Thirty years after opening the first iteration of Flatbed Press, owner Katherine Brimberry is finally creating the printmaking art space she wanted all along.
“I had a business partner, Mark Smith, and he and I started a small press over on West 3rd Street in 1989,” Brimberry says. “[But] the space was limited and we didn’t do a lot of exhibitions there.”
After 10 years at that first location, Flatbed moved to MLK Boulevard, where it remained for another 20 years. There, it had the space to do more exhibitions but still didn’t have as much studio space as Brimberry would’ve liked.
Now, Flatbed is moving to a larger space on Drossett Drive (just off Burleson Road) and also rebranding as the Flatbed Center for Contemporary Printmaking.
This space, Brimberry says, is perfect for Flatbed.
“It’s just what I wanted 30 years ago,” she says. “I really saw a need. As a printmaker artist myself – I’d just come out of graduate school – I needed a studio to work in. And printmaking takes specialty equipment and it takes space. And most people don’t have that equipment or that space [of their own]. And so that’s why all over the world, you find printmaking communities sharing a community space. Austin just didn’t have one, and that’s what I wanted to create.”
With the increased space, Brimberry’s planning to expand Flatbed’s educational reach, offering classes and workshops for adults and children. To celebrate the new space, they’re hosting a “Flatbed Family Day,” an open house that’ll introduce Flatbed to its new neighbors. It will have five printmaking stations available for the curious.
“If you want to come and try your hand at doing a little bit of printmaking or… let your children try, we have lots of different activities that they can try,” Brimberry says. “And everybody gets to take home prints that they make there. I want to invite the community out to see where we are and where we’re going, and I look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones, too.”