The AS220 Industries are an earned-income approach to community building providing access to resources and affordable education. AS220 currently houses three Industries: the Labs, the Printshop, and Media Arts (including the Paul Krot Community Darkroom). By providing access to studio space, tools of the trade, and varied training opportunities, the AS220 Industries foster a diverse and dynamic environment for learning and making.
The AS220 Printshop is a public-access printmaking studio offering intaglio etching, traditional stone lithography, letterpress, silkscreen, and offset facilities. The shop is equipped with a range of printing equipment; including a Vandercook SP4 Letterpress and a Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) donated, massive Takach intaglio etching press with a 4.5’ x 9.5’ press bed. The AS220 Printshop is committed to promoting the full breadth of printmaking, supporting local creativity through affordable workshops, a vibrant learning community, and access to professional tools and facilities. The shop incubates new artistic voices through its educational opportunities, while simultaneously creating rewarding teaching opportunities for Shop Members and printmakers in our community. Since the Printshop’s reincarnation in September 2007, it has supported a wide range of activity from commercial offset jobs, to show poster runs, to fine art editions, and beyond.
Over the past 5 years, the AS220 Printshop has taught over 1,500 individuals to become makers of multiples. Each year, approximately 550 people enroll in one or more of the Printshop’s classes. Our dedicated team of 2 staff members, just over a dozen keymembers, and around 15 monitor members supports a shop that is publicly accessible 6 days a week, with 27 printing slots available daily. Each month, 780 hours of active printmaking enlist our resources, which range from a 1950‘s letterpress to a one-of-a-kind 9 1/2 foot etching press. We support a community of over 400 active Members from all over Rhode Island and across New England. The Printshop also serves the young artists engaged with AS220 Youth, a free multi-site arts education program with a special focus on those in, and transitioning out of, the care and custody of the state. Each week, a group of students ages 14-21 pursue printmaking at the Shop as an integral part of the Youth Studio’s visual arts curriculum.
The Printshop offers resources for:
- Screen Printing (paper and fabric)
- Intaglio & Etching
- Relief Printing
- Traditional Lithography
- Offset Lithography
- Hot Foil Stamping
We are located in downtown Providence, on the 1st and 2nd floors of the Mercantile Block, 131 Washington St. To access our entrance at the rear of the Mercantile, take Lucie Way, the pedestrian walkway abutting the AS220 Project Space gallery at 93 Mathewson St. You will pass rear entrances for our tenants: The Stable, and Viva Mexico!, as well as a general building entrance for residents, and entrances for the AS220 Media Arts Lab and AS220′s Fab Lab.
Lucie Way features a bike rack (a custom AS220 bike rack no less) for your convenience. For detailed directions to the Mercantile Block and/or information on parking in downtown Providence, please visit the Contact, Hours & Directions page
The Mercantile Block is equipped with elevator access via the building’s front entrance. If you wish to access the Printshop but find the entrance’s step up or the shop’s 2nd floor stair an impediment; one of the Shop’s Monitors, Staff Members, or Keymembers can buzz you into the front entrance at 131 Washington Street, so that you may enter the shop via the interior door(s). Please contact us with any additional concerns regarding accessibility.
Tuesday – Friday, 10am – 6pm
*Office hours are open to Members and by appointment
Open Shop Hours
Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 10pm*
*Reservations are offered in 4 hr blocks.
The Printshop Manager, a Monitor, or a Keymember is available during these times to let members in, restock supplies, help with safety procedures, and offer help or advice where they are able.
The current Printshop Manager is Lara Henderson, a book artist based in Providence, RI. Lara attended the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth for her BFA in Graphic Design/ Letterform. In 2010, she completed her MFA at the University of the Arts in Book Arts/ Printmaking, with a focus on book structures and offset lithography. She has been a member of the Printshop since she moved to Providence in 2010 and stepped into the role of Printshop Manager in August 2011.
Additional administrative support is provided by Beth Brandon, the AS220 Industries Coordinator. Beth received a B.A. in Visual Art from Brown University in 2004, taking courses in Printmaking and Illustration at RISD. She completed an Apprentice training and Print Fellowship at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, where she learned the art of textile and wallpaper printing. In a shift from fibers to fiber optics, she spent 3 years building brain-mapping devices for a design/build manufacturing company. Beth returned to Providence in 2011, and assumed the role of Industries Coordinator in December 2012.
Lara Henderson, Printshop Manager
Phone: 401.831.9327 x.201 /// Email: lara(at)as220.org
Beth Brandon, AS220 Industries Coordinator
Phone: 401.831.9327 x.201 /// Email: beth(at)as220.org
BROWSE PRINTMAKING AND BOOK ARTS WORKSHOPS AT THE
- Takach Etching press with 4.5′x9.5′ bed
(Printing on the Takach press requires at least one month notice. With the exception of the letterpress area, the entire first floor is reserved for the artist for an eight-hour workday. A trained shop member will assist you, for both your safety and the safety of the machine. For a quote, please email the shop manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
- AB Dick Offset Press
- Vandercook Proof Press 4 (max printing surface 13x18in)
- Graves Intaglio Etching Press by Rembrandt Graphic Arts (press 36×18, blankets 36×16)
- Rembrandt Lithography Press
- Chandler and Price 10″x15″
- 2 Kelsey 5″x8″ Letterpress
- Paper guillotine 19.5″x30″
- Automatic folder
- Brayers, pallete knives, inks, etc.
- Silkscreening squeegees, screens, inks and emulsion, etc.
We do offer private workshops! Please contact the Shop Manager or the AS220 Industries Coordinator to discuss pricing and potential options for a private class at least two weeks in advance.
The first iteration of the AS220 Printshop was spearheaded in 1996 by AmeriCorps*VISTA Mark Pedini. Originally located in the basement of AS220′s Empire Street Complex, the Printshop provided silkscreen printing facilities to both novice and experienced printmakers in Providence, Rhode Island. In 2003, increasingly stringent fire codes led to the Printshop’s closure.
With the acquisition of the historic Dreyfus Hotel at the intersections of Mathewson and Washington Street, AS220 recognized the opportunity to open a second Printshop and fill the hole left in the wake of AS220′s popular basement studio. A full-time AmeriCorps*VISTA, Morgan Calderini, was enlisted to establish and manage the Shop. Calderini, aided by a team of around fifteen volunteers, opened the doors to our second Printshop in September 2007. During its first year, the reincarnated Printshop at AS220′s Dreyfus, launched its signature offerings: affordable access through a variety of Membership plans and a diverse range of educational offerings.
In late 2010, demand for the resources of the Printshop led to its expansion. The Shop moved from its 500 sq ft, two room incubator space to a spot six times its former size in the recently renovated Mercantile Block just next door to the Dreyfus. The space provided a new home for several long-stored and storied presses, including a massive Takach etching press, donated to the organization by the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).
Since its rebirth in 2007, the AS220 Printshop has taught thousands of community members the art and craft of printmaking.