On Circle City's east side, Cat Head Press Printshop and Artist Cooperative has taken over 2,000-plus square feet at the corner of Rural and Washington in the Englewood neighborhood, as part of a mixed-use redevelopment with Pia Urban Café & Market. And soon there will be a grand opening.
"There's a music festival at that same time, as well as another artists' space opening a block away — the Art Shack exhibition. And while it's been a crazy crush on our end, it's been a good time. And after a year's inception and incubation, we're confident all will be ready," says Dominic Senibaldi, Cat Head Press' executive director.
"We'll have something for everyone, too. Prints for sale that range anywhere from $5 to a $1,000 — we have amazing artists who have generously contributed to our grand opening," Senibaldi says. "We want everyone to feel welcome — from experienced and novice artists to people just interested in sharing ideas and checking things out," he says.
During the grand opening, Cat Head Press will be printing 250 t-shirts to give to the public, featuring a design from local artist and contest winner, Rob Young. "Our contest call really generated interest and amazing creations from a lot of local talent, but Rob's design was perfect," Senibaldi says.
Senibaldi is an artist as well — and a professor at Herron School of Art and Design. During his time as both an undergraduate and graduate student, he's met and been inspired by a number of artists and colleagues. He and his Cat Head Press partners (Michael Hoefle, Liz Wierzbicki and Marna Shopoff) have received generous grants, startup capital, and operating support from IMOCA, Englewood CDC and LISC — and a fund of $50,000 from the The Efroymson Family Fund to the Englewood Community Development Corporation on behalf of Cat Head for startup capital and operating support. The Press will operate in the heart of the Great Places 2020 area.
"We're all educators and artists, too, so we understand many of the obstacles facing artists today," Senibaldi says. "We have five artist studios on the second floor and the first floor will serve as our main print shop for our screenprinting and litho presses. We really want artists to have access to the machines they need to create their work. We have so many people who believed in us that we want other artists to have that same support available to them."
Cat Head's vision includes fine art printmaking studios for artists who may not otherwise have access to such large machines and recent college graduates from all schools. "It's really hard to, you know, do this kind of art in your living room," Senibaldi says. "And I don't want people to stop their art just because they graduate or lack materials or space. We want to keep the cultural vibrancy that's brewing in Indy alive, bring it to the east side, to everyone, and keep our fantastic artists here in Indianapolis and surrounding areas.
"We really see ourselves also as having a viable artist-in-residency program one day," Senibaldi says. "My partners and I are also artists ourselves, so we know how difficult it can be to find a space to create in, to find somewhere safe and supportive, even. We want to extend our space and services to artists from all over the world, national and international artists, creating a body of work they can share and be proud of, during their time here in Indianapolis. We plan on being the best not-for-profit we can be, reaching as many people as we can, and serving the interests of everyone involved in our community, be in through education, exhibition opportunities, workshops, studio space, or creative collaborations."