Fort Family: Columbus Printed Arts Center


Founded in 2018 by Shawn and Elisa Smith, Columbus Printed Arts Center is Ohio’s first organization devoted to the practice and advancement of photography and printmaking as influential contemporary art forms.

Their mission is to foster a supportive printed arts community by providing affordable access to communal workspaces and professional studio facilities, comprehensive educational programming, and critically engaged exhibitions. They arrive at their organizational mission through the methodologies of artist-run-spaces, community nonprofits, nontraditional learning institutions, and alternative space models.

As active artists, Shawn and Elisa Smith challenge themselves to develop every organizational aspect of the center with these models in mind — to exercise an experimental approach to institutional production, to make civic space that invites a deeply engaged community to take agency in their programs, and to commit to supporting projects that actively expand upon the boundaries of print media. Columbus Printed Arts Center’s printmaking studio includes all of the equipment and basic tools needed for intaglio, relief, screen printing, dye-sublimation, and photo-lithographic processes. Artists working in digital lens-based media have access to their digital photography studio equipped with a professional editing station, the Adobe Creative Suite, Epson P9000 and P800 inkjet printers, and an Epson V850 Pro flatbed scanner.


Why did you choose The Fort?

After an exhaustive, year-long search for the right space to house our vision for the center, we realized that a supportive tenant-landlord relationship was just as important for our brand-new organization as the physical space we would eventually fill. At The Fort, we found a building owner who was genuinely invested in helping us succeed, in addition to a quietly growing community of small businesses willing to collaborate, share experiences, and support us as we took our first steps toward opening our doors. The fact that we get to build our dream studio in a neighborhood of Columbus with such a rich history of making is an added bonus for us and we look forward to contributing to that legacy. – Shawn & Elisa