L to R above- Scott King, Bill Kennedy, Dana Ceccarelli, Jon Cone, moi, Walker Blackwell. Not seen- Wells Smith, John Dean. This is a late post, finally sitting down to get it done after coming up for air and getting my brain around it. Over the years some of us involved in fine art photography printing with inkjet had found each other on internet forums, over time it becomes obvious who is attempting great things, and what kind of personalities lurk underneath all that pixel talk. Amadou Diallo decided we should finally all meet and show each other what we were up to and organized a gathering at the 2007 PMA trade show in Las Vegas which some of us may be attending anyway. So in March of 2007 Walker Blackwell of Blackpoint Editions, John Dean of Dean Imaging, Amadou Diallo of Diallo Photography, Bill Kennedy of K2 Press, Scott King of K2 Press, artist Jen Morris, and myself spread a bunch of the most varied and beautiful inkjet prints I have seen in one place on a hotel room table in Sin City for an evening of great company with individuals greatly committed to fine craft. We had invited Jon Cone, whose processes, materials, and innovation influenced us all over the years since InkJet Mall would probably be attending the trade show, but he could not make it. It was an evening to remember and we all talked of a repeat over the years. Finally this year we made it happen surrounding the annual Society of Photographic Education conference, particularly since Jon Cone would be able to attend, and John Dean lives in Atlanta anyway. Additionally we planned a group portfolio, the now elusive and mysterious Tastes Like Chicken portfolio. We each made two different monochromatic prints in editions of ten for ten portfolios, and invited Mark Savoia of Still River Editions and artist Lauren Henkin to take part with two each as well.
After several loose small gatherings surrounding the convention, and a barbecue dinner with everyone, we spent nearly all night at John’s studio showing each other our efforts, dividing up the portfolio prints, and generally enjoying great company. In attendance was Walker Blackwell of Blackpoint Editions, Dana Ceccarelli of InkjetMall, Jon Cone of Cone Editions and InkjetMall, John Dean of Dean Imaging, Bill Kennedy and Scott King of K2 Press, and Wells Smith from InkjetMall. This was an evening impossible to describe, and it’s safe to suggest it’s still being digested by all who were there. Only Jon has made some mention of it so far, here. Surprisingly few cameras were there, and I don’t have images including the portfolio prints, we all hope something will come of that soon. All of these people are artisans functioning at a very high level of commitment and achievement. All of us look to Jon Cone as a pioneer in printmaking literally alone at the head of the pack, so far ahead few have any idea what he is talking about, yet many unwittingly daily enjoy technology resulting from his efforts over the years. Millions have seen his work all over the world as the master printer of the Ashes and Snow exhibitions, it’s a very great pleasure for all of us to get to hang out with Jon.
There was much to see, discuss, and explain, far too much for this post, or that was documented with pics, so I’ll leave it here.
Of much concern to everyone there was the general lack of high standards in photographic printmaking today. None of us feel the constant evolution of digital methods need result in a lowering of craft, on the contrary many of us have moved our printmaking into areas never previously possible with new methods and materials. My hope is that this group and others of like mind will find ways to make it known to a wider audience that it is still possible to make transcendent photographic objects… …in fact, more to come…
The printmakers, I’m proud to be amongst them, but never let any of us borrow your car. My thanks to John Dean for letting me use his pics.