Graphicstudio opens doors

Though most students don’t have it in their budgets to be art collectors, the Graphicstudio Annual Benefit Sale will still give them the opportunity to experience art.

In its 10th year, the Graphicstudio Institute for Research in Art’s event is more than a just a sale. It is an all-day affair during which the public gets the chance to go inside the studio and learn about the research and development of the department.

“It’s like being able to go backstage in a museum,” said Kristin Soderqvist, director of sales and marketing.

The public will be allowed to go through the studio and see the printing presses, the vault and delicate works that aren’t usually open to the public. The staff will be available to talk about the studio.

Usually, when people come in, staff members are too busy working to answer questions and carry on conversations with visitors, said Noel Smith, curator of education at the studio.

“It’s like an open house and people can come in and see the work and talk to the staff,” she said. “Our job for the day is to talk to people.”

Smith, a USF alum who has worked for the studio for 14 years, said Graphicstudio doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic because it is positioned on the outskirts of campus. The studio is located in the University Technology Center near the Embassy Suites Hotel.

“We have been in the building for 18 years,” she said. “We would love to be near the art department and museum.”

A goal of the studio, apart from researching and developing new techniques, is to inform the student body about graphic arts.

“We have been working very hard the past 14 years to be much closer to the University,” she said. “And I think it has been showing.”

The sale includes prints and sculptures by artists from around the world. The works will be discounted 10 to 60 percent off the regular list price.

“There will be works here from $100 to $20,000,” said Margaret Miller, Graphicstudio director. “And there will be more than 100 works of art for sale.”

The artist will get 50 percent of what his or her work is sold for and the rest will benefit the research and artist residency program.

“In some cases we have works (whose profits) we don’t have to share with the artist,” Miller said.

The artists featured are a mix of established artists and newcomers and will include James Rosenquist, who was appointed to the National Council on the Arts by Jimmy Carter, and photographer William Wegman, who is known for his photos of dogs in costumes. There will also be a free drawing for Alex Katz’s Japanese woodblock, “Coleman Pond II.”

The Graphicstudio Annual Benefit Sale will take place 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at Graphicstudio in the University Technology Center. There will be a reception at 6 p.m.