Catherine D. Anspon
May 01, 2012

Keys to the Door: Owner/master printer Darin Forehand.

What’s on the Press: This modest one-storage building in the Heights looks like it’s home to a junk shop. But the unprepossessing structure on Lawrence Street — blocks from the former world HQ of the Art Guys and neighboring a cache of slick new Victorian-style town homes — is one of the best boutique presses in Texas. At the helm of Forehandpress, master printer and owner Darin Forehand runs an early ‘60s Griffin litho press that hails from the famed Graphicstudio in Florida and “probably saw some Rauschenbergs come off it,” he says. Armed with BA and MFA degrees in printing from, respectively, Florida State University and Ohio State University, Forehand moved to Houston three years ago to set up his own atelier. His background includes printing endeavors at the renowned Akasha Press in Minneapolis, Watanabe Studio Ltd. in Brooklyn and Printmaking Workshop in NYC, where he worked with the late Robert Blackburn, a personal hero whose photo hangs prominently in the studio. Artists for whom he has created prints include Donald Sultan, Robert Mangold, Sam Gilliam and Red Grooms. Forehand’s recent stint teaching graphics at Texas A&M in Kingsville led him to explore additional printing endeavors in Oaxaca. After five years in South Texas, he sought a larger art nexus, and Houston won out over Dallas or L.A. His goal to achieve “the mutual joy in collaboration as the unseen emerges” has led him to print-making projects with Texas’ best, including Hana Hillerova, David McGee, Tierney Malone and David Aylsworth, whose buoyant new lithograph was in process on the day of our visit and will be unveiled this month at the painter’s Inman Gallery opening. Forehandpress is currently by appointment only, but Forehand is contemplating a studio open house, come fall. 2515 Lawrence St., 713.922.6872;

IMAGE: Darin Forehand