Today we’d like to introduce you to Tracy Mayrello.
Hi Tracy, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I fell in love with printmaking in Lee Chesney’s printmaking lab at the University of Texas at Austin. He taught me all the basic elements of printmaking and my favorite process of Viscosity printing. In 2003, I started interning at Flatbed Press and Gallery and quickly became an apprentice under Master Printer Katherine Brimberry and Jerry Manson learning all the tricks of the trade which was quite an impressive task under those two Masters. I was Master Printer/Shop Manager at Flatbed Press working and collaborating with artist from all over the world, artists such as ; Julie Speed, Liliana Porter, Linda Ridgway, Judy Youngblood, James Surls, John Alexander, Bob Schneider, Tina Weitz, John Greer, Vanessa Paschakarnis, Joan Winter, Suzi Davidoff, Frank X Tolbert 2, Richard Armendariz, Miguel A. Aragon, Annalise Gratovich, Catherine Dudley, Sharon Kopriva, Dennis Fagan, Sandra Fernandez, Jules Buck Jones, Katie Van Scherpenberg, Mary Fielding McCleary, Jeff Scott, Ann Connor, Bruce Lee Webb, Danny Williams, Josephine Sacabo, Alice Leora Briggs and Samson Mnisi from South Africa…. and so many more….
Until 2018, when Flatbed Press and Gallery had to move south of the river and remodel the press from a bustling publishing studio to a teaching facility . Now I am happy to be at Creekside Studio @Canopy.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I love to work with artists and believe the beauty of collaboration is magical so after Flatbed, I kept my heart open and soon found a space in the back of Bale Creek Allen Gallery at Canopy. It took a village to get it going, a hand shake from my friend and Master Printer Cordelia Blanchard and we moved her Charles Brand press to the studio. Judy Taylor, my friend and mentor helped me with setting up lights and all things gallery oriented and was a saving grace with tons of support and guidance every step of the way. Tina Weitz and her mad skills in the photography world and in her amazing computer and videos getting us going in EAST Austin Studio Tour and PrintAustin, a major quest indeed. Jun Wan, my friend that scoured the Goodwill and supply houses with me gathering equipment for the studio and being a powerhouse during the openings and putting the Feng Shui into making the Creekside Studio chop. Laura Harrison getting the website up and going to Duane Sanford hanging the exhibitions and Veronica Ceci for gifting supplies and support. Also, I am so grateful to the amazing artists for taking a chance on me at the new studio, Julie Speed, Joan Winter, Marc Burckhardt and Alice Leora Briggs.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
As a Master Printer for the last 16 years, I specialize in the printing process and have worked and editioned most every matrix in Intaglio and the Relief processes but truly love Monoprinting with viscosity inks. I learned the viscosity technique from Lee Chesney and my color theory from Vincent Mariani who studied with Josef Albers at Yale University. I have printed many matrices and some have been over sized and experimental matrices, with viscosity inks, a la poupee, chine colle and every combo in-between, I love it all. I love color. In my own work, I have mono printed on intaglio etchings to create variation is color and texture, mono printed on woodcut matrices and have a series of trace mono prints that I am working on when I can and a few polymer gravures.
Any big plans?
The COVID-19 virus has made everyone change the way they are working and doing things. Creekside Studio has been shuttered for the last year and moved to an online presence which has been an exciting learning experience with all the social media and different formats like Zoom. I think it will continue to be a hybrid once the virus is eradicated and I think people will still be interested in seeing virtual exhibitions and interacting with the various platforms so we are working to move our website and exhibitions to accommodate both virtual and in person formats. I am also looking forward to getting back in the studio and collaborating with artists such as Marc Burckhardt, Tina Weitz, Julie Speed and Alice Leora Briggs. It is going to be a great year.
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