One hot Sunday evening, a couple of Sweet editors sit on the patio of Louisville's Highlands Taproom with a few locals, and ask: what makes them especially proud of their town? "There's solid talent here," one girl tells us. "Someone's always making something." Indeed, while the art scene in the city is small, it's an especially supportive group. One photographer says about another, "She's the best I've ever met"; a passing makeup artist, who the locals call out to and hug, gets the plum description of "extraordinary." "You should see our friend's work," they say of a local fashion designer, scrolling through his Instagram feed to show us. A good Louisville artist, Sweet quickly finds, wants to be a mouthpiece for others.
Nowhere is this truer than at Calliope Arts, a printmaking studio opened in October 2015 by artists Susanna Crum and Rudy Salgado. Both Crum and Salgado had studied printmaking in grad school, but found that once they left their university studios behind, continuing their craft was difficult. "Once you get a degree in printmaking, you lose access to crucial equipment, like printing presses," Salgado says. "By having my own studio, I can keep making prints and provide a solution to others who are also in need of facilities."
Calliope offers both classes for those who have never handled a press before and workshops for more experienced artisans looking to hone technique. The backbone of the space is its membership co-op, where printmakers already proficient in the medium can work on ambitious projects in Calliope's studios for up to six months at a time.
"I love the social aspect of printmaking," Crum says. "After graduating from college, I worked at Chicago Printmakers Collaborative as a studio member, and I was hooked. There was something really special about making artwork alongside emerging and professional artists, seeing how they were making a living making art."
"The less expensive price point for fine art prints are a welcome introduction to new art collectors," she explains. "[Rudy and I] have a large collection between the two of us, and we hope that we can help others have and share original art in their homes."
Start your own personal collection with work by the artists of Calliope Arts below, from intricate, layered designs to gorgeous figurative prints.
Prices for all prints range from $20-$2,000. For more info visit calliope-arts.com.