February 23, 2006

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Love and art in one location
College sweethearts building printing biz
By Kristin Brodeur news@hippopress.com

Walk into the Ceaser Fine Art Printing studio and a few things catch your eye.

The walls are filled with the photography of the studio’s founders, Sid Ceaser and Sara Prindiville. A large curtain on the left side of the room separates the computers and printing equipment from the rest of the space and, at the far right, several stuffed animals, such as Kermit the Frog, sit above the working area, ready to greet those who visit. A large, comfortable couch and two chairs fill the center of the studio, and there are CDs and books everywhere (but in a neat way). The whole feel is laid-back and comfortable, and it seems like a place that anyone would want to hang out in.

Ceaser and Prindiville, 30 and 27 respectively, started the business almost two years ago after graduating from the New Hampshire Institute of Art with a major in photography. They moved to their current studio last month, from a smaller one in the same building. The pair, who have been dating since they met in college, say that finding a studio was the hardest part of starting their business. When they graduated, a woman they knew helped them get set up with a studio but Ceaser realizes how difficult it can be for photographers to make good use of their art degrees. “Once you get out of an arts college, it’s really easy to just fall into the trap of, ‘alright, well, I’ll just find a day job.’ So I think the studio was the most important thing once we got out, because we needed a space.” Prindiville said, “We’re making art our top priority.”

With their business still in its building stages, Ceaser and Prindiville have had to rely on other part-time jobs to help pay their bills. Prindiville works at the Nashua Borders and, until recently, Ceaser worked with a design company. However, now that they have saved up some money, Ceaser is focusing his attention on his printing.

“It’s a lot of marketing right now,” Ceaser said. “We just have to get our name out there.”

Before graduating, Ceaser already had a portrait series of anime figures displayed at McGowan Fine Arts in Concord, where he is still represented today. For the past three years, Ceaser has also been selected to show his work at the AAF (Affordable Art Fair) in New York City, and last year had some of his pieces exhibited at the Hunterdon Museum in New Jersey. Prindiville is no stranger to the art world herself, and was recently one of three artists to win a Black and White Award from the Sharon Arts Center in Peterborough. The couple has also been sending their portfolios to galleries across the country, hoping for more representation, but so far they have been unsuccessful.

“You get a lot of rejection letters, which is disheartening,” Prindiville said, “but eventually it will all be worth it.”
Ever since he was young, Ceaser has striven to be an artist.

“I was that kid in the back of the room, always drawing everything,” he said, laughing.

Ceaser explained that his mother could never understand why he didn’t want to become an engineer or pursue some other “legitimate” career.

“I think a lot of people really don’t realize the amount of work that goes into photography, though,” he added. “Even now, when the gallery calls to say someone bought a piece of my work, my mom will be like, ‘What? Someone paid that for something you made?’”

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Prindiville, who only decided to pursue an art career while she was in college.

“I actually wanted to be a poet originally,” Prindiville said with a smile. “I was an English major, but I was kind of lost so my mom suggested that I take an art class.”

Prindiville thought it might be fun and agreed, and has been pursuing art ever since.

The fact that they are romantically involved has been anything but detrimental to their working relationship.

“It’s been good, because if a day’s been really stressful she’ll understand or tell me to go have a time out,” Ceaser said. “We haven’t really had any conflicts,”

Prindiville agreed, “and if I don’t know something, he usually does, or vice versa, so it’s worked very well.”

Both say that their biggest hope for their young business is to be able to help other artists with their printing.

“It would be nice to make a living helping other artists,” Ceaser said.

He went on to say that he knows some people who have to send their pictures out to places like Arizona in order to get their prints, and he hopes Ceaser Fine Art Printing will be able to help local artists “skip that unnecessary step.”

In addition to spreading the word about their business in southern New Hampshire, Ceaser and Prindiville have been busy with other art-related projects. Ceaser has an ongoing portrait series of anime figures that he is constantly updating by changing the lighting and movements of the figures, while Prindiville is starting to teach painting. She already has a few students lined up, but is still looking for more.

When asked about their influences, both artists agree that they draw inspiration from everyone and everything.
“I wouldn’t say I have one major influence,” said Ceaser, explaining that he takes little bits and pieces from everything he sees and stores it in his memory. Picking his favorite artist is an easier task, as he definitively answered that “multimedia artist Dave McKean constantly impresses me.”

Prindiville is currently planning an art sale to benefit the Nashua Soup Kitchen that will be held in early April.

“The artists will donate some of their pieces to sell in the studio, and the proceeds will go 50 percent to the artists and 50 percent to the Soup Kitchen, so everyone will benefit,” Prindiville said excitedly.

When thinking of the idea, Prindiville said she wanted to do something to help benefit the community, and because the Nashua Soup Kitchen is a local aid organization, it just “stuck out in my mind.” Prindiville hopes that because it will be spring, people will be out and about downtown and will stop by the art sale to see how it is.

“I think there’s a good amount of interest in art in southern New Hampshire, and the warmer weather should help out.”

Comments? Thoughts? Discuss this article and more at hippoflea.com

On display
Ceaser Fine Art Printing is located at 99 Factory Street Extension on the fourth floor in Nashua (note – not the same as Factory Street). For more information, check out www.sidceaserfineart.com/printing. If you want more information on Sid Ceaser’s personal photography, go to www.sidceaserfineart.com, and for more information on Sara Prindiville, go to www.saraprindiville.com.


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