IFPDA Executive Director reached out to Portland Art Museum curator Mary Weaver Chapin with an invitation to browse the booths of the IFPDA Fine Art Print Fair. "It was a great project, and very challenging to winnow down my selections. At least I didn't have to worry about my budget! Following my theme of 'caprice,' I didn't put the prints in chronological order."
This time of year always means “Print Fair,” so I am thrilled that the IFPDA has found a way to replicate some of the joys of the season. Although scrolling through virtual booths is a different experience than being together in person, the same sense of discovery and anticipation accompanied my perusal online. Determined to find a sophisticated curatorial theme to impress my professional colleagues and delight every reader, I amassed dozens and dozens of images before I came upon Mark Dion’s Thorny Territory. There, in the form of a cactus, the artist lays out the curator’s dilemma: collect to fill gaps, or build on strengths? Support rising artists or stick to the A-list? Near the base of the prickly succulent, I found my theme and justification: Curator Caprice. What follows is my capricious selection spanning six centuries of the graphic arts and featuring work that that surprised me and stuck in my mind like an artistic thorn from Dion’s cactus.