Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Patrick Merrill Book Fund

Today we received this letter about our friend Patrick Merrill...
We cherish Patrick and his wife Debra's friendship.
They mean a lot to so many of us...
-Juan and Susie

Please read below the letter below, and feel free to pass this on to your friends.

By coagula | July 22, 2009 - 11:52 pm - Posted in Coagula ARCHIVES
Patrick Merrill artist printmaker 1994

Artist PATRICK MERRILL (center) guides his wife thru an extensive art exhibit (Downtown Lives) in November, 1994. Merrill is regarded as one of the great print makers in Southern California over the past 40 years. Here is LINK TO ONE of his recent major prints

"In all of Merrill’s work there is an urgency and a conviction. He is a master printer, a superb technician as well as a sophisticated and passionate artist who confronts the pleasures and pains of life in emotionally poignant works". -Jody Zellen

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

As some of you already know, but many don’t, Patrick Merrill has terminal colon cancer.

It is at stage 4 and is inoperable. He is currently undergoing chemotherapy, which will continue indefinitely. Although this is admittedly a very challenging time for Patrick and those close to him, a wonderfully positive idea for a fitting legacy has emerged. In an effort to realize that idea, we are writing to ask you to make a donation towards a book project we will describe below.

Both the chemo and the cancer bear down on Patrick and changes in his life are inescapable. He will be leaving Cal Poly in October, but will continue curating at the OT Gallery—a gallery dedicated to printmaking. He has already severely reduced the number of clients he accepts at his Fine Art Press. By the end of the year most, if not all, of his responsibilities will be eliminated and he will be able to go into his studio every day to make his own art, read and write about art, and work with artists he respects.

A few months back we were offered an incredible gift. Garland Kirkpatrick, an old friend and book designer, made a pro bono offer to design a book about Patrick’s art and practice. This concept evolved further when art historians Dr. Ruth Capelle, Dr. Joanna Roche, and Debra Winters, together with art critic Suvan Geer, stepped forward and offered to write major essays covering different aspects of Patrick’s work. Longtime friend and photographer, Rhead Lown, has offered--again pro bono--to document Patrick’s entire life’s artwork. Pat Bril, a librarian and a most insightful reader, will edit all the text for the book. Jade Jewett, a gifted painter and art professor, has generously undertaken the job of project manager, the one who keeps everything on track.

The essayists have started writing and we are still brainstorming some of the project, for example, we are considering for the dust jacket an original print, printed by letterpress. The style of the book will be somewhere between an artist’s book and an artist’s monograph. This book is a lifelong dream, and it addresses creatively and constructively Patrick’s angst that he and his art will disappear after he dies.

As you can see much of the expense of putting this project together has already been covered through generous donations of time and specialized labor by many people. However, two critical components still require funding: specific monumental prints need large scale digital scanning in order to reproduce effectively and, of course, printing costs must be addressed. We are estimating these two elements will total around $80,000. Half of that amount has already been promised. For the rest, we are seeking your help. However, we understand these are difficult financial times for many, and we ask only that you consider a contribution level with which you are comfortable. We are confident this collective endeavor will provide what is needed and plan to go into production by summer 2010. If we receive your donation by the end of this year, we can more efficiently plan the design of the book within the budget available.

Please make your donation to the “Pat Merrill Book Fund” at either of the following addresses, and please give us your contact information.

Send to either:

Debra Winters
1129 C Golden Springs Drive
Diamond Bar, CA 91765

*Or send directly to:

Pat Merrill Book Fund
Account #60130688401
c/o First Federal Bank of CA
Sunset Park Office
1750 Ocean Park Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90405

Your Name(s):
Telephone/ Cell Number:

*If you send your check directly to the bank please also send your contact information above to Debra’s email:

Please forward this email to the many people whose lives Patrick and Debra have touched. If you have any questions, please send emails to:

Debra –
Jade –
Any and all help is truly welcome.
Thank you in advance for your help,
The Pat Merrill Book Fund (PMBF) Project Team
Jade Jewett
Debra Winters
Suvan Gear

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