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Hands On Art in Albuquerque – New Grounds Print Workshop and Gallery

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Set on the growing edge of trendy Nob Hill there’s a sprawling 4000 square-foot space devoted to the art of printmaking. With a long-held interest in all things artistic, I was delighted to show up on a Tuesday morning for day one of a four day workshop on monotypes – the technique of creating one of the kind images from inked plates. Although I was only there for one day to get a taste and the basics, I was surprised and delighted by how much I learned, and even left with a pretty decent monotype. On Friday I had a full one-day workshop on creating linoleum prints.

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I loved both but for me there was something totally wonderful about learning a new technique in one day. It was a “here’s the basics now go forth and create.”

New Grounds Print Workshop and Gallery is the only printmaking program in New Mexico that offers regular workshops to the public from their own well-equipped studio. If you have an interest (or a passion) to learn the art of printmaking, outside of a college classroom, New Grounds will be your idea of heaven.

In addition to the monotype and linoleum workshops, New Grounds offer workshops on serigraphy, etching, gravure and more. Some of their workshops are one-day and others go more in depth over several days.

If you’re coming in from out of town and have very little flexibility in your schedule, take advantage of their one-on-one teaching. This private instruction is available for any printmaking technique, and it can be planned around your schedule and interests. The cost is $35 per hour + tax for individual instruction (6 hour minimum). If you bring a friend or two the cost per person is reduced (and it’s more fun).

They also offer Monotype Madness where they do the work and you and your friends or family just make the art. No setup, no clean up. Just pure fun for a group.

New Grounds has another important distinction – it is green. They use only nontoxic waterbase inks developed by Akua. In fact, New Grounds was one of the first completely non-toxic print workshops in the country. They are also local, with their presses manufactured by Albuquerque-based Takach Press Corporation.

Founder Regina Held didn’t start out to own a gallery or a printmaking shop. She started out to get a MFA. “But several times during my school career people asked me if I was going to open a print workshop.” She wasn’t convinced that was her calling, until she saw a flyer about the newly developed nontoxic inks and etching processes. She started out offering classes in her garage. “It was a very nice garage” notes Ms. Held. Eventually she founded New Grounds Print Workshop and Gallery in 1996 providing artists with a professional, informative, safer and well-equipped environment for the creation of fine prints while promoting the artists and exhibiting their work.

Today visitors can explore their Matrix Gallery and admire the paintings, a bit of pottery, and glass, with a smattering of photography, walk into the gallery at New Grounds, admiring and perhaps purchasing the prints created by members of New Grounds (or one of the international artists highlighted in a special exhibit),or make art yourself in their diverse workshops. One of Albuquerque’s fun art destinations.

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