Under the theme “Navigating Currents”, the 2012 SGCI Conference uses navigation, (whether guided by instruments or celestial means), as a metaphor in order to make a balance of the organization in its 40 years of existence, evaluating where we it has been and where it is headed, determining the position, direction, and movement.
Print is like a current, always in circulation, creating new territories, and bridging fresh audiences and the media. The 40 Conference of the SGCI presented a nourished agenda of master lectures (amongst which those of the artists Nicola López and Willie Cole stood out), panels and demonstrations.
This year, the Inkubator Sessions and the Career Mentorship Services were also incorporated.
In 1972 Boyd Saunders, which was in that time a new Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina, sent letters to printmaking programs at colleges and universities in the southeastern United States seeking to achieve a reunion at the Southeastern College Art Conference to be held that year in New Orleans.
Saunders was seeking to form a support system of colleagues devoted to the production and teaching of printmaking. During the conference a small group of printmakers met in the St. Charles Hotel, united by their commitment to printmaking and fueled by sips of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey, they created the Southeastern Graphics Council, later known as the Southern Graphics Council, and what is known today as SGC International (SGCI). In its 40th anniversary the conference returns symbolically to New Orleans in order to pay tribute to Boy Sanders, who attended the conference personally and through a video that opened the event.
The SGCI is the largest print organization in North America. Its annual conference is the biggest annual gathering focused on the field of printmaking. Artists from all 50 states attend the conference, as well as students, curators, and professors. Regular international attendees come from Canada, South and Central America, Asia and Europe.
In 2012 this organization celebrates its 40th anniversary. Alicia Candiani, director of ’ace, has been a SGCI member since 1998. From 2007 to 2010 she chaired the international panel and from 2008 to 2012 she served on the Executive Board. In 2012 she has been invited to participate in the Career Mentorship Services, a new program in within the conference.