In 2001, Sean Caulfield, a member of the University of Alberta’s Department of Art and Design, was appointed the Canada Research Chair (CRC) of Printmaking, becoming the only CRC in fine arts. Caulfield’s appointment is a coup for the University of Alberta and a boon for printmaking in Canada. For his part, Caulfield is proud to be joining the strong team already in place, and he revels in future challenges. “So much hard work has been invested over the years to create the department’s international profile,” he says. “While I realize that I’m going to have to take it in new directions, I can’t yet say where that will be.
The Printmaking area of the Department of Art and Design has achieved an international reputation as one of the outstanding places in North America to study graphic art. This reputation is based not only on recognition of the creative work of the Printmaking faculty members and their graduate students, but also on the state-of-the-art technical facilities that support their research and creative work.
Three faculty members each received a Canada Council Senior Artist Grant, the most prestigious award for artists in Canada. A fourth faculty member, Sean Caulfield, who won the grand prize in an international Grand Prix exhibition in Japan in 1995, was awarded a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Printmaking in 2001; in 2006, Caulfield had his Chair renewed for a second term.
The creative work of faculty and staff is reviewed in national and international publications. Europe's top magazine on printmaking regularly includes in-depth reviews of the work of Printmaking faculty and graduates. The Visiting Artists program encourages interaction between internationally recognized artists and students and faculty. As well, a special international link has been created with the appointment as adjunct professor of one of Japan's most renowned printmakers. This has established a formal link with Musashino Art University, the prestigious university in Tokyo whose printmaking department he heads.