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2010 Lectures and Events

The Book as Weapon: Agitprop in Print

Panel discussion with Maureen Cummins (Fall Visiting Artist), Steve Woodall and Nicolas Lampert.
Friday, October 22: 6PM

The term “agitprop” was coined in the Bolshevik era to denote interventionist political strategy designed to co-opt discourse. Over the past 40 years writers and artists have taken up different versions of that same strategy to great effect. In particular, political artists who make prints, posters or books have found it to be one of the most effective means of production and distribution available to them, and they often used shock or humor to make their points. In this program, Maureen Cummins will discuss the ways in which she has strategically used beauty and humor to draw readers and viewers into difficult subject matter. Steve Woodall, director of the Center for Book & Paper Arts, will discuss the work of Zephyrus Image Press, active in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1970s. Finally, Nicolas Lampert will discuss how his own artistic, and often interventionist, strategies relate to the activist tradition of agitprop.

Maureen Cummins is a graduate of Cooper Union in New York, and has been making limited edition books for over a dozen years. Her work is in public collections in the US, Canada, England, New Zealand and South Africa. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn. As part of a Torture Awareness campaign at John Jay College in New York City this October, Maureen Cummins is curating an exhibition of the work of over forty artists, entitled Ordinary Torture.

Nicolas Lampert is a Milwaukee/Chicago based interdisciplinary artist and author whose work focuses on social justice and ecology. His print-based work has been exhibited at the MOMA, MASS MoCA, Philagraphica, and the Biennial of Graphic Arts in Slovia. He works collectively with Justseeds Artist’s Cooperative (www.justseeds.org), a worker-owned collective of 26 artists in the US, Canada, and Mexico. Lampert has also collaborated on creative actions with Rain Forest Action Network (Chicago), Tamms Year Ten, and Iraq Veteran’s Against the War (Chicago Chapter).

Medieval Stampers: Construction and Use in Pulp Preparation for Hand Papermaking

Jacques Brejoux (Sward Visiting Artist).
Thursday, October 28: 6PM

After more than 30 years exploring the craft of papermaking, Jacques Brejoux came to the conclusion that further improvement of his papers depended on building a full-scale set of medieval stampers for preparation of his pulps. Years of work and 30,000 Euros later, Mr. Brejoux has realized his goal and the accomplishment is one of the most significant events in contemporary hand papermaking. In this lecture he will describe the entire project and the unusual papers that have resulted—a majority of which are designed for use in book and paper conservation.

Jacques Brejoux is Proprietor and Master Papermaker at the Moulin du Verger, in Puymoyen, France, where paper was first made in 1539. Brejoux has devoted his career to making paper by hand. Over the past 15 years Mr. Brejoux has produced tracing paper, very lightweight “cigarette” paper, “papier Joseph,” 100% raw flax papers, Islamic style papers and a range of additional papers intended for use by conservators and artists. His latest research has focused on the development of multi-ply papers made from stamper beaten 70 year old linen rags. The finished sheets are modeled after historical prototypes and are designed for use in paper-cased bindings.

Multi-poet Lotería reading hosted by Roddy Lumsden

September 16, 6pm.
Organized in collaboration with Poetry Magazine and contratiempo magazine, this gallery reading will feature prominent Chicago-based poets who have created works in response to the exhibition.
Roddy Lumsden was born in St. Andrews, Scotland; His work is marked by an attention to formal traditions and a voice both streetwise and regretful. His poetry collections include Yeah, Yeah, Yeah (1997) and Roddy Lumsden Is Dead (2003). He has received an Eric Gregory Award and was Writing Fellow for the City of Aberdeen. In 1999 he co-wrote The Message, a book on poetry and music.

Poets include

  • Roddy Lumsden
  • Michael Robbins
  • Patricia Barber
  • Lisa Fishman
  • Jackye Pope
  • Kimberly Dixon
  • La Escalera
  • Jacob Saenz
  • La Sirena
  • Erin Teagarden
  • Melissa Severen
  • Danielle Chapman
  • Carrie Olivia Adams
  • Raúl Dorantes
  • Jorge Montiel
  • Johanny Vázquez Paz
  • Jorge García de la Fé
  • Marcopolo Soto
  • Verónica Lucuy Alandia
  • Santiago Weksler

David Shields Lecture

Engaging Abundance: Physical Research & the Rob Roy Kelly American Wood Type Collection.
Friday, June 18, 7pm.

The main goal of researching the Kelly Collection has been to rigorously expand upon the historical production information previously collected and to better understand the stylistic development of wood type forms during the 19th century. Central to my research is physical engagement of production processes, providing direct knowledge of the type forms. Investigating wood type blocks directly, reveal unique planing patterns produced during manufacturing, providing a strategy to identify manufacturers of un-stamped wood type. Through this engagement, I have been able to chart the impact the tools themselves had on driving the derivation of styles throughout the 19th century, and investigate the impact wood type manufacturing processes might have on contemporary digital type production.

The Wood Type Museum of the Future

Jim and Bill Moran.
Friday, June 25, 6–8 PM

The Moran brothers have a long history with the Hamilton Wood Type Museum and are now leading it into the future. We will hear about how today’s technologies are helping to preserve a rich past—from digitally archiving the skills of the last surviving employees of Hamilton Manufacturing, to using CNC routers to produce new wood type for generations to come.

Bill Moran is the owner and founder of Blinc Publishing, in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is a third-generation letterpress printer and a printing historian who teaches typography at the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin–Stout. Through the UMN he leads a three-week European type history tour that showcases the birth of printing and rare books in Spain, Germany and Italy.

Jim Moran is the director of The Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum. He runs letterpress workshops, archives the collection and maintains the museum on a daily basis. He became an active equipment donor and volunteer at Hamilton while operating his Green Bay, WI shop, Moran’s Quality Print Shop, where he worked as apprentice, pressman, partner and owner with his father and grandfather for over 35 years.

Both Bill and Jim Moran will be teaching community classes at the Center for Book & Paper Arts this Summer. Please check our website for more information.

Among Tender Roots: Laura Anderson Barbata

Lecture: Wednesday, March 17, 7 p.m.
Center for Book & Paper Arts,
1104 S. Wabash Ave., 2nd floor

In this illustrated lecture, the artist will discuss the origin and development of her work, relating the experience of bringing a studio practice into the community and showing examples of the culturally-enriching and economically sustainable work that her projects have generated.

  • Lecture Two: Thursday March 18, 7:00 p.m.
  • Making Books in the Rainforest: The Shapono School in Alto Orinoco
  • Professor Alvaro Gonzalez Bastidas, IDEA Institute, Caracas
  • Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe, Project Leader, Yanomami Owë Mamotima
  • Center for Book and Paper Arts
  • 1104 S. Wabash, 2nd floor

Just as species become extinct, so can cultures. In Caracas, Venezuela, the heritage preservation department of the Instituto de Estudios Avanzados (IDEA), led by Prof. Alvaro Gonzalez Bastidas, works to record and preserve the traditions of the vanishing cultures of the Amazon. The Yanomami, one of the best-documented Amazonian societies in anthropological literature, are among the beneficiaries of the IDEA institute’s attention.

IDEA’s Shapono School, located in Alto Orinoco, deep in the rainforest, is part of an ongoing project intended to preserve and promote Yanomami culture. Papermaking, introduced to the Yanomami by artist Laura Anderson Barbata in the early ‘90s, has become a central part of the school’s activities. Paper and bookmaking classes are taught there with the intent of gathering into book form the Yanomami cultural heritage. An ongoing series in both the native language and Spanish, the handmade books will record and preserve stories and teachings heretofore transmitted only in the oral tradition.

Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe, Yanomami project leader for the book initiative, is expected to appear with Prof. Gonzalez. It is extremely rare for Yanomami to travel outside Venezuela, and the Center for Book and Paper Arts is deeply honored by this auspicious visit.

This exhibition is curated by Melissa Potter, Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts Faculty, Columbia College Chicago.

The exhibition and related events are presented by Columbia College Chicago’s Department of Interdisciplinary Arts, the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media, and the Center for Book and Paper Arts, and supported in part by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, the Rubin Visiting Artist Awards, IDEA/Fundación Instituto de Estudios Avanzados, and Arte Y Vida Chicago.

The 11th Annual Edible Book Show & Tea

Thursday, April 1, 6–8 p.m.

6–7 PM Viewing & Voting / 7–8 PM Devouring Books.
Winners will be announced by 7:30 PM

Rsvp for Bookmakers

Friday, March 26th 2010 at 5 pm to book&paper@colum.edu or 312-369-6630

Entries must be dropped off and set up on April 1st between 5:30–6 pm at the Columbia Library.

It can look like a book, it can act like a book, it can be a pun on a book… The only rule: it must be edible!

Artists with a culinary streak, chefs with artistic flair, and book lovers are invited to participate by whipping up an edible book for this event which takes place on Wednesday, April 1st at venues around the world. Prize categories: Best in Show, Most Book-like, Best Visual Pun, Best Presentation, Most Likely to be Devoured.

This Year’s Theme – Children’s Books

Children’s books are deceptively simple, yet loaded with powerful imagery and narrative: their charm and whimsy have captivated the imagination and hearts of many generations. They are uniquely poised to lend themselves to new interpretations in your kitchen – we can’t wait to see what you bring to the table.

About The Edible Book Show & Tea:

The Edible Book Show & Tea is the most amusing thing since sliced bread. In fact, sliced bread was a vital ingredient in several of last year’s edible books. Created by the late Judith Hoffberg, editor and publisher of Umbrella, this event is an international affair occurring in multiple venues and time zones. The show welcomes you to create book-like sculptures from edible materials and bring them to the Columbia College Library to be consumed. See www.books2eat.com for more information.

This event is FREE if you RSVP and make and bring an edible book to share; or, for those of you who are unsure of your culinary bookmaking skills and prefer just to eat books, entry is $10.

The Edible Book Show & Tea is co-sponsored by the Center for Book & Paper Arts and the Columbia College Chicago Library. Proceeds benefit the Center for Book & Paper Arts equipment fund and the Friends of the Library.