Back to Biographies Phil Sanders
Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, New York, USA

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Phil Sanders is currently the Director/ Collaborative Master Printer of the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop in New York City. Sanders is also an artist, collaborative master printer, and arts educator. All of these seemingly disparate roles intertwine to influence and shape each other and his work. As a collaborative master printer, Sanders is fortunate to have a window into the creative processes of some of the greatest artistic minds of the past fifty years. This has undoubtedly had an effect on his own work and allowed him to strengthen his own artistic voice. His personal interest in printmaking stems from my interest in both art and science. These fields involve similar creative processes rooted in experimentation and built upon a platform of history and tradition. Sanders works in several media, painting, drawing, printmaking, performance, artist books, sculpture and installation.

The Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop (RBPMW) was incorporated by the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (EFA) in 2003 upon the passing of Robert Blackburn. Bob wanted the workshop to continue doing what it had always done, provide a place for artists of any color or creed to work with one another to make fine art prints. Adding art to the world as a means of improving it was the fundamental philosophy that allowed the workshop to grow to its first studio in 1948. It later became an international print Mecca for the many who traveled from all the corners of the world to the Printmaking Workshop. Dedicated printmakers traveled to NY to spend time with Bob to learn how to open a community workshop in their home town even if that was as far away from New York as South Africa or Australia. Bob was also tireless advocate for getting printmaking into the community. He began an out reach program to encourage children to participate in art. He helped start the Lower East Side Printshop for the purpose of providing printmaking to artists engaged in political activism. The Printmaking Workshop was his experiment in the idea of the global community.

Since late 2005 RBPMW has sought to continue the vision of Bob Blackburn while strengthening our focus on education and access. The workshop has begun a publishing platform for the purpose of putting artists into the marketplace and whose voices may not be traditionally heard. RBPMW seeks to broaden the spectrum of what the collecting community sees, to more accurately reflect the reality of the diversity of artists working today. Educationally, the PMW is developing opportunities to get professional fine art printmaking skills into the hands of as many printmakers as possible by expanding the number of classes taught and collaborating with a number of diverse artists from South Africa to other countries abroad.
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