CU Art Museum kicks off fundraising campaign to acquire Sharkive print collection

Published: May 16, 2016

The CU Art Museum (CUAM) at the University of Colorado Boulder has kicked off an initiative to raise $2 million to purchase and manage the Sharkive, a distinguished collection comprising 40 years of printmaking collaborations between renowned artists and Shark’s Ink of Lyons, Colorado.

“We are excited to announce that the Bebe & Crosby Kemper Foundation has committed $750,000 toward the acquisition of the collection,” said Walter Dietrich, member and former chairman of the CU Art Museum Advisory Board.

A campaign is underway to raise the remaining $1.25 million in private funds needed to purchase and endow its management in perpetuity. Dietrich and his wife, Sheila Kemper Dietrich, are spearheading the effort.

“The Sharkive is a treasure for our entire community,” the Dietrichs said in a statement. “It embodies the strength and vitality of the arts today. In order for this extensive and comprehensive collection to be housed at the CU Art Museum, this effort needs the support of all of us to make it happen.”

In 1976, master printer Bud Shark and his wife, Barbara, opened Shark’s Lithography in downtown Boulder as a creative destination where more than 160 artists from the United States and Europe collaborated and inspired each other in printmaking. The couple relocated the studio to Lyons and renamed it Shark’s Ink in the late 1990s.

Notable artists who have worked with the studio include John Buck, Enrique Chagoya, Red Grooms, Jane Hammond, Robert Kushner, Hung Liu and Betty Woodman. Prints made in collaboration with Shark’s Ink are in numerous private and public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City; the Library of Congress and Smithsonian in Washington, DC; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City; and many others.

“The archive is extremely important to Barbara and me,” Bud Shark said. “It will be wonderful to have the Sharkive preserved at the CUAM where it will stay in Colorado and be accessible to students, scholars and anyone who is interested in the printing process.”

CU Art Museum Director Sandra Firmin said the museum will be a natural steward of the Sharkive collection because of its already rich collection of prints that spans the 16th century to today. The Sharkive, which will be maintained by the museum once it is acquired, covers the printmaking process from beginning to end, including over 700 signed limited-edition prints and more than 2,000 related materials including artist studies, trial proofs, unique proofs with paper alternatives and artist and printer's notes and correspondence.

The collection provides a rare view on the artistic process of the Sharks’ collaborations and the business enterprise behind it.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the CU Art Museum,” Firmin said. “Prints are frequently used in teaching by CU faculty, and the artists are interested in subject matter that will encourage interdisciplinary conversations. We anticipate that the addition of printed materials from the Sharkive will enrich our ability to represent significant moments in print history through exhibitions, teaching and research.” 

To donate and learn more, visit this CU Advancement website.

To watch a video about the collection, visit the University of Colorado Advancement YouTube channel.

About the CU Art Museum

With a collection of more than 8,500 objects spanning 10,000 years of human history, the Art Museum at the University of Colorado Boulder strives to be a generator and incubator of artistic inquiry and programs engaging students, the broader campus community, and the public. Housed within the College of Arts & Sciences, the museum’s mission is to promote greater understanding of art and societal issues within a global and historical context.

Contact:
Sandra Q. Firmin, CU Art Museum, (O) 303-492-8003 (M) 917-940-0560
sandra.firmin@colorado.edu
Julie Poppen, CU-Boulder media relations, (O) 303-492-4007 (M) 720-503-4922
julie.poppen@colorado.edu

Hung Liu (Chinese b. 1948), The Martyr, 2001, lithograph and collage

Hung Liu (Chinese b. 1948), The Martyr, 2001, lithograph and collage, gift of the Artist and Shark’s Ink., CU Art Museum, University of Colorado Boulder , Gift of Polly and Mark Addison to the Polly and Mark Addison Collection, 2003.29

“The Sharkive is a treasure for our entire community,” said Walter Dietrich and Sheila Kemper Dietrich, who are spearheading the fundraising effort. “It embodies the strength and vitality of the arts today. In order for this extensive and comprehensive collection to be housed at the CU Art Museum, this effort needs the support of all of us to make it happen.”