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[BKARTS] Letterpress Workshop at South Florida's Jaffe Center for Book Arts

at Florida Atlantic University's Wimberly Library

* * * * *

Book Arts & Letterpress Folks:

We're pleased to announce our first workshop in letterpress printing at JCBA... this is a major milestone for us! And we're diving right in with one that we are particularly passionate about, related to our upcoming library-wide exhibition that opens early in May:

Mutanabbi Street Starts Here
with instructor John Cutrone

Five Sessions: June 4 to June 25, plus July 30, 2008
(Wednesday Evenings) 6pm to 9pm
Jaffe Center for Book Arts
Letterpress Studio 351H
Plan on studio time outside of class, as well.
$225 general public / $155 FAU faculty & staff / $105 FAU students

On March 5, 2007, a car bomb was detonated on Mutanabbi Street, the centuries-old center of bookselling in Baghdad. In an attempt to bring something positive out of the destruction, a group of some 40 letterpress printers around the world gathered to create the Mutanabbi Street Coalition. The Coalition’s goal was to respond to the tragedy with positive creativity: by printing broadsides featuring the work of Iraqi poets and supporting Doctors Without Borders––a non-profit agency working to relieve suffering in Iraq and in other troubled areas of the world––through the sales of these broadsides.

FAU has partnered with the Mutanabbi Street Coalition to exhibit and digitize the original collection of Mutanabbi Street broadsides, which will soon be available for viewing worldwide on the Internet at the FAU Libraries website. Meanwhile, the exhibition, here at the Wimberly Library and the Jaffe Center for Book Arts, is slated to begin on May 6.

A new goal of the Mutanabbi Street Coalition is to increase the number of broadsides from the original 42 to about 130, which is a number that represents an approximation of the total number of dead and wounded on Mutanabbi Street the day of the attack.

In this class, participants will each produce a Mutanabbi Street broadside to be added to this historic archive. (A broadside, by the way, is a single sheet printing.) You may work with your own material, or with the Mutanabbi Street inspired work of poets that the Coalition has gathered. In the process, participants will learn to design on the Macintosh and print from photopolymer plates, using the Boxcar Base grid system, as well as from traditional wood type. Each student will create an edition of 11 broadsides for the Mutanabbi Street Coalition, as well as enough for a class exchange and one that will be added to the Jaffe Collection, and also a few copies for the poet you work with. A larger edition is perfectly acceptable, too.

Note that we will not be exposing and making our own photopolymer plates in this class; we will be sending our plate images directly to Boxcar Press for this step. But the design and printing is completely your work to do. Experience with Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop is highly recommended (we’ll be using the CS3 version of both programs), but not necessary (plan to put in some extra time if you are not familiar with these programs).

All levels. No print experience necessary. Class limit: 8, plus studio assistant. Note that the class selection process will not be a First Come First Served one; rather, we want to hear a short statement as to why participation in this project would be important to you. We will select the class participants based on these statements.

Participants are responsible for their own paper and plate expenses (expect to spend $100 to $150 on materials... your printing plates will cost no more than $100 (and perhaps considerably less) and paper expense will depend on your choice of paper). A parking permit fee of $17 also applies for participants who do not have a regular FAU parking permit.

Simply send me an email [ jcutrone@xxxxxxx ] telling me that you are interested, and give me a short statement as to why participating in this historic project is important to you. As I mentioned above, we will be selecting the class members based on these statements. We would appreciate having your statement by Monday, May 19.

One work study scholarship is available to a currently-enrolled FAU student, who will take the role of studio assistant to the instructor. The scholarship student will pay no tuition, but will be responsible for the cost of his or her own printing plates and paper. In exchange for this opportunity, the scholarship student will be expected to provide assistance as needed to the instructor (but I promise the burden will be light). To apply, simply let me know in your email application that you are interested in the scholarship. We will follow up with an additional question or two for you to answer. Again, we'd appreciate hearing from you by Monday, May 19.

John Cutrone is a letterpress printer and bookbinder. Together with his partner Seth Thompson, he creates limited edition books and broadsides at Convivio Bookworks, a home-based studio in Downtown Lake Worth, Florida. He is also Programs Coordinator at Florida Atlantic University's Jaffe Center for Book Arts. A complete catalog of the duo's work, collected by major libraries across the United States, is available at the Convivio Bookworks website: http:// www.conviviobookworks.com

John Cutrone
Programs Coordinator
The Arthur & Mata Jaffe Center for Book Arts
Florida Atlantic University Wimberly Library
Boca Raton, Florida

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This page last changed: April 26, 2008