The Accent Opaque Portfolio Exchange Takes an Unexpected Turn

If there’s one thing the Accent® Opaque team loves, it’s events. We love them because it’s our chance to meet all of you — the artists, designers and printers who use Accent to make your projects stand out. You’re the kind of people who care about the brightness and smoothness and opacity of your paper because you can see the difference in the results. You’re the kind of people who know that where your paper comes from and how it’s made matter. You’re our kind of people!

Last year’s HOW Design Live was barely over before we started dreaming up what we’d do in the Sylvamo booth at HOW Design Live 2020. Our idea for this year: an Accent Opaque Portfolio Exchange that would solicit art engaging with one unifying theme and would culminate in a gallery-style show at the event in May. 


We invited six artists, hand-picked for their unique perspectives and styles, to participate in the exchange, and each artist agreed to produce an edition of prints. At the end, every artist would walk away with a full limited-edition set (plus monetary compensation and premium Accent Opaque to use, of course!), and we’d reserve a set to display and give away at HOW Design Live. The exchange theme we chose is a concept that’s central to everything we do here at Sylvamo: sustainability. 


Of course, our world looks different today than it did when we hatched this plan. People across the country are practicing social distancing to protect themselves, their loved ones and their communities. Most spring and summer events have been cancelled or postponed, including HOW Design Live, which has been rescheduled to October.


The artists participating in the Accent Opaque Portfolio Exchange, however, were already at work on their contributions, art whose subject of sustainability feels more urgent than ever. The work that’s already been submitted to the exchange deals with questions like, “What nourishment do we take from our natural world?” and “What is our collective responsibility?” In a time when our interactions with others and many of our normal outdoor activities have been significantly curtailed, these questions take on even greater significance. 


One aim of the portfolio exchange was to provide a platform and space for a conversation about sustainability among this diverse group of artists, and that conversation is already ongoing. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll bring you interviews with these six amazing artists, as well as glimpses of the work they’ve created for the Accent Opaque Portfolio Exchange.


HOW Design Live 2020 may be postponed, but we still plan to show this work in a gallery one day so that you can linger before it and consider it in person. In the meantime, we’re proud to support new work by Max Mahn of Twin Home Prints, Fatherless Print Posse, Ryan Duggan of Paper Hat, Sarah Dudek, Joe Tallman and The Little Friends of Printmaking and we look forward to sharing more soon.