Mission | Vision | History

MISSION

Zygote Press is an artist workshop promoting contemporary fine-art printing. Through advocacy, exhibitions, community programs, and affordable, professional workspace, Zygote stimulates collective exchange. Here, artists create new work, audiences explore new ideas, and collaborations strengthen our community.

VISION

We believe…

• Printmaking must be sustained as a vital contemporary medium in the world of art;

• The practice of printmaking can create a community that cultivates collaboration, innovation and the exchange of ideas;

• All artists in our region need access to an affordable, inclusive, professional printmaking shop; and

• Education and advocacy through the art of printmaking can foster new relationships and partnerships between artists and the community that can improve the quality of life for everyone.

 

HISTORY

Liz Maugans, Joe Sroka, Bellamy Printz, and Kelly Novak founded Zygote Press in 1996. Located in the Saint Clair-Superior neighborhood, Zygote was established as an open, collaborative shop — to give artist printmakers affordable access to facilities. At the time, many college print departments and print businesses were downsizing and transitioning to digital production. The Zygote founders worked to inherit and purchase discarded presses and other pieces of printing equipment, and so populated the shop with the tools necessary for a functioning studio.

In 2006, Zygote moved from the initial Saint Clair-Superior location to the facility on East 30th St., slowly developing into an anchor institution in the Downtown ArtsQuarter of Cleveland’s Asia Town. In fact, the ArtsQuarter is a dense urban environment that’s diverse socioeconomically, culturally, and racially.

In 2010, Zygote Press founded the Collective Arts Network (CAN), a vital members network of regional visual arts institutions and galleries that produces a quarterly journal of arts, a website, and events around the city.

In 2011, Zygote opened the press artist share space (ZPASS), a residency and incubation space one floor above Zygote’s East 30th St. workshop. Click here fore more information.

In 2012, Zygote Press was presented with a Cleveland Arts Prize, a highly coveted award:

In 2014, Zygote Press also annexed a building in the Collinwood neighborhood, to serve as a satellite printmaking facility, in large part for artists looking to produce series. Called the Ink House, it’s scheduled to open in September.

Today, Zygote is destination for printmakers nationwide offering facilities for intaglio, (plate) lithography, relief printing, screen printing, letterpress, and digital media. Zygote Press also initiates and facilitates projects with professional artists in an active environment — where artists, students and the public interact. Offering individual studio spaces for rent, a monthly exhibition schedule in our gallery, working archives, classes and individual instruction, and artist apartments — the ZPASS loft apartments above the shop — Zygote is the only open-access print studio in Northeast Ohio and is the largest in the state of Ohio.

As the largest independent fine-art print shop between Pittsburgh and Chicago (and one of a few non-profit galleries in Cleveland) Zygote’s programs provide much-needed resources for artists and educational non-profits. The collaborative dynamic of the print shop encourages artistic growth … and classes for all skill levels grow the medium. To round out the offerings, Zygote’s innovative Press-on-Wheels (POW) program takes fine-art printmaking to schools, prisons, rehabilitation centers, and city festivals.