UW–Madison to host international printmaking conference March 16-19

The printmaking area within the UW–Madison Art Department will be host to the Southern Graphics Council International (SGCI) conference next week, bringing over 700 printmakers and arts professionals in all stages of their careers to campus.

SGCI conference logo: Shared FutureTaking place from March 16-19, the conference, titled “Our Shared Future,” expands on the definition of “print” to include an interdisciplinary approach and expansion of print media. The conference will feature panel and roundtable discussions, open portfolio sessions, performances, exhibitions, demos, mentor sessions, and live print events on campus and at many locations across Madison. 

“The study of printmaking within higher education deepens our understanding of the world. Since the inception of movable type and printed image, the materials and history of printmaking have expanded our global knowledge of history, culture, and the hard sciences,” explains Emily Arthur, an associate professor in the Art Department and a member of the conference steering committee. 

Arthur says that the conference is “a call to artists to consider how our studio practice makes culture and knowledge visible through the socially engaged arts of the past, present, and future.” 

Photos of steering committee for SGCI conference
From upper left, the steering committee for the 2022 SGCI conference: Arthur, Abdu’Allah, Hitchcock, and Barrios

The steering committee for the conference also includes Faisal Abdu’Allah, a professor in the Art Department and the associate dean of the arts in the School of Education; Adriana Barrios, the engagement manager for exhibitions and programs at UW–Madison’s Center for Design and Material Culture; and John Hitchcock, a professor in in the Art Department.

It is not too late to register for the conference, which costs $359 for professional members and $249 for student members. (A daily rate of $250 for non-members and $150 for members is also available.) 

In addition, a few events and most exhibitions are open to the public — see below for some highlights and take advantage of this unique opportunity to hear from national and international artists and see their work right here in our own backyard.

Things to Do or See During the SGCI Conference

Keynote Events

Shannon Hall, Memorial Union
800 Langdon Street

UW–Madison ID holders can attend these events free of charge. Members of the public are welcome at a cost of $10 each.

  • Enrique Chagoya
    Photo of Enrique Chagoya
    Enrique Chagoya

    Friday, March 18, 4 – 5 p.m.
    Enrique Chagoya is a Mexican-born Amer­ican painter, printmaker, and educator and will receive a Lifetime Achievement in Printmaking Award at the conference. The subject of Chagoya’s artwork is the changing nature of culture. His solo exhibition, “Enrique Chagoya: Detention at the Border of Language,” is on view at the Edgewood College Gallery, 1000 Edgewood College Drive in Madison, through March 20.

  • Mel Chin
    Photo of Mel Chin
    Mel Chin

    Saturday, March 19, 5-6 p.m.
    Mel Chin is a conceptual, visual artist and will also receive a Lifetime Achievement in Printmaking Award at the conference. This year’s Awards Committee expands on the definition of “the print” and recognizes Mel Chin’s lifetime contribution to community action through printed matter in collaborative projects such as “The Fundred Project,” on view at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMOCA) through July 31. Chin’s “There’s Something Happening Here,” is also on view at MMOCA through July 31.

Open Portfolio

Photo of open portfolio art eventSaturday, March 19, 10 a.m. – 12:50 p.m.
Wisconsin Institute for Discovery
330 N Orchard St

Don’t miss this opportunity for the Madison community to meet and see the work of contemporary printmakers at the professional and student levels. SGCI members will present their original artwork on tables alongside one other in 50-minute sessions. This event is free and open to the public.

Themed Portfolios

UW–Madison Humanities Building
455 N Park Street

During the conference, the Humanities Building will be filled with themed portfolios, composed of work by student and professional printmakers. See the conference schedule for more details on these events. Viewing the portfolios is free and open to the public, and they will be up for the duration of the conference. 

Vendor Fair

March 17-18, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; March 19, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Union South, Varsity Halls II and III
1308 W Dayton Street

Photo of art by John Hitchcock
“Belonging to the Land,” a collection of John Hitchcock’s recent works on paper and neon sculpture at the Madison Municipal Building, is one of many exhibitions on view during the SGCI conference.

Visit unique booths featuring various printmaking-related products, including some hosted by individual artists with work to show or sell. See the list of vendors. This event is free and open to the public. 


Through the duration of the conference, many exhibitions will be on view at open to the public. View contemporary print exhibits on campus at the Art Lofts Gallery, Chazen Museum, the School of Human Ecology, Tandem Press, and more; and off campus at the Arts + Literature Laboratory, Edgewood College, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMOCA), Overture Center for the Arts, and many other locations across Madison and beyond. See the event list and SGCI program booklet for details.

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