After 12 years, an era is coming to its end. As first reported in CAN Journal on Friday, Liz Maugans officially announced her plans to step down as the longtime Executive Director of Zygote Press, the region’s premier resource for printmaking and one of the region’s most accomplished and celebrated non-profit arts organizations. As stated in a press release on Monday, Maugans will remain in her role until a new executive director is announced.
“As a co-founder of Zygote Press and its devoted champion, this was a tough decision,” says Maugans. “However, this is right time for me to begin a new chapter. It has been an honor to be a part of building such a dynamic organization. I look forward to witnessing even greater accomplishments from Zygote Press in the future.”
A graduate of Kent State University, Maugans has previous served as an adjunct faculty member at Cleveland Institute of Art and Lorain Community College. Additionally, she has taught classes and workshops at BAYarts. Her artwork is included in many public and private collections, such as the Glidden House and the Progressive Corporate Art Collection; as well as the new downtown Westin Hotel.
Maugans also co-founded the Collective Arts Network (CAN) and its CAN Journal. CAN recently released its Summer 2017 issue, which featured a special article announcing Maugans’ plans to step down from her role at Zygote Press. Each season, CAN distributes 10,000 free, full-color copies to more than 200 venues throughout Cuyahoga County.
Maugans has been heavily involved with Slavic Village’s Rooms to Let project. In 2014, through Zygote Press, Maugans created the Fluxus Project, creating materials advocating arts’ impact, both socially and economically, at local, regional and national levels. These materials are directed towards individuals outside of the art community; including legislators, schools and business owners. In 2013, Maugans received a Creative Workforce Fellowship from Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC) and Cuyahoga Arts and Culture (CAC). The Ohio Arts Council has recognized her work with both an Artist and Communities Grant and an Individual Excellence Award. In 2012, the Cleveland Arts Prize was presented to Zygote Press.
Zygote Press was founded by four artists (Liz Maugans, Kelly Novak, Bellamy Printz and Joe Sroka) in 1995. Between their main space on E. 30th Street and satellite Ink House location in Waterloo, Zygote Press provides exhibition space, equipment, studio space and technical assistance to both resident artists and artist-members. Zygote also hosts numerous workshops for members of the community with any level of experience. Under Maugans’ leadership, the organization’s efforts include more than 300 exhibitions on site and off, 90 artist residencies, 80 festivals and public events and more than 1,000 tours for over 15,000 students in K-12 and secondary art classes.
As stated in the press release Zygote Press’ board will immediately begin a search for its new director. The board will also begin a new strategic plan, “evaluating its strengths within the community to ensure its future as a center for visual arts and artistic engagement.”
“Liz is truly one-of-a-kind,” says Morena Carter, president of Zygote Press’ Board of Directors. “Her intimate knowledge and her recognized expertise in the art of printmaking combined with her energy and passion have been invaluable to Zygote (Press). She co-founded the organization. She has worked tirelessly with the board and countless partners to shape it. We will miss her, but are excited for her. While it’s bittersweet, the board is energized by this opportunity to look forward as we search for the next executive director.”
Maugan’s latest efforts are on view at Zygote Press and beyond. This past Friday, a new exhibition of her artwork opened at Hedge Gallery as part of Third Fridays at 78th Street Studios. Too Much Information remains on view through July 7 at Hedge Gallery during regular hours: Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. or weekends and evenings by appointment. Free Style, an exhibition of abstract work by local artists curated by Maugans, is currently on view at Zygote Press through June 24 during regular hours: Wednesday and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. or by appointment.
In June, Zygote Press hosts Monothon, a 24-hour printmaking marathon from 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 17, until 10 a.m. on Friday, June 18. Tickets are $15 and include one drink. For $300 guests can sponsor a local artist, and receive the monoprint created by that artist. Confirmed artists include: Tom Balbo, Justin Brennan, John Carlson, Amy Casey, Dave Cintron, Michael Conti, Susan Danko, Hilary Gent, Dale Goode, Erin Guido, Kasumi, Eric Neff, Dana Oldfather, Scott Pickering, Dante Rodriguez, Darius Steward, Grace Summanen and Douglas Max Utter. For more information, visit Zygote Press’ website.