Images of social justice from the Segura Arts Studio

Sue Coe (American Born 1951), La Frontera, 1997, Lithograph, Segura Arts Studio

This exhibition of fifty-two prints illustrates the history of Segura Arts Studio’s published works and describes its mission of working with underrepresented artists.  Joseph Segura founded the Segura Publishing Company in 1981, in Tempe, Arizona.  The studio played a role in contemporary printmaking with an initial focus on collaboration with artist-printmakers and on the print process. This was followed by an emphasis on artists whose work has a political message. Segura was drawn to marginalized artists: women, African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans.

“Joe Segura’s reputation as a master printer and publisher precedes him and for many his workshop is closely associated with the Southwest, specifically Arizona, where it was located for nearly three decades. In early 2013, upon invitation from the University of Notre Dame, Segura relocated to South Bend, Indiana. Along with the move came a new name, Segura Arts Studio (formerly Segura Publishing Company), a fresh influx of talent, a light-filled and well-appointed workshop space, and an expanded mission to enhance interdisciplinary learning for students and foster relations between the University of Notre Dame and the local community.

The impetus to relocate was a result of Segura’s long-term involvement with Consejo Gráfico (Graphic Council), a group of Latino-centered print studios based at the Institute for Latino Studies, University of Notre Dame."  Sarah Kirk Hanley       

Hanley is an independent print specialist and critic based in the New York area. She is a contributor to the journal Art in Print, an adjunct instructor at NYU, and a consulting expert for several art appraisal services and online retailers.

The artworks in this exhibition reflect the profound social engagement of artists, such as Claudia Bernardi, Enrique Chagoya, Luis Jimenez, Sue Coe, and Faith Ringgold, who express concerns regarding abuse of power, culture wars, race, gender, and citizenship.

Now with a new generation of activist artists in the studio, this conversation continues. Providing artists access to a medium and a way to share their ideas with a diverse audience is central to the mission of the studio, as is the placement of this work in museums and collections where it will be seen by a wider audience and will continue to influence contemporary culture.

The studio was renamed the Segura Arts Studio with its acquisition by the University of Notre Dame in 2013. This brought the mission to the South Bend and Notre Dame communities.  The studio continues to invite activist artists, bringing their work to the community and emphasizing not only the importance of collaborative practice, but of activism and education.

Archives of the studio’s published works are housed at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in Scottsdale, Arizona (SMoCA) and at the Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame.

An exhibition brochure for this exhibition is available. A PDF is available upon request.

Originally published by Alexandra Schaufele at on August 16, 2016.