Joseph Segura is a dedicated collaborative artist and educator. In the course of obtaining his MFA degree in Painting and Drawing from Southern Illinois University, he became conscious of a separation between the various art disciplines. His enthusiasm for learning led him to create opportunities to explore other mediums, including design and printmaking. Upon receiving his degree, Joe was accepted into the prestigious Master Printer program at the Tamarind Institute in New Mexico. While working on his certification he learned about the value of the collaborative process between printer and artist.
In September of 1979 Joe was hired as the Master Printer for Arizona State University’s Print Research Facility. This extraordinary unit brought contemporary artists to the University to create works in a collaborative environment with the PRF staff, students, and faculty. The program emphasized research and cooperative exploration in printmaking and photography, two fields that share a rich history of collaboration. The technical aspects of the work intrigued Segura, but he was motivated by the relationships he was developing with other artists.
Segura has always been drawn to the work of marginalized artists. Recognizing a void in the market, he created Segura Publishing Company in 1981, a place that would provide creative opportunities for underrepresented and minority artists. The company’s mission statement reflects its commitment to focus on “ three areas of artistic endeavor: print processes which further the creative possibilities for photographers and conceptual artists using photography; work by minority artists exploring issues related to self-identification; and work that dispels outdated and culturally biased beliefs about life in the United States.”
For over thirty years Joe Segura has collaborated with dozens of artists including: Luis Jimenez, Claudia Bernardi, Enrique Chagoya, Faith Ringgold, James Turrell, William Wegman, Luis Cruz Azaceta, Vik Muniz, and Luis Gonzalez Palma. These collaborative projects range from traditional stone lithography, to photogravure, collotype, wet-plate collodion, and documentary films. He has dedicated his life to collaborative learning, art making, and teaching and in the process established access points into the traditionally homogeneous art world for artists and students to build diverse dialogues.
Photo: Sue Coe. La Frontera,1997.