One of the first venues in the United States dedicated to the appreciation of limited edition prints, the Print Center has expanded its purview to include photography and ephemera. It was one of the core venues of Philagrafika's The Graphic Unconscious—a 2010 citywide festival of contemporary art in print. The Print Center has also curated projects in the public realm far beyond its walls, though most of its exhibitions are presented in its townhouse in Center City. Past exhibitions have featured the work of Mary Cassatt, Pablo Picasso, Dox Thrash, Jasper Johns, Ansel Adams, Art Spiegelman, and more recently Kara Walker, Jerry Uelsmann, John Coplans, Kerry James Marshall, Nancy Spero and Leon Golub, Ann Hamilton, Vera Lutter, Abelardo Morell, and Doug and Mike Starn. In 2014, with Center funding, the Print Center commissioned an ambitious and challenging exhibition of new work by New York-based Demetrius Oliver. In 2020, the Print Center received a Center Project grant for A Brand New End: Survival and Its Pictures, a solo exhibition of photo-based work by Carmen Winant that will reflect on historic and contemporary visual representations of women’s oppression, liberation, and self-expression.
Challenging the Print Center's daily regimen as well as its audience's expectations, New York-based Demetrius Oliver has puckishly conceived an exhibition that will tantalize through episodic visibility. Canicular consisted of a new live-feed video projections that draw from a high-power telescope aimed at Sirius (the brightest star in the night sky) and the constellation Canis Major, of which Sirius is a part. This projection was viewable in the Print Center's galleries only one hour per day. At the appointed time, a dog fur-covered sign on the building's façade illuminated, and a pre-recorded composition played by the artist on a dog whistle (and therefore inaudible to human ears) was broadcast. Additional events organized by the artist and the Print Center's Jensen Bryan Curator John Caperton were presented offsite, bringing together Oliver's interests in astronomy, music, and the visual arts, and keeping the show in the public eye outside of the regularly scheduled stargazing blackouts. After the exhibition closed, all this ephemeral activity found lasting form in two publications—the first monograph on the artist's work, and an accompanying artist's book.