The Twin Cities area is a leader in contemporary printmaking. Two early print workshops, Vermillion Editions Limited (1977–92) and Land Mark Editions (1980–90), launched here. And the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia), the Walker Art Center, and commercial galleries and nonprofit art centers feature contemporary prints prominently.
Foremost among these is the Highpoint Center for Printmaking. Founded in Minneapolis in 2001 by Carla McGrath and Cole Rogers, Highpoint promotes the fine art of printmaking on a community level through children’s classes, public access to facilities, and more, and on a professional level through its print publishing arm, Highpoint Editions. Since its inception, Highpoint Editions has produced and marketed print editions by some of the leading artists of our day, among them Julie Buffalohead, Do Ho Suh, Julie Mehretu, Chloe Piene, Willie Cole, Sarah Crowner, Jim Hodges, Carlos Amorales, and Delita Martin. Indeed, Highpoint Editions has emerged as an important destination for national and international artists eager to collaborate with Rogers, Highpoint’s master printer, and his workshop staff.
I’m proud to say that in 2020–21, as part of its long-standing mission to preserve and present art of our time, Mia acquired the complete archive of Highpoint Editions for its permanent collection. Representing twenty years of workshop production, the archive comprises more than 325 editioned and unique prints, together with nearly one thousand related items—preparatory drawings, working and trial proofs, progressive proof sets, color tests, and printing plates and blocks. Far more than curiosities, these ancillary production materials offer scholars invaluable insights into the creative process and the sometimes-unconventional techniques Rogers and the artists devise to achieve a dream print.
This innovative e-catalogue—the first of its kind for Mia—ensures that Highpoint’s story will have a virtual presence to complement its tangible archive. Spearheaded by Dennis Michael Jon, Mia’s Associate Curator of Global Contemporary Art and a longtime champion of Highpoint, it chronicles the workshop’s history though essays, a Q&A with Rogers, and, of course, careful documentation of the archive’s riches. I am deeply grateful to Dennis, production manager Alex Bortolot, designer Kris Thayer, and the many other talented members of Mia’s staff for embracing this new technology. Thanks, also, to Jennifer L. Roberts, Harvard University, for her essay on Willie Cole’s series “The Beauties.” Jill Ahlberg Yohe, Mia’s Associate Curator of Native American Art, explores the work of Highpoint’s Indigenous artists in her essay. And curatorial fellows Marla J. Kinney and Ian Karp contributed the artist bios. The digital development of this catalogue was made possible with the generous support of the Association of Research Institutes in Art History (ARIAH ). Mia strives every day to make outstanding works of art from the world’s diverse cultures accessible to all, and I hope that this new format points the way for future web-based publications highlighting Mia’s permanent collection. Mia’s acquisition of the Highpoint Editions Archive ensures that the workshop’s immense contributions to contemporary printmaking will be permanently preserved and made available to visitors through exhibitions, scholarly publications, and public access in Mia’s print study room.
Katherine Crawford Luber, PhD
Nivin and Duncan MacMillan Director and President
Minneapolis Institute of Art