The Experimental Printmaking Institute (EPI) began in the summer of 1996 with the visit of noted New York artist Juan Sanchez, the first visiting artist. This weekend artist residency was made possible with the support of longtime arts patrons of Lafayette College. One member, in particular, of the college’s board of trustees took a special interest in printmaking and student-based collaborations with artists and the local community. EPI’s visiting artist and artist-in-residence programs have since introduced students to artists from diverse cultural and social backgrounds, providing them with talented, well-educated, and ambitious role models. This unique printmaking laboratory enables students to work hand in hand with professional artists. In the past 13 years, EPI has produced more than one hundred editions by over eighty different artists—among them, some of America’s most acclaimed artists: Faith Ringgold, Richard Anuszkiewicz, David Driskell, Grace Hartigan, and Sam Gilliam.
The results of these collaborations have been included in such museum collections as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and permanent collections of colleges and universities. Described by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as “The Ink Think Tank,” EPI exemplifies the liberal arts educational mission by bringing the printmaking medium to students through collaboration, shared artistic visions, intercultural exchange, and multigenerational engagement. EPI uses the printmaking process and the workshop environment to offer one of the most democratic and artistically challenging forms of a liberal arts education