Liz Corkery only moved to Somerville in August, but she’s already carving out a niche in the city’s art scene. She recently launched Print Club Boston, a website where she sells limited edition silkscreen prints that she creates in her Somerville home studio, she is set to participate in the upcoming Somerville Skillshare and has received a grant from the Somerville Arts Council.
“It’s nice to live somewhere that’s so focused on supporting local artists,” Corkery said. A native of Sydney, Australia, Corkery came to Somerville by way of New York. First living and working in the city, after which she moved upstate to get her Masters in Fine Arts from Cornell University.
The program was multidisciplinary, allowing Corkery to explore a variety of artistic mediums, but she kept coming back to print-making. As her work evolves, Print Club Boston allows Corkery to keep regularly screen printing new pieces.
“I love having print as part of my routine,” Corkery said. “I wanted to make work on paper that I could use to investigate ideas that matter to me.”
Her first Boston Print Club series, The Grid, The Trellis, explores the themes present in formal gardens, like geometry and the manipulation of natural growth. The series contains eight prints and each have 30 editions.
“It’s more fun to work it out as a series,” Corkery said of releasing new bodies of work together as opposed to one-off prints. Print-making is physically exhausting work and can be costly, so to keep that in check, Corkery decided to create 30 of each print in the series.
This allows her to sell her work through Print Club Boston and to set some of each print aside to swap with other artists. So far she’s received a beautiful handmade frame from someone working in South Boston, a piece from a photographer in Northampton and been contacted by artists working in Spain and Australia about doing trades.
“It’s a really nice way to discover new people,” Corkery said. She hopes to discover more artists at the upcoming Somerville Skillshare, where she will teach a class.
The free Skillshare takes place on Sunday, March 2 from noon-6 p.m. at the Arts at the Armory (191 Highland Ave.) and will feature classes in salsa dancing, fermentation, stock investing, jewelry-making, bookbinding and much more. Corkery has created a Somerville-focused design that participants in her introduction to screen printing workshop will get to print onto a bag or poster.
“I want to show how screen printing can be set up at home,” Corkery said of preparing some DIY screens that she’ll bring to the class. “I want to test the waters to see who would be interested in doing other workshops or events.”
It’s events like these that drew Corkery to Somerville when she was relocating to the Boston area last year.
“Somerville kept coming up as a place where creative people lived,” Corkery said. And she’s found that to be true since settling in. “There are tons of hidden gems that deserve to potentially not be so hidden.”
Living in a city with such a big focus on the arts has helped Corkery’s own work flourish. The Somerville Arts Council recently gave Corkery a grant to continue her work on things like Print Club Boston.
“You present a portfolio of work and they give you help to keep going,” Corkery said. “It’s been pretty amazing how supportive the local group is.”
Images courtesy of Print Club Boston.