For almost seven years now, hand-screen-printed posters advertising for local bands and events have been gaining recognition in Taos. At any given moment, there are people monitoring the poster board at Cid’s and the windows at World Cup, searching for another one of those posters to add to their collection.
They are looking for the work of Sarah Hart, owner of Hart Print Shop. She maintains the art of hand-pulling screens, and has produced posters, T-shirts and even beer-koozies for hundreds of shows and events. Hart Print Shop was started in 2009, after Hart returned to Taos from Chicago to carry out her and her late-boyfriend KC Haywood’s dream of starting a print shop.
Hart’s unique and artistic posters were first created for local band and old friends, Two Ton Strap. Often only using two colors of ink and always less than four, she creates funny, creative, and incredibly beautiful work. They are most often printed on the backside of recycled beer cartons and will usually feature personified animals and meticulous hand-drawn fonts. Posters and t-shirts from Hart Print Shop bring to the long-standing legacy of printmaking a fun and exciting new face.
In 2013, Hart opened a small gallery along with several other local artists. Called Ennui Gallery, it is currently located on Bent Street. The name, in French, simply means “existential boredom” and stems from the work of the artist Edward Gorey (“N is for NEVILLE who died of Ennui”). Hart and her fellow-gallery owners felt that it was suiting, as they believe that out of boredom, creativity blossoms.
At Ennui, Hart has been able to display her paintings and drawings alongside her favorite posters and t-shirts. The gallery has also allowed Hart to print her own poster designs, such as the Taos Tourism series, and still make a profit. One poster currently hanging depicts the small mechanical horse on the northwest end of the plaza — it is a Taos icon every person has a story about, and Hart captures the spirit beautifully.
After all this great work, it is time for Hart to get a new press. The old one has survived seven years of almost constant use and is being held together by bungee cords. A new press is a huge investment, and to continue offering reasonable prices for t-shirts and design work, Hart is asking the Taos community to come out and support her. Two local bands, Two Ton Strap and Art of Flying, are playing The Hart Print Shop New Press Fundraiser Show on Saturday, November 7th, at 6 PM, at the Taos Alehouse. There will be seven years of posters on display and as well as some for sale. Donations will be accepted and there will be a special-event t-shirt available for purchase. All proceeds will go to the new press fund. There will be great beer, food, live music and plenty of artwork!
Come and support this wonderful local artist!