Transcending Regional Art Scenes: An Interview With The Flash Collective

February’s Flatbed Contemporary Print Fair, a component of Print Austin 2015, featured a variety of publishers, printmakers, and programs across Texas, with impressive attendance.

Showcasing names like Houston’s Burning Bones Press alongside individual artists and galleries, Flatbed received several hundred people over the course of two days, eager to meet artists from across the state. Upon arriving to represent the TTU Print Club, my interest was drawn to the one school that didn’t seem to fit the regional agenda – The Flash Collective in association with Kent State University.

With a table full of vintage suitcases and antique tins of stickers, the Kent State group presented a unique collection of prints from a variety of artists. During the fair I sat down with founder of the group Veronica Ceci to ask a few questions about The Flash Collective.

What brought you to Flatbed Austin?

“I received my MFA from Kent State University, but I came to Austin in 2004. After meeting Kathy and Mark (the founders of Flatbed), I started working for them and have been here since then.”

Can you explain what The Flash Collective is?

“The Flash Collective is an invitation-only group, focusing on Interior American (mid-west) artists. I founded the group in 2014 to initially showcase Kent State artists but it grew from there. The goal of this group is to give lesser-recognized art communities exposure outside of their region.”

What makes The Flash Collective unique in the printmaking world?

“(The) Flash Collective is different because it is a mix of emerging and mid-career artists. There seems to be a gap between the opportunities of the student art community and the stability of the established artist. (The) Flash Collective is a resource and venue for these artists in-between these two places.”

What do you think is important about contemporary printmaking?

“I think printmaking today, is the best fusion of hand-done and technological work. I think it’s important when expressing the ephemeral, it is important to make work through the process of the physical. I see printmaking as having a kind of collaboration with different kinds of processes.”

The Flash Collective boldly accepts the challenge of transcending regional barriers and embracing new audiences. I look forward to seeing Ceci and her group invade more cities, giving that unique mid-west flavor to contemporary printmaking.The Flash Collective’s current project, Paper Jam 2015, a cooperative exhibition with The Women Printmakers of Austin, is on display at Bone Black Studio and Gallery at Canopy in Austin, TX from March 13th-April 17th 2015.

To visit The Flash Collective, click here>>>.

Images courtesy of the Flash Collective and Ashley Busby

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