The Art of Letterpress (February 11th-March 25th, 2012)

The Art of LetterPress

(February 11th-March 25th, 2012)

Opening Reception: Saturday, February 11th, 6-9pm
Closing Tea: Sunday, March 25th, 3-6pm

Featuring work by: Lisa Berman, Matt Chase, Tim Fite, Rachel Foster, Vanessa Huang, Jemmy Joe, Claire Kessler-Bradner, Bryan Kring,  Mary Laird,  Studio Lorzig, Amos Paul Kennedy Jr., Rebecca Peters, Lisa Rappoport,  Two Fine Chaps, and more.

Co-curated with Rebecca Peters

The Compound Gallery in Oakland, CA is pleased to present The Art of Letterpress, an exhibition celebrating the bygone era of letterpress printing.  A visual panegyric in honor of this distinctive form of artistry, The Art of Letterpress features some of the finest letterpress artists in the Bay Area and beyond.  Today, we text, email, and print at the touch of a button, making it easy to forget how labor intensive it was to simply make a sentence and reproduce it multiple times.  In an increasing digital age, people long for something that is tangible and tactile—analog. The characteristic texture, ink, and surface of letterpressed text declares it an antiquated champion of typography.

Typography was once used to express both language and visual imagery, and the process involved in producing prints involved both craft and artistry. This exhibition features the work of artists who work in letterpress using both traditional type setting and modern polymer and magnesium plates, and was co-curated with exceptional Bay Area letterpress artist, Rebecca Peters.  Although the Bay Area is home to a lively, active scene, which promotes the revival of letterpress printing, letterpress printing is often overlooked as a form of fine art.

Renowned letterpress artist Amos Paul Kennedy Jr. lives and works in Alabama and is known for his bold, boundry pushing prints.  Kennedy has been commissioned by CB2 to create a series of limited edition letterpress prints for Gay Pride Month, and he is the feature of a recent documentary titled Proceed and Be Bold!  (Screening at The Compound on March 22nd at 9pm) Lisa Rappoport is a Bay Area artist who publishes poetry broadsides and artists’ books and has produced a series of broadsides by the poets who teach at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers; she has also printed poetry broadsides for Lawrence Ferlinghetti and City Lights Books, Lyric Poetry Review, and many others. Tim Fite is a Brooklyn artist best known for his original music.  Esquire Magazine called him, “one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most subversive renaissance men,” but he is also an amazing visual artist. His letterpress printed linocuts are playful, telling images of love and strife.  In addition to a display of various letterpress prints, bins of small prints, books, and broadsides, this exhibition will feature timeworn letterpress paraphernalia, ephemera, equipment, and more.



Saturday, April 28, 2012 1-5pm

$75 per person. No prior experience necessary. You’ll be walked through the basics of hand-setting type as we make awesome postcards that you’ll be able to take home. We’ll also be printing from a photopolymer plate. You’ll get some hands-on experience in feeding the press, but this will mainly be instructional. There will likely be a future class, where those of you who have taken this one can come in and set up your own type to print.

-Price of workshop INCLUDES material fee.
-Each student will also be able to take home 10 letterpress cards made in class.
-No previous experience is needed.
-Delicious Numi Tea and light snacks will be provided.



Saturday, April 7th, 1-6pm

$90 per person. Class size is limited to 6, so please register early to get a spot. Class is taught by the fabulous Rebecca Peters. No previous letterpress experience necessary. Learn basic wood and metal type setting using large type and print a 12″x18″ poster to keep. Some block images available as well. Come with a phrase, text, or saying in mind and design your own poster on the Vandercook 14 & 5 hand proof presses.

-Price of workshop INCLUDES material fee.
-Each student will also be able to take home at least one 12″x18″ poster print. Students will print at least 6 prints and exchange so everyone comes home with multiple prints.
-Come with a phrase in mind to print.
-No previous experience is needed.
-Delicious Numi Tea and light snacks will be provided.

proceed and be bold  Movie Screening

Free Screening for our Art Movie Night on Thursday, March 22nd 2012, 9pm

At 40 years of age, Amos Paul Kennedy Jr. abandoned the traditional American Dream to follow his own. Unsatisfied with his comfortable, middle-class life, Amos traded in his computer for a printing press and his white collar for a pair of overalls. Armed with life, liberty, peanuts, and a meager yearly income of $7,000, Amos cranked out a new, mutinous declaration of independence.

Proceed and Be Bold! joins Amos for a titillating retelling of his story, while examining the pretensions and provisions of the art world. The work of this self-proclaimed “Humble Negro Printer” raises emotionally-charged questions and reveals remarkable depth beneath the bold print. By learning the rules and then choosing to break them, Amos redefines what life (and letterpress printing) can be: exhilarating and subversive.

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