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Best New Local Art Trend St. Louis 2009 - Artist-run print shops

Cottage industry seems to be seeing a renaissance in St. Louis in the form of artist-run print shops, which are delivering fine, handmade goods out of small studios or neighborhood storefronts. Evil Prints, All Along Press, Rad Lab and the Firecracker Press are producing limited-run printed matter for an eager public, each in its own inimitable way. From Tom Huck's large-scale neo-Medieval triptychs (Evil Prints) to All Along's modus operandi of allowing members to make their own woodcuts, screen prints and letterpress pieces to the business cards, posters, calendars and other customizable fine-art ephemera offered by Rad Lab and the Firecracker Press (All Along, too) — you can find more or less anything you're looking for at these singular enterprises that blend artmaking with classic entrepreneurialism. There's a lot of hope in these efforts: Despite all the ravages of the economy, a creative medium known to be difficult to practice beyond academy walls owing to its reliance on large-scale equipment is finding a sustainable home in this city. St. Louis should take pride in its love for this egalitarian medium that requires, above all, careful hard work, bootstrap ingenuity and a willingness to toil with others. See for yourself by paying 'em a visit; contact information is available via www.evilprints.com, www.allalongpress.com and www.firecrackerpress.com; Rad Lab can be reached through Amy Thompson at 206-459-1427.

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