The Mid America Print Council is an educational and community-based organization that focuses on all print related arts. Embracing both time-honored and innovative approaches, we promote awareness and appreciation of traditional and contemporary forms of printmaking. We are an inclusive association for individuals and institutions, administering the sharing of technical and critical information regarding print. Honoring our predecessors, we aim to bring new and sustained interest to this unique medium. Active on multiple platforms, MAPC is an organization that provides members with access to a network of printmakers, resources, opportunities, newsletters, and a biennial conference that features speakers, workshops, panels, shows, and exchanges. Through calls for participation, we organize members’ exhibitions and publish The Mid America Print Council Journal. Our goal is to recognize, advocate, and continue research in historical, current, and future print technologies.
Des Moines, Iowa, 1990: Alan Larkin wondered where and how printmakers in Mid America would get together after Richard Black of Drake University retired. What would replace the National Print Symposiums at Drake that had been a gathering place for printmakers for two decades?
The next year in South Bend, Indiana, Alan Larkin called together several printmakers to review his proposal for a new printmaking organization that would serve the Midwest in 1991. SGC at that time was not having its annual conferences outside of the south. Alan had been talking to me about this idea of forming a new organization for a couple of years. He called Kathryn Reeves from Purdue University, Bill and Julie Tourtillotte from St. Mary’s College, Barbara Elam from DePauw, Gayle Hachen from Indiana University South Bend, Alan Larkin from Indiana University South Bend, Jean Dibble from Notre Dame, J.C. Ryding from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Gloria Smith-Carney and several other people to a meeting in his back yard. We agreed to begin the process of forming a new group.
We needed to come up with a name, a geographical area to represent, a constitution and by-laws, and a non-profit status. We all wanted places to meet and exhibit, and a forum for print discourse. We agreed that conferences and exhibitions held regionally would be a good thing and that we would print a journal. We used the Southern Graphics Council as a model for the by-laws and the conferences. We decided to offer conferences biannually rather than annually. It was an interesting process to put all of the requirements into place in order to function as a not-for-profit group. Jean Dibble consulted with Notre Dame attorneys who provided invaluable advice. Alan Larkin was the first president, Jean Dibble was the first vice president, Gayle Hachen was the first treasurer, and Bill Tourtillotte the first secretary. Gloria Smith-Carney, our original benefactor, generously provided seed money to get the organization started.
The first two MAPC member's exhibitions were organized by Kathryn Reeves at Purdue University Galleries in 1992 and 1993 to help launch the organization. 1993 was the first year we put out the first journal. Alan Larkin found most of the people to write the articles and most likely wrote some of the copy. I laid out a tabloid format for it on my spud of a computer, a dinky Mac. It kept crashing because it could not handle the software and the amount of memory needed for the journal. Alan also organized the printing of the journal and its dissemination. He handled the journal for several years.
Alan Larkin and Gayle Hachen organized the first conference held at Indiana University South Bend in 1994. We had over 100 people attend the lectures, panels and demonstrations. The second conference in 1996 was held at Indiana University Southeast, hosted by Brian Jones and Susan Moffett. April Foster organized the 1998 conference in Cincinnati. Conferences were held in 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006.
We elected new officers - E. C. Cunningham of Metropolitan State College of Denver was President and Ellen Price of Miami University of Ohio was Treasurer - money was incredibly tight and E.C. and Ellen really labored to keep MAPC going. Kathryn Reeves was elected third MAPC President, and during her term the federal and state paperwork was finally completed making MAPC a non-profit educational organization chartered in Indiana. Reeves continued to work as our IRS contact and filed papers for MAPC Inc. as the laws for non-profit evolve. Currently Jean Dibble fulfills the role of IRS contact and not-for-profit business designated contact for the state of Indiana.
Robert Erickson, fourth President, found a wonderful design service for the journal that has served MAPC well for the past decade. Charles Beneke created MAPC’s first website and brand identity and helped to maintain the site for eight years as the organizations Design Liaison. Brian Jones, Michael Barnes, April Foster, Catherine Chauvin, Jeremy Lundquist, Charles Beneke and Sarah Smelser have all subsequently served and contributed greatly to the organizations success and growth as past MAPC Presidents. These dedicated people, along with a countless number of enthusiastic, hardworking board members, have made the organization what it is today.
The Journal of the Mid America Print Council continues to mature and develop, inviting a variety of creative thinkers to contribute to an engaging print discourse. MAPC exhibitions have showcased the diverse work created by all of our members over the years, and our conferences always express our commitment to the discussion, craft and innovation of printmaking. MAPC is always growing and changing, but we are always mindful of our commitment to printmaking and are dedicated to serving our membership. Stay connected to us as MAPC continues to unfold.