About

Ary K. Smith

I am a self-taught printmaker working in silkscreen and block printing.

Originally from the west coast and back home in the Bay Area, I have also spent several years in the midwest and the south.  I have produced work for various departments & organizations at Oberlin College, musicians including Coyote Grace and Jenna Lindbo, Health Music PR, independent fundraisers, art auctions, and a super gay wedding.  I am always excited to work on custom projects suited to your goals and needs.

Other Things I Do Include:

The Personal Is Political Etc. Sidenote: Why Printmaking?

People say “social justice” a lot.  When I say it, I mean radically supportive community, active dismantling of patriarchy, white supremacy, cissexism, and the rest of it, and potlucks in the garden out back.  I mostly use my brain and my hands and my mouth about this; printmaking is what I do with my hands about it.  Printmaking is cheap, dynamic, and egalitarian, effective for the quick dissemination of image and information.  Because block printing and silkscreening make for easy replication and produce far more originals than other media, they’re a distinctively democratic, dare I say proletarian, art forms.  The history of printing and artistic printmaking is entwined with radical social movements all over the western world – from the extraordinary impact of Gutenberg’s press to the WPA printmakers in the US in the 1930s to the iconic printmaking workshops of Chicano and Palestinian liberation movements.  Much of contemporary printmaking, including my own, is a close cousin of street stencil art and graffiti, and is often informed by a DIY aesthetic of experimentation & flexibility.  When I am overwhelmed, I think of Pirkei Avot: “You are not expected to complete the work, but neither are you permitted to abandon it.”  Make the mark, carve the blog, ink the roller.  Print something imperfect, but print something.

Printmaker