Wildwood Press / Artists
Maryanne Ellison Simmons received her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts Degree in 1971 from University of Michigan and her Master’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 1992. In 1996, only four years of receiving her graduate degree, Simmons was named master printer at Washington University’s Collaborative Printmaking Workshop, which was later named Island Press. In that same year, Simmons started her own collaborative workshop, Wildwood Press in St. Louis, Missouri. Wildwood Press’ early projects resulted from relationships and large-scale printmaking processes that were initially cultivated at Island Press. As the reputation of Simmons and Wildwood Press grew, so did the range of artists that worked with her. Artists from all over the world have come to work with Wildwood Press.
Wildwood Press is not the typical printmaking press and this stems from Simmons’ idea and use of the press. She treats the press like a pencil, a tool for making a mark. Unlike the majority of presses that collaborate with artists to produce large editions of identical prints, the prints produced through Wildwood Press are most often each unique, with variance from print to print. The beauty and wonder behind the works produced at Wildwood Press are shaped by Simmons ideology of the print and press. Unlike the typical printmaking presses that produce large editions of identical works, Wildwood’s projects more often than not, create bodies of works that consist of variances from print to print, making each work unique. The result is that the artists come away with a body of work that evokes profound thought. Consequently, many of these artists return to Wildwood for future projects to further explore the possibilities of what a print can be.
A Printer’s Spotlight / 15 Years of Wildwood Press Essay
Gallery 210 / University of Missouri St. Louis / 2012