Introducing Melissa Bob

Hello Grapevine Ink!

Organizing and being in contact with many of you through
email, I've had the unique opportunity to exchange significant thoughts, ideas and dialogue on a 1-on-1 basis.

It is important to me to share these exchanges with the larger group when possible.

I would like to introduce to all of you
Melissa Bob-
a Grapevine Ink printmaker and activist!

Melissa has been an incredible support for Grapevine Ink,
and our exchanges have been inspiring. This past summer she visited Japan with a group of other printmakers including
Melanie Yazzie and John Hitchcock. Melissa is currently working
on prints for a folio exchange with these artists based on their trip.

Below is an excerpt from Melissa's emails to me that include a short bio about her and
dialogue that I found particularly inspiring-

"My art background is mostly in printmaking. As an undergrad I studied printmaking and indigenous art history with Joe Feddersen, who is a Native artist. I also attended graduate school to obtain a Master of Public Administration in Tribal Governance degree. I am working for my tribal government (the Lummi Nation) to reform and integrate the children's mental health services on the reservation. We are looking at how the integration of cultural art and healing practices improves the effectiveness of our services. We recieved a six year grant from the federal government to do this. I live in Bellingham, Washington, which is quite close to the Canadian border near the water.

For the past few years I've been doing stuff other than printmaking, so I am dying to get back to the printmaking world. I am about to start a suite of prints about the trip I took to Japan with John and a couple of other Native artists.

I was thinking about how you had a difficult time figuring out how to describe this collective without sounding exclusive. Here's my thought:

As women of color, we are contextualizing our perspectives and approaches to our art and world. We are not just existing as women of color and writing and creating in a reactive manner to the world as closed entities. We are proactively working and creating from this perspective as women of color, which is a conscious approach to our daily lives. It's not that we are exclusive, it's that we are a population with a shared experience and we wish to work together from that foundation to pursue and focus on a shared vision of growing together so our perspectives are honored and we strengthen each other's voices."

She has a way with words...
I feel Melissa was able to verbalize much of the essence of why I wanted to start this collective.
What do you think?

Until next time Grapevine Ink~
Look forward to hearing more about Melissa and her work in the year to come!


Let's do our research!

Hello Grapevine Community! I'm Shani, this is my first actual post to the Grapevine Blog. You can see what kinds of things I'm into at The more I talk to Chanel the more excited I am about this Grapevine project. It's just a good idea, plain and simple, and I for one am down to make it work.

To piggy back on her last post, printing with Juan Sanchez and Chanel the other night was definitely a positive learning experience. He offers so much wisdom, made all the better via a kind and gracious character.
In the course of the nights conversation Sanchez mentioned several collectives/workshops that you've probably all heard about and may have even visited or worked at. Still, as we embark on this new experiment printing, it will be wise for us to go back and research existing organization for successes, failures, and lessons learned. Here are a few links:

Robert Blackburn Workshop-

Please, add more links to orgs your interested in the comments section- we can build our own web resource library...


A talk with Juan Sanchez

Hey there Grapevinettes-

Today I had the opportunity to work with artist Juan Sanchez in studio at Harlem Textile Works. My friend, and fellow teaching artist Shani Peters is aiding him print a series to be displayed at a solo show at Southern Graphics Conference 2010 in Philly.

I told him about my idea for Grapevine Ink, and my desire to start up a Women of Color Printmakers Collective but also my hesitation to call it that. My concerns ranging to how the term people of color is thought of internationally, to how people of mixed race heritage identify, and also how exclusivity can sometimes be damaging or limiting.

Sanchez was very supportive about Grapevine Ink, and dropped some knowledge on me. I wish I had a tape recorder cause that woulda been posted UP for ya'll!

He made the point that while some people are opposed to making groups exclusive, its really important that oppressed people work to make opportunities and venues FOR THEMSELVES and that those avenues should be preserved for future generations of artists. It's not about excluding anybody or so-called "reverse discrimination", but recognizing that as women and peoples of oppressed nationalities, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation etc. we have been and continue to be marginalized in the art world and we have to work together to give ourselves spaces to change this.

I am still struggling with the right kind or rhetoric to use when describing Grapevine Ink. The mission statement is so important, and I've received so much great feedback, ideas and encouragement from all of you!

I look forward to your comments, and hopefully some posts from ya'll!
Expect an email soon from me!

Much Love,

*This image displayed is by Juan Sanchez
Victoria de Samotracia (Afro-Taina)
Collagraph, duotone litho, hand-painted, feathers, raffia


Welcome to Grapevine Ink!

This blog is the beginning of an International Women in Printmaking Collective, discussing intersecting identities within art practice, theory, community and education.

I started this blog in order for us all to start interacting with each other and share our opinions, ideas and work.

Originally I wanted this group to be a Women of Color Printmaking Collective-
However, while the term “person of color” is widely used in
the United States, it may be perceived differently in other countries.

How do we define our collective?

I feel as though the group should not be as broad as just ‘international,’
or just ‘women in printmaking’-that would be diluted, too broad, and boring.
I want this to be a powerful collective of women, critically addressing
experiences and struggle as artists outside of the white dominated
and male dominated printmakers world.

Please introduce yourself with your post and put up thoughts, input, ideas, etc!