About Zea Mays Printmaking

Established in 2000, Zea Mays Printmaking is dedicated to research, practice and dissemination of safe printmaking. We offer studio access, workshops, residencies, internships, mentorships and contract printing services to an international community of artists.

Demonstrating the high quality and creative possibilities of original prints made with health consciousness is at the core of our mission.

100+ member artists work in intaglio, relief, serigraphy, photopolymer, monotype, collagraph and mixed media printmaking.

about_pageZea Mays (Sweet Corn) is a plant known for its ability to extract heavy metal toxins from the soil through its leaves and roots. Just as this plant is being used as a natural way of restoring contaminated earth back to health, our mission is to restore the art of printmaking to a healthy art form.  At Zea Mays we honor the rich tradition of printmaking by exploring alternatives that are safe for artists and the environment.

We are

  • 6,000 sq. ft. of printmaking studios.
  • 4 separate studios: teaching, members’, screen printing and private (the Annex).
  • a solvent-free, sustainable working environment.
  • research center for safer, non and less-toxic printmaking materials and processes.
  • educational facility offering workshops and private instruction in safer and non-toxic approaches to intaglio, photopolymer, lithography, silkscreen, relief and monotype printmaking.
  • certificate in green printmaking.
  • print archive, available for exhibition and study.
  • residency program for printmakers.
  • mentorship program for artists seeking to deepen their practice.
  • resource for offsite demonstrations and workshops as well as consultations about setting up a safer studio.
  • treasure trove of prints for sale by our member artists
  • a great community of printmakers.

Zea Mays Printmaking strives to create sustainability in many ways, including

  • recycling paper, plastic, metal and glass
  • composting
  • using Pedal People as our trash hauling/recycling service
  • using a rag service instead of paper towels
  • using bath towels for blotters
  • using filtered water instead of bottled
  • compact fluorescent light bulbs in all our fixtures

In 2012 Zea Mays Printmaking invited The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Office of Technical Assistance and Technology in to do a complete audit of our studio facility and practices.  Excerpt from their final report:  “First we would like to commend you for using benign materials and safe practices at your facility, which will benefit not only the health and safety of your students and tenants, but the environment as well. As we reviewed the materials that you utilize with you during the visit, and examined the Material Safety Data Sheets that you sent to us in follow-up, it became apparent that you had taken great care to guarantee that the operations in your studio were as benign as possible.”

Printmaking is an evolving field and we constantly strive to make our studio safer and more sustainable.

Liz Chalfin, founding director
Sheldon Carroll, facilities

Studio monitors: Joyce Silverstone, Lynn Peterfreund, Kate Jenkins, Nancy Diessner, Daniel Chiaccio, Louise Kohrman, Tekla McInerney, Pamela Crawford, and Meredith Broberg