Print Council of Australia (PCA)

The PCA is committed to promoting prints and printmaking in Australia through exhibitions, the publication of its periodical Imprint, the commissioning of works for distribution to members and the education of a wider audience through its website and other supporting activities.

Imprint is one of the oldest Australian art periodical publications, the first issue being published in 1966. Now a full-colour quarterly magazine it provides news and information relating to prints, book arts and works produced on paper in Australia and the region. Since the 1980s, articles relating to all Australian states have been incorporated. There have been important thematic issues such as those devoted to Australian Aboriginal prints, 1986 (a ground-breaking issue), Book arts, 2011, and New Technologies and Alternative Media, 2013.

In 1986 Roger Butler compiled an index to Imprint 1966-1986 (now incorporated into printsandprintmaking). Further indexes covering the period 1986-1991 (by Janet Neilson) and 1992-2003 (by Jane Oliver) were published by the PCA in 2001 and 2005 respectively.

Since its establishment the PCA has pursued a vigorous exhibition programme, both within Australia and overseas. The student exhibitions which began in 1967 were a great incentive for younger artists, while the technique based exhibitions, such as Australian Screenprints (1982) and Prints as Object (1985) highlighted changing approaches to print production. Ground breaking exhibitions include the Western Pacific Print Biennale (1976) and Aboriginal Australian Views in Print and Poster (1987) this latter exhibition being the first comprehensive exposition of prints produced by Aboriginal artists.  An index of the PCA exhibitions 1966 - 1988 was compiled by John Russell in 1988.

The commissioning of prints by Australian artists for distributions to PCA patrons and members began in 1967 and since then some 380 editions by hundreds of artists have been distributed. This programme has encouraged and supported many younger artists and has also acted as a starting point for many regional print collections. The PCA archive of commissioned prints was acquired by the State Library of Victoria in 2011.

The papers of the Print Council of Australia (1966-2000) are held by the National Gallery of Australia as part of its Archives of Australian Prints and Printmaking. This Archive also holds the papers of Grahame King, one of the founding members of the Council; Thea Exley its first secretary and Roger Butler, editor of Imprint 1987-90 and President of the PCA 1986-90.