eMERGE Print Exchange and Exhibition
2021 Membership Engagement Grant Project
A print exchange portfolio and online exhibition featuring 13 printmakers organized by Erica Barajas. The primary goal of the project was to improve access and visibility for emerging and early career artists and artists of color. The call for artists encouraged individual interpretation to embrace a wide spectrum of perspectives and techniques. All 13 members of the portfolio identified as an early career or emerging artists, and five identified as people of color.
The participants include: Kelly Autumn, Erica Barajas, Amy Burek, Israel Campos, Barbara Kibbe, Sebastian Laszczyk, Amy Maestas, Ellen Markoff, Genesis “the Mayor” Torres, Vera McBride, Olga Perron, Allison Walker, and Laura Wellington.
Organized by Erica Barajas
Edition of 18 boxed portfolios
Exhibition Dates: May 1–June 4, 2022
Recorded Artist Talks
Recorded Closing Reception
Curator’s Choice Award: Black Smoke Rising by Israel Campos
People’s Choice Award: Femme du Soleil by Olga Perron
- to blend gradually into something else so as to become indistinguishable from it
- to combine or cause to combine to form a single entity
- from Latin mergere “to dip, plunge”
- to move out of or away from something and come into view
- to become manifest: become known
- to rise from an obscure or inferior position or condition
- to come into being through evolution
- to recover from or survive a difficult or demanding situation
Erica Barajas on this Membership Engagement Grant
The eMERGE Print Exchange and Exhibition was a great opportunity to connect with other printmakers and expand my artistic and project management skills. This was my first time organizing a print exchange and I am looking forward to applying what I learned to future collaborative projects.
The portfolio contains prints of a wide range of printmaking techniques including linocut, Mokuhanga, screenprint, risograph, etching, and monotypes. Each print is 8” x 10” and a few of them contain 3D elements that fit within the dimensions of the portfolio. The custom housing (adapted from a design by professors at Western Michigan University) was created using the laser cutter at the Compound Studios in Oakland.
One of the most valuable parts of this project are the online Artists’ Talks. I met via Zoom with nine of the artists over four sessions to hear more about their process. These talks were recorded and edited, and then released during the exhibition period. They will remain viewable on YouTube, as well as Artist Highlights and other details that were posted on social media (@ericabarajasart).