Duplex Tour is a project we created with Sarah Welch for the Fresh Arts CSA Program this year. It is a collection of 5, 3 color letterpress prints that illustrate a style of dwelling common in Houston. From the Fresh Arts website:
Over the last 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy seasonal food directly from local farms. With the same buy-direct, buy-local spirit in mind, mnartists.org and Springboard for the Arts created a similar endeavor to support local art, artists, and collectors. Community Supported Art is an exciting new model of art support and distribution that supports artists in the creation of new work and establishes relationships with local collectors and patrons.
Nine selected artists receive a commission to create 50 “shares” for the program. Interested collectors will purchase a share from Springboard for the Arts and, in return, receive boxes or portfolios of locally produced artwork at intervals during the season. Featured works could include nearly anything: In the past, we’ve had specially-pressed vinyl 7-inch records, screen prints, series of small functional ceramics, photography, letterpress editions of a poem or short story, and 50 small original paintings. Each member share includes one piece from each of the nine CSA featured artist works over the season at pick-up events. They’re $350 each.
We were honored to participate, and have the opportunity to produce a collection of limited edition prints. Each print measures approximately 6″ x 8″, and was printed on Crane’s Lettra 110# Fluorescent White. For our process, we toured several parts of central Houston and cataloged buildings that were being used as duplexes, triplexes, and four-plexes. From there, we mixed and matched elements of houses in order to create imaginary buildings that were still true to the general look and feel of the buildings we wanted to document– and documentation has become a very real concern here in Houston, as many of these 1940s era buildings are rapidly being demolished to make way for a new style of multistory townhouse that is quickly becoming ubiquitous.
Because of this, we wanted to create a project that could reference some of the work that Audubon did when creating his luscious lithographs of birds both common and rare– a project which now serves as a catalog of currently endangered or extinct species.
This original edition was limited to collectors participating in the CSA program, but it marks a start for a new style of print suites that we hope to continue and release on an annual basis. There are also plans in the works to produce a second edition of this project, in a new color-way, which will be available for purchase through our store at some time this year. Stay tuned!