the St. John’s office of Cox & Palmer. While Patrick is well-versed in the law, leadership, and all things sports, this is his first role in the arts community. Patrick is excited about his experience with the board already and is eager to help attract new members and promote SMP as a valuable member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts community.  When he isn’t acting as a lawyer or SMP board member, Patrick enjoys running, cycling, golfing, and playing hockey.

Patrick Power

Lawyer

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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. 

Elijah Garrard

Member at Large

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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

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