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Meet David Manje of Arroyo Press Studio in North East Mesa

Today we’d like to introduce you to David Manje.

David, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Having earned a B.F.A. in Printmaking from A.S.U., my need to continue to create and evolve my artwork required a specific space in which to work in. Unlike some disciplines in art, printmaking requires certain equipment. So I set out to accomplish a goal to build and supply and printmaking studio. Arroyo Press Studio was built and founded in 1989. In mid-1980 I was hired by the Mesa Arts Center where I developed and chaired the drawing, painting, and printmaking program. The new MAC facility opened in 2007 where I designed the drawing, painting, and printmaking studios. I retired from the MAC after 33 years. During the interim of teaching and coordinating the MAC programs, I gradually and consistently continued to work on my personal artwork in the Arroyo Press Studio. During the apex of my studio work, I was represented by galleries in AZ, Ca, WY, and IL. Currently I share Arroyo Press Studio with my wife who is a painter and where I continue to produce artwork.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I would like to say it was smooth sailing but unfortunately like many I ran into financial difficulties but I continued overcome. Probably the most difficult periods of my journey have come from health issues. Today, I am a multiple cancer survivor.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Arroyo Press Studio – what should we know?
Arroyo Press Studio is an artist printmaker studio. Unlike some printmaking facilities where a master printer will produce artwork for other artist in terms of printed editions, I do not. I focus on my own artwork and produce my own prints, hence the difference between master printer maker and master artist printmaker. Have I ever produced prints for another artist? Yes, but producing artwork for other artist is a low priority. Today, I am specializing in “evolved form” of the monotype where I introduce and implement different printing processes in one monotype. One of my strongest influences comes from Robert Raushenburg, a prolific artist printmaker from the 60’s and 70’s. I think my prided of the studio lies in that it has survived the test of time and many moves.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
It’s been pretty much of a solo flight all these years but the frosting-on-the-cake was marrying Susan a decade ago with whom I can now share the many hours of solitude one must endure while producing artwork.

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