East City Reviews- Relax: Exchange Print Portfolio from the Corcoran’s Art and The Book Program at the Fridge

Relax Installation detail. Photo courtesy of The Fridge.

Currently on view at Capitol Hill art space the Fridge is Relax, an exchange print portfolio by alumni, faculty, and current graduate students of the Corcoran College of Art and Design – Art and The Book program. The portfolio, organized by Corcoran graduate student Jennaway Pearson, includes woodcut, linocut, silkscreen, lithography, etching, letterpress, and digital prints. The size of the prints included in the portfolio was agreed upon by the participating artists who were free to contribute one print of their choosing to the exchange.

Jennaway Pearson, organizer of Relax print portfolio. Photo by Gail Vollrath for ECA.

The Corcoran’s Art and the Book Program is a graduate curriculum where students learn about the history and theory of book culture as well as contemporary approaches to artist book production. The program capitalizes on DC’s vast resource of collections at major institutions like the Library of Congress, which holds the largest collection of artist books in the country and the National Museum of Women In the Arts. Students are also given the opportunity to expand their professional development by interning with noted artists and curators.

Pearson is also the President of the Corcoran graduate student group, Marginalia, sponsors of the exhibition. Chartered in 2010, Marginalia’s membership includes alumni, students, scholars and bookmakers with backgrounds in graphic design, sculpture, woodworking, glass blowing, writing and photography. She approached Alex Gold, owner and director of The Fridge, whom she found very open to hosting the portfolio exhibition. Gold stated that a relationship with a local college like the Corcoran is a good fit for the Fridge and the art community it serves.

Print exchange portfolios have long been a way for artist printmakers to collaborate on bringing  the print medium to a wider audience. Proceeds from the sale of the Relax portfolio prints benefit Marginalia projects.

Printmakers participating in Relax are as follows: Vanessa Bados, Christy Ball, Elizabeth Curren, Georgia Deal, Marjorie Devereux, Alessandra Echeverri, Julie Garcia, Amy Gonzales, Stephanie Hess, Natalie Jackson, Maria San Martin, Kerry McAleer-Keeler (current Director of the Art and the Book program) , Matthew McLaughlin, Li Pallas, Jennaway Pearson, Camden Richards, Elizabeth Schendel, Lynette Spencer, Whitney Stahl, and Na’ama Zussman

Relax is on view through December 30 at The Fridge, 516 1/2 8th Street SE, Washington, DC Thursday – Saturday: 12pm–8pm, Sunday: 1pm–5pm or by appointment. Contact Emma Fischer at [email protected] for more information.

Relax Installation detail. Photo courtesy of The Fridge.







Gail Vollrath
Authored by: Gail Vollrath

Gail Vollrath is an artist and writer based in NE DC. After finishing graduate school at UNC Greensboro, she moved to DC in 2001 and landed her first job as program manager for a national, online justice themed arts competition for post-secondary students. Since that time, she has been working in art and nonprofit organizations including a three year run as Director of the Washington Printmakers Gallery. She has served as a grants panelist for the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County as well as a panelist for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Breaking the Barrier: Getting Representation in the Visual Art World presentation. Gail holds a BFA and MFA in studio art and exhibits her mixed media works locally and nationally. Visit her site at