Amidst Construction, 4th Annual Buffalo BookFest

Written by Intern Blogger Richard Wade

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Concerts, construction, and canalside development are three of the most prevalent things happening in the City of Buffalo these days. While citizens will gladly listen to one of the many musical performances throughout the city, construction has been a rather a sour subject of sorts for a long time-especially along Main Street in Downtown Buffalo.

Instead of battling the construction blues, make time for the Fourth Annual Buffalo BookFest at Western New York Book Arts Center. The event will take place Saturday July 18, 2015 from 11am-6pm, amidst some heavy construction along Main Street.

Just a few of the planned activities will include:

- Day-long workshops on letterpress and printmaking techniques (check the Event page for the full schedule!)

- A handmade marketplace featuring the work of local artists and vendors

- Steamroller printmaking: A huge hunk of motorized metal making prints the old-fashioned way

- Food trucks to quell your growling stomach: (716) Club House & The Flaming Fish

For more info, check out the Events page! If you need more information, please send an email to rosemary@wnybookarts.org or call 716-348-1430. We look forward to seeing you there!

Richard Wade is a 2009 graduate of Buffalo State College, earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. He is a voracious reader who also enjoys collecting vinyl and attending concerts. 

Summer Book Arts Camp at WNYBAC!

Written by Intern Blogger Richard Wade

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Summer Camp is a tradition for many children across the country. Learning new skills and enjoying the outdoors while basking in the sunshine is a recipe for fun. One of the drawbacks of summer camps is the humidity, and bugs. Nobody likes getting sunburned or getting a bug bite.

Instead of battling the sun and all those pesky mosquitos, kids can enroll in the Summer Book Arts Camp at Western New York Book Arts Center. Beginning on July 6, 2015 from 1-4 p.m., kids ranging in age from 7-13 can participate in numerous activities led by community artists. Some of those activities include:

  • Letterpress and Screenprinting (T-Shirts)
  • Origami bookmaking & hand-stitched journals
  • Altering books & Book Sculptures
  • Button making
  • Block printing
  • Plus more to be announced!

The summer book arts camp will take place on Monday July 6, 2015 to Friday July 10, 2015. The camp will run from 1-4 p.m. on each of those days.

And for returning campers, don’t fear! We’re doing something a little different this year! In an effort to keep things interesting & the campers engaged, we have created a new & exciting curriculum this summer. Different projects include linoleum block carving & printing, origami Blizzard Books,  hardcover journal making, a collaborative Letterpress poster project, and more. We will still keep the Screenprinted T-Shirt activity, however!

Children are to be dropped off between 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. No children can be dropped off before 12:30 p.m. They are required to bring their own lunch each day, but snacks and water will be provided. The cost to attend the five-day camp is $175 per child for members of WNYBAC and $200 for non-members. Pre-payment is required for all workshops at WNYBAC. A cancellation fee of $25 will be assessed if cancelled less than 1 week ahead of the workshop. Cancellations with less than 48 hours will not receive a refund. Sold out classes will accept a waiting list.

If you would like more information on the aforementioned program, please contact info@wnybookarts.org or call 716-348-1430.

Richard Wade is a 2009 graduate of Buffalo State College, earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. He is a voracious reader who also enjoys collecting vinyl and attending concerts.

 

 

The Pharmacist’s Mate, a review by intern blogger Richard Wade.

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There aren’t many books quite like The Pharmacist’s Mate by Amy Fusselman. The debut novel, published in 2001, combines true story narrative, musical reference, and journal entries compiled from her father’s World War II journal. The narrator’s father was the Purser-Pharmacists Mate on the Liberty Ship George E. Pickett during World War II.

At only 86 pages in length, you will likely finish the book in an hour or two. Don’t confuse the overall short length with being easy to read. The medical terminology used by the author confused me at several points, especially when the she describes the process of getting fertility shots. Luteinizing hormone, or LH for short, is a natural gonadotropin that encourages follicle growth.

Multiple trips to the fertility doctor encompass the majority of the novel. Fusselman makes repeated trips to the doctor, hoping (and often praying) to become pregnant while dealing with the grief following the death of her father.

The wry sense of humor Fusselman employs is a welcoming addition to an otherwise difficult book. It doesn’t follow a plot like most books, adding to the learning curve. The memorable lines throughout this book will make the reader trudge through the scientific vocabulary. The author describes listening to The Rolling Stones song, She’s So Cold. “Mick sings it like he has an itchy crotch. I love that. But I want to sing it, I’ve been trying to sing it, like someone who finds they are alive.”

When a book happens to mention a song from my favorite band, I chalk it up as a win, even though the thought of childbirth scares me to death.

 

Richard Wade is a 2009 graduate of Buffalo State College, earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. He is a voracious reader who also enjoys collecting vinyl and attending concerts.

7th Annual Edible Book Festival

By Richard Wade, WNYBAC intern blogger

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Individuals across the world enjoy reading books. They also partake in eating everyday, as it is an essential function to sustain a healthy life. While reading books nourishes the mind, food provides sustenance to the body, allowing it to grow.

One would never imagine eating a book, but that is precisely what some people around the world have been doing since the first Edible Book Festival took place in 2000. The festival was created by Judith A. Hoffberg and Beatrice Coron to honor French gastronome Jean Anthelme Barillat-Savarin (1755-1826), famous for his book “Physiologie du gout”, which translates to Physiology of Taste. The event is usually celebrated on or around April 1st each year as this is the birthday of Barillat-Savarin.

Western New York Book Arts Center will be celebrating their 7th Annual Edible Book Festival on Sunday April 12 from 4:00pm to 8:00pm. The event, located at 468 Washington Street in downtown Buffalo, will bring aspiring chefs together to cook, compile, and conjure up book-related creations. Entrants will be judged by a panel of local celebrity judges in the following categories: best tasting, most creative, and best book. Judging will commence from 5:30pm to 7:00pm, after which we will all get to enjoy eating our words. Additional festivities will take place, such as a basket raffle and a free edible book kids craft.

If you are interested in participating, please visit our registration page to submit an entry. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out past entries at http://wnybookarts.org/edible-book-festival/. All ticket sales, basket raffles, and entry fees will benefit ongoing programming at WNY Book Arts Center, a 501© 3 non-profit organization.

Richard Wade is the Intern Blogger at WNYBAC. He is a May 2009 graduate of Buffalo State College, earning his bachelor’s degree in Journalism. He has previously written for Sports Media 101 and Buffalo Rising. He enjoys collecting vinyl records and attending concerts.

In Anticipation of Sunnyoutside

By Richard Wade, WNYBAC intern blogger

As a society, we read books for a variety of reasons. To learn something new or to escape from the routine of everyday life are often why we pick up a new hardcover or paperback. All good and (sometimes bad) literature transports you to another place, away from your worries, allowing you to relax.

Upon reading Our Rarer Monsters by Neil Sloboda, the words contained on the 106 pages invoked a great sense of imagery. Each sentence gave me the feeling as if I was in another world. The first poem in the collection, Bequest Narrative, conjured up similarities of literary classic Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

One passage was particularly vivid. In the poem titled “Community Arts,” a group of young boys roams around the neighborhood, rearranging letters on mailboxes. The “new” act of vandalism was enacted, hoping chaos would ensue the following day. Much to their dismay, the residents hardly noticed the change. Within three days, all of the letters had been changed back to their original configurations. As his cohorts complained about a lack of results, the narrator opined that they shouldn’t have listened to him in the first place. He then added, “as if manipulating a bunch of letters ever really mattered.”

This manipulation of letters does matter, as Noel Sloboda so expertly crafts. His bachelor’s degree in English and Philosophy is quite evident, as he splices in philosophical references. Linocut illustrations by Marc Snyder accompany the poems.

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Our Rarer Monsters is one of the many exceptional titles published by Sunnyoutside Press since their official inception in 2005.  To celebrate the small press’ ten-year anniversary, the WNY Book Arts Center will be holding a retrospective of their work opening this Friday, entitled Sunnyoutside: Ten Years of Good Books Done Well. A large number of Sunnyoutside titles will be available for purchase, as well as hand-printed ephemera & artwork, including Marc Snyder’s woodcuts commissioned for Our Rarer Monsters.

Join us for the opening reception this Friday, March 27th at the Western New York Book Arts Center, 468 Washington Street, Buffalo, New York 14203 from 6-9pm. The event will feature short lectures on the bookmaking process by Sunnyoutside contributors & contemporaries Richard Kegler, Brian Mihok, Nathan Pritts, Kyle Butler, and David McNamara. Each of the speakers will touch on their expertise and experiences regarding design, publishing, bookbinding, and much more.

Sunnyoutside Press was first founded as an online literary journal by Publisher David McNamara in Seattle, Washington in November of 2000. Aching to reinvent themselves as a print medium, plans were made to reinvent Sunnyoutside as an independent press in Somerville, Massachusetts. More planning and preparations took place, with their first sale happening on May 5, 2005, marking the inception of the small press.

The opening event is free and open to the general public. A cash bar will be available throughout the night. Stop in and join us!

 

Richard Wade is the Intern Blogger at WNYBAC. He is a May 2009 graduate of Buffalo State College, earning his bachelor’s degree in Journalism. He has previously written for Sports Media 101 and Buffalo Rising. He enjoys collecting vinyl records and attending concerts.

Maude White: Birds I’ve Been

Maude White: Birds I’ve Been

September 5th-October 10th, 2014
Opening September 5th, 2014 6-9pmResized Maude WhitePlease join us for the opening reception of Birds I’ve Been, a new exhibit by Maude White. Birds I’ve Been is a series of cut paper art that examines both women and birds; as observers witnessing the intimacy and action of others, and as participants experiencing and processing events.

Maude White is a papercutting artist living in Buffalo, NY. She loves the great strength, yet delicacy of paper. Her work is done on the macro as well as the micro level. Every cut is exact and meaningful. She enjoys playing with positive and negative space to create fantastic scenes and stories. She considers herself a craftsperson and has a deep respect for the paper she transforms. In pursuing her work, she hopes to make visible to others the immense world of possibilities that every piece of paper holds.

White’s show is the fourth in the 12 x 14 series at WNYBAC, which features 5 artists over the course of twelve months; Maude will also host a free collaborative event that will give insight into her process on Saturday September 20th, 2014 from 12-5pm.

Tapestry Charter School Graduates!

Last week we had the pleasure of again assisting Tapestry Charter School’s graduating class in printing their own diplomas.

Students were given a brief crash course in letterpress printing and typesetting and then invited to handset their name using a select portion of our metal type. From there, they brought their names over to the press and placed them into a pre-set form. They were then assisted in printing off one copy of the diploma to keep, and a second copy that would be signed and presented on graduation day.

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The Fountains Gig Poster!

Local Buffalo band, The Fountains, came to WNYBAC recently for a gig poster commemorating a 20th anniversary show that they’re doing at the Alt Theatre. If you’re around tonight (May 24th, 2014), be sure to check out the show, and be sure to pick up one of the awesome neo-traditional split-fountain (ha!) Fountains poster!

Check out pics of the process and the product:

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Professional Development with Gelia Design Agency

This past Thursday, WNYBAC welcomed the digital advertising agency, Gelia, to learn about the art of letterpress printing.

The group participated in a professional development activity that involved a crash course in letterpress design (the analog counterpart to digital design) and the production of their own prints.

The studio was organized into 4 stations, each containing a press and a palette of ink. Our participants were able to tour the studio and pick out their own wood cuts, metal cuts, or type to use in designing their print.

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An assortment of wood cuts from the WNYBAC collection

 

To start, our guests would place one (or an assortment) of their cuts on a press. They’d quickly lock them up with magnets and ink them using a hand brayer. Our guests would then overprint their original print until they had achieved a colorful, dynamic design.

The results were impressive!

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The Buffalo Small Press Book Fair 2014 and more!

This weekend was a lively and exciting one for WNYBAC. As in year’s past, we participated in the Buffalo Small Press Book Fair, an annual, nationally recognized fair, organized by our Studio Director, Chris Fritton. This year was bigger than ever, with the fair spanning two days and a handful of free events to compliment the big weekend.

Perhaps the loudest and most exhilarating event was the arrival of our good friend, Amos Kennedy.

Amos Kennedy, an energetic letterpress printer, left his job as a computer programmer to become a humble letterpress printer and bookmaker in the tiny town of Gordo, Alabama. He currently resides in Detroit, MI.

His prints defy the traditional conventions of letterpress printing, often appearing haphazardly done and without regard to precision or neatness. The result is a series of bright, bold, and truly unique prints that boast blunt, comedic, and inspirational quotes.

Amos taught a delightful letterpress demo in our studio, resulting in a finished print that read: “GOATS”.

To learn more about Amos, follow the link! http://www.kennedyprints.com

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Later that night, WNYBAC hosted a showing of “Sign Painters” as apart of the pre-fair festivities.

“Sign Painters,” the first anecdotal history of the craft, features stories and photographs of more than two dozen sign painters working in cities throughout the United States. To help promote the event, our new friend and sign painter, Christian Shaknaitis, crafted this amazingly gorgeous hand painted sign!

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The next morning we woke up bright and early to prepare our table for the fair! Taking place again on Saturday and Sunday, was a giant success. As always, it brings booksellers, authors, bookmakers, zinesters, small presses, artists, poets, and regional cultural workers together in a venue where they can share ideas and peddle their wares. It is held in Buffalo’s beautiful Karpeles Manuscript Museum, a giant church like cathedral, perfect for bringing thousands of people together.

We met old and new friends, recruited some new members, and showed off our newest prints and merchandise!

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During the fair, several free workshops were held for attendees looking for an introduction to printmaking or bookbinding techniques. Maude White dazzled her students with an intricate paper cutting demo, while photographer Max Collins showed onlookers how to wheat paste. Artist Kate Parzych shared her knowledge of the Japansese stab-binding technique in her bookmaking demo.

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The night concluded back at WNYBAC with a “Pop-Up Press” Workshop where the staff of Sunnyoutside Press (Buffalo) and InkPress Baltimore (Baltimore) taught how to create a chapbook from scratch.

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Until next year!