Thursday, December 08, 2011


On Saturday, December 3rd the Western New York Book Arts Center was graced with the joyful presence of Amos P. Kennedy Jr., an energetic and inspiring letterpress printer who works out of Gordo, Alabama. Amos is the subject of the acclaimed documentary Proceed and Be Bold, a film in which his life, work, and the concept of "The American Dream" are explored.

Amos visited WNYBAC to lead the final installment of our popular Analog Artist Showcase series, which consisted of eight free hands- on demonstrations/workshops lead by renowned book and print artists.

While leading participants through two hands-on demonstrations of letterpress printing, Amos discussed and displayed his distinct style and techniques. Those who attended had the rare opportunity to watch Amos set type and contribute to a collaboratively designed print.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Enterprise Charter School Students Visit WNYBAC

On November 15th and 18th, sixth grade Social Studies students from Enterprise Charter School visited WNYBAC to learn about the history of letterpress printing and to create their own prints.

The students were guided through a brief tour of our gallery and museum before they were introduced to the printing studio. Studio Director, Chris Fritton, and Executive Director, Rich Kegler, led an interesting discussion based on the history of letterpress printing and the types of prints we make here at WNYBAC.

Before the students created their own prints, Chris and Rich explained the necessary steps to put together a form, basic press operations, and safety guidelines. Each student successfully completed a two-color print of the Ken Burns quote: “History isn’t really about the past…It’s about defining the present and who we are.”

WNYBAC looks forward to future fieldtrips with the lively and respectful students of Enterprise Charter School!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Art Conservation Students Visit WNYBAC

On Monday, October 24th, first year graduate students from Buffalo State's Art Conservation Program visited WNYBAC to get an introduction to letterpress printing. They printed a quote handset in metal and wood type onto paper they had made by hand. The students chose to print a quote by Caroline K. Keck (the founder of the Art Conservation program at Buffalo State) that is relevant to their program: "They will know how to use their hands, and not just talk about what should be done, damn it." It was taken from correspondence between Georgia O'Keeffe and Keck, circa 1970.

WNYBAC will be forging a stronger relationship with the ArtCon department in the coming years, because an integral part of conservation is re-construction, and the key to accurate re-construction is knowing how an object was constructed. By bringing students in and teaching them how to print, they garner a clearer understanding of how many of the books and documents they are charged with preserving were originally made.

Thanks to Professor Judith Walsh for her help in organizing this outing, and thanks to all the students for making it fun and engaging.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

WNYBAC and Buffalo Public Schools

WNYBAC has been participating in a brand new afterschool program conceived by the Buffalo Public Schools Art Education Department called "heARTS". The students come voluntarily from all across Buffalo and meet at the School of Visual and Performing Arts. WNYBAC is part of the pilot program which also includes dance and playwriting. Our curriculum focuses on papermaking, bookmaking, and printmaking. WNYBAC’s Chris Fritton has been making bi-weekly trips to the School of Visual and Performing Arts bringing materials, insight, and new art concepts to the students involved in this program.


Paper Making:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Buffalo Architecture Prints at WNYBAC

Buffalo, NY is home to some of the greatest American architecture of the late 19th and early 20th century. There are constant reminders of this fact, especially in downtown, and here at WNYBAC we are surrounded on all sides by the remnants of our city's great and impressive past.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation conference is being held this week in Buffalo, celebrating all of the extraordinary architecture that the city has to offer and expressing the need to preserve important landmarks. Coincidentally, over the past year Chris Fritton and Rich Kegler from WNYBAC have been working hard creating beautiful prints reflecting our city's most impressive architectural successes. These 2-dimensional homages to local landmarks reflect not only Buffalo's attention to preserving its buildings, but also its intention to preserve its printing legacy as well.

WNYBAC uses vintage metal and wood type, printers' ornaments, and decorative cuts to create these prints. Each print is 3 or more colors and measures 11" x 17". Occasionally the backs of printing blocks are used to achieve textures and unexpected results from found materials. The pieces are arranged in a press to illustrate a stylized version of each building with proportions and sympathetic colors. Each print is hand-printed on a variety of papers (some etching papers, some fine cover stock papers) in a limited edition from a unique series of forms. Each print is signed and numbered. They are priced at $40.00 each. Special limited editions are available in our shop at WNYBAC, and as always, online at our Etsy shop.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Books and Ritual: Works by Hyeyoung Shin

The (FREE!) opening reception for
Books and Ritual: Works by Hyeyoung Shin
is this Friday, October 14th from 6-9pm at WNYBAC!
Refreshments, a cash bar,
and a good time will be provided

This show will feature works by Korean printmaker, book artist, and installation artist Hyeyoung Shin. The exhibit will consist of recent works including artist's books, paper sculpture, drawings, and prints. Shin aims to create a structural and ambiguous space through which viewers are invited to recall and create memories within the space of her art. Shin works with the medium of books and paper due to their ability to hold and share experiences and memories, with the ultimate goal of creating a human relationship between the artist and the viewer. The themes of bottles and fish are recurring throughout her work; the bottle, according to Shin, represents the body, and the fish act as a metaphor for the chaotic yet graceful way in which emotions and memories shift and change.

The works featured in this exhibit will showcase Shin's careful attention to detail and process, as well as the wide range and great depth of her work as a book artist and printmaker.

This show will be on view from October 14th through December 10, 2011

Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday 12-6pm

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Type Truck at WNYBAC

Tomorrow evening from 6-8pm we will have the pleasure of hosting a visit from Kyle Durrie of Power and Light Press and her Type Truck! As part of her nearly year-long Moveable Type project that will bring her across the US, Kyle will open her mobile printing studio to the public outside the Book Arts Center on September 15.

Read more about Kyle's journeys on her blog,, and stop by for a tour and a chance to pull a print between 6 and 8pm!

Don't forget your appetite - Lloyd Taco Truck will be outside WNYBAC selling their delicious tacos, etc. throughout the event!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Fall Interns Needed! Apply now...

WNYBAC is looking for Fall interns; this is the perfect real-world learning opportunity comm design, printmaking, library science, museum studies, arts management, art conservation, and education students. Blind obedience a must. Willingness to get dirty a plus. No, to be honest, it's required.

Come learn letterpress, analog arts, and how things work in the real world! Contact for more information.

Friday, July 22, 2011

THANK YOU ERNST PRINTING! More Adventures in Wood Type

Our wood type acquisition has progressed nicely, but we wanted to update the public and highlight one particular contributor: Ernst Printing. Ernst Printing is located in Buffalo, and it is currently run by Dick Ernst; the shop has been open close to 40 years. We acquired our Vandercook 219 from Ernst, and when we went looking for wood type, Dick was nice enough to oblige. In total, we obtained 22 drawers of type from Ernst, varying in size from 72-line to 6-line, split about 50/50 between gothics and romans.

Dick is a union printer, and he takes in very few jobs now - mostly raffle tickets and other numbered forms. His shop has two Kluges, a Heidelberg, a couple offset presses, a gas-powered Ludlow machine, and a huge paper shear. Walking into the shop gives you a great feeling; it's very open, things are neat and clean, and Dick is welcoming and friendly. We are really happy we had this opportunity to engage with him again, and to continue the legacy of Ernst Printing through WNYBAC!

Check below for pictures of the shop and some of the wood type.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Richard Tuttle::8 Poems

We've been waiting a while to make this announcement, but now that the project is underway, we're happy to reveal: Mohawk Press is designing and printing a book for American artist Richard Tuttle! Richard paid us a visit a few months ago (at the behest of State University of New York at Buffalo Art Galleries) and intimated that he'd be interested in having us produce a book for a short series of poems he'd been working on. A few weeks later, we received a hand-written letter and a small maquette to use as a model. Since then, Richard Kegler and Chris Fritton have been hard at work designing, corresponding, and finalizing the details of this unique project.

Tuttle was visiting Buffalo as part of a larger project curated by UB Art Galleries Center for the Arts; Artpark: 1974-1984 was a retrospective look at a local artspace and cultural phenomenon. Tuttle chose a three-pronged approach to celebrate the 40th anniversary of a sculptural work he'd created for Artpark (that was almost immediately vandalized): he made a series of smaller sculptures that were placed around Western New York, produced a newspaper documenting this distribution called the Artpark Sun, and finally, commissioned this handmade book of poems from WNYBAC.

We'll reveal more about the book as it progresses, but here are some of the specs: the final book will measure a mere 3.5" x 5.5"; it will feature an inside cover and inside back cover made of handmade pigmented paper cast from wood blocks cut by Tuttle; it will have 8 pages, entirely letterpressed, each featuring a single poem and a portion of a "continuous line" that undulates throughout the book; it will be hand-sewn and bound in an edition of 200. The book has been made possible by Sandra Firmin and Robert Scalise's tireless liaising, as well as private funding secured through UB Art Galleries. This the first collaboration between WNYBAC and UB Art Galleries.

See photos of mock ups, pieces in progress, presswork, and read a further description below!

More on the continuous line: the book itself is an exploration of the line as object, the line as concept, the line as boundary, and the line as path. The line, as object, is fundamental for the delineation of all things spatial - it is the crux of dimensionality. The line as concept is infinitely variable, and infinitely employable. The line as concept is strong enough to subsume almost all definitions/descriptions, even those so abstract that they always appear to be analogies (i.e. time, love, justice, truth) The line as boundary denotes a transitional space, but if the line has body or weight, it acts as an apron, or entrance into this other space, or contrarily, an obstacle. It can be an invitation, an inclination, or an obstruction. The line as path is akin to the final cause, that string which pulls but has no capacity to push, that which leads but only does so because it possesses an inherent quality of continuity.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Kickstarter Ending!!!

This is it - 18 hours left in our Kickstarter campaign to save wood type. We are grateful to everyone who already donated, and we wanted to let you know that when we put out the call,
some wood type was donated as well! So before we use our funds to acquire new wood type and print some amazing specimen sheets, we've already been integrated those donations into our collection. We'll be making specimen sheets with these typefaces as well, and those will go out to our Kickstarter backs too...just to give you a little taste, here are some photos of these early arrivals :-)
There's still a chance to get in on this opportunity!!! Donate now!