Lane Sell established Shoestring Press in 2011. Since February 2014, the press has been at its present location on Classon Avenue in Crown Heights. “Dedicated to doing more with less,” Sell’s mission is to provide printmaking work space, technical expertise, gallery exhibitions, critical engagement, and intellectual community to Brooklyn’s artists and printmakers. The press offers classes and workshops for all levels in the traditional printmaking techniques of screenprinting, etching/intaglio, lithography, and relief printing, as well as painting and drawing. “Our goal is to make art making, and printmaking especially, accessible, affordable, and an integral part of the Crown Heights and greater Brooklyn community,” says Sell.
Recommendations bring some artists to Shoestring, others are invited. The community is wide-ranging: full-time artists, crafters, hobby printers, and student printers, among others. Sell's love for and commitment to print began at Columbia, where he took every course offered in printmaking. He subsequently taught with and worked for Rob Swainston at Prints of Darkness. “I've learned a lot...in conversations through Printmakers Anonymous, and by asking other printmakers how they handle different materials and applications,” he says, crediting, among others, Luther Davis, Rob Swainston, Deb Chaney, Mark Herschede, Paul DeRuvo, and Lauraly Grossman. For Sell, “The mutual support of printers I've met through Shoestring and Printmakers Anonymous quite simply makes it possible to keep going in Brooklyn.” –RW
Master Printer Lane Sell at the end of an evening session of Silkscreen Fundamentals, March 2019. Photo Credit: M. Sharkey