Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Postcard from Pepe

Dominican born Pepe Coronado discovered screenprinting at a "funky T-shirt shop". He had moved to Austin, Texas after meeting his wife Julie, an exchange student at the University of Santo Domingo. He soon found Sam Coronado (no relation) and The Serie Project: "a workshop where underrepresented artists benefit from collaboration and the serigraphy (screen printing) technique." Pepe was hooked. He went on to get his certificate in drawing at the Corcoran in DC, followed by his MFA at MICA. In 2004, he helped set up the digital lab and screenprinting studio at Pyramid's new Silver Spring studio. Sadly for us, Julie got a great job in New York, and the Coronado family headed north. But luckily for Pepe, they located in Hastings-on-Hudson, near the Dominican community. He set up his basement studio, and formed a collective of Dominican artists. This blogger visited Pepe in May to check things out.

Scherezade GarcĂ­a
SS: Tell us about your Dominican printmaking collective. 

PC: I founded Dominican York Proyecto GRAFICA (DYPG) in 2010 after moving to New York and connecting with the Dominican community there. It is a printmaking collective of artists of Dominican descent. Our mission is to advance the state of contemporary Dominican-American arts through a rich and varied collaboration, creating prints using a variety of techniques from the traditional to the latest and most innovative, and to broaden the public’s knowledge of the Dominican-American culture through exhibitions, lectures, and workshops.

SS: Who are the screenprinters in your group?

PC: We have Alex Guerrero who is very experienced in the medium, and collaborating with many of the artists in the group. Reynaldo Garcia Pantaleon and the Garcias sisters Scherezade and Iliana that have made their own screenprints for the project.

SS: Who are some NY screenprint artists that you have discovered?

PC: I’m finding many great artists to work with, some have printed before and some are somewhat new to the process. I’m currently collaborating with Carlos Jesus Martinez Dominguez,
Carlos is a graffiti influenced visual artist, he draws inspiration from hip hop and the culture of his Dominican hood, Washington Heights. Also heavily influenced by comic art, political, social and religious issues, he mixes these topics as he mixes media in the works he creates.

SS: Do you have any good studio tips to pass along? We are always interested in troubleshooting.

PC: I’m using Jacquard screen printing inks, really like them so far, good pigments and the best part is they are odorless.  I’m impressed with the work created in smaller spaces in New York, look at my friend Alex Guerrero’s print table/studio, which is an exposure unit too, (lights not pictured).

SS: Thanks for the interview, and look forward to seeing you and your work in November.

Coronado Print Studio
Pepe Coronado
See Pepe's prints at the Pyramid Atlantic Book Arts Fair
Nov. 16-18, 2012