This Friday from 6-9 pm is the opening for my exhibit at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center. The show will be up until December 7th so if you happen to be in the area please stop in to have a look.
In addition to the books that I’ve created or designed over the past two decades there will be a fair sampling of my intaglio and relief artwork framed and hung on the walls. I’m also putting some of the better work produced by my apprentices and collaborators here in the studio. Not so much of the commercial or commissioned work and none of the social garbage I was forced to do to feed myself and family in the early dark years of being letterpress when letterpress wasn’t cool.
I am including some of the early book work and design stuff that I now consider pure “junk”. But it’s honest. None of us (or precious few) start out doing spectacular work and it’s never easy to admit we were once so daft as to think we did. I put in the junk because this particular venue is also a teaching environment and hopefully it will be inspiring for those just getting started on their path into the black arts to see the evolution of someone else’s path. Maybe see the processing of ideas and skills from dreck to my present understanding of what it is.
On Saturday I’m teaching a small workshop during the day at KBAC where we’ll be printing beer coasters. I know, real highbrow stuff, but also very useful for the staff and student community. Back in 2009 I sold the center a platen press which hasn’t got much use, mostly because it’s very intimidating and has the potential to smash body parts if you don’t know what you’re doing. Beer coasters are nice and thick and are easy to pick up and feed into the press – perfect for learning on a platen. As a bonus, who wouldn’t want to have their own custom coaster for the upcoming holiday season?
This Friday is also Art Hop in Kalamazoo so the town will be buzzing with studio visits and gallery doors being open later into the night. Some of my favorite printmakers are in town such as Mary Brodbeck and Ladislav Hanka – both do amazing work and I’m looking forward to seeing the new stuff and visiting over the weekend.
I’m staying through to Monday to give a studio interview with Rebecca Theile at WMUK, the local NPR affiliate college radio station. I’ll post info about airing dates and availability of an online stream once I know.