The Mancos Common Press and UPenn’s Common Press have come together to establish a collaborative revival for the building as an art and educational center dedicated to the printer’s art. This will allow sensitive restoration of the building while revitalizing its role as a new facility for students and graphic artists to live and work in Mancos. As the town continues to promote itself as an arts community and tourist destination, this enterprise is beginning to contribute to the development of the arts and education locally, regionally, and nationally, and promote cultural tourism for the town and region while preserving and revitalizing a key historic building. This project also allows the physical presence of the “local town newspaper” to remain on main street in a where the once traditional commercial processes of printed communication are being re-applied to making art and commuication.
COLLABORATION IN THE ARTS
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE PRGRAMS
1/ Artist in Residence Program – We began in the fall of 2016 using the current building and equipment, The Mancos Common Press to host an artist residency program. This program will continue in 2017. Artists are selected and granted access to the Cranston press and other available equipment and can use the space as their studio while in residence. Artists have focused studio time to make their own work, host an “open studio”, and offer some short workshop/classes for the Mancos community including local school groups. At the end of their residency, artists can curate an exhibition of their work and give a talk. This program builds community engagement and education, while building a gallery presence on Grand Avenue.
STUDIO COURSES IN PRINTMAKING
2/ Studio Courses in Relief Printmaking – Beginning late summer 2017 Mancos Common Press hopes to offer a few studio classes in relief printmaking with an emphasis on letterpress printing techniques, the history of printing and commercial print processes, and the role of print media in contemporary design practices. Programs will center on conceptual themes specific to Mancos, the Four Corners region, and the larger culture of the Intermountain West.
THE COMMON PRESS AS A COMMUNITY CENTER
3/ Mancos Common Press as Community Art Center – The Mancos Common Press can also serve as a community art center in Mancos. Once restored, the space will include workshops, artist talks, gallery exhibitions, film screenings, public lectures and community programming including local/regional elementary and high school classes and a resource library. It will build community engagement and establish a presence in town. The History Colorado State Historical Fund and its mission will also be publicized via public speaking by the project principals in public meetings and project meetings. Additionally we plan to hold periodic “Open Houses” showcasing the technical preservation work underway and to publicize project events and information about the Colorado State Historical Fund in the various Four Corners newspapers.