What is WNYBAC?!

By: Branwyn (our fabulously awesome Intern)

Hi! I see you’ve stumbled across our blog. We have big plans for filling you in on all the different ins and outs of what makes our organization special, but first here’s who we are and a little bit of history about ourselves.

(Our home way back when)

We are WNYBAC, short for Western New York Book Arts Center, more commonly known as just the “Book Arts Center,” but we call ourselves WNYBAC. (Pronounced Winnie Back). You can think of it like a girl’s name. You know, if Back wasn’t a super weird last name that probably nobody actually has.

Anyway, that’s our name. But our name doesn’t explain what the heck a book arts center is. Basically, we here at the WNYBAC love all things books and printing related, and offer a wide variety of services to the Buffalo community centered around these two passions.

(Letterpress!)

(Photo creds to our friends at Buffalo Rising)

We began in 2007 with just two founders, including Rich Kegler, our Executive Director emeritus, and three board members, all with a desire to preserve manual printing. We’ve called 468 Washington St., in the heart of downtown Buffalo, home since 2008. We pride ourselves on being the only spot in the immediate Western New York area to offer such a large extent of printing services and printing/art related workshops and programming all in one spot. (Keep an eye out for future blog posts in which I’ll explain all those things I just mentioned!)

(Looks like somebody’s learning to screenprint)

Primarily, we are a community spot, accessible to all! We hold artist exhibitions throughout the year in the gallery area of our space that are always free and open to the public.

(Oh look, a gallery opening!)

We are a place where Buffalo’s creative souls of all ages can come together to work and share ideas. We are WNYBAC.

Now here’s the people who make this place awesome:

 

Gail Nicholson – Executive Director

An artistic soul, Gail found out about WNYBAC through other artists in her community. She says her favorite part about working here is meeting new and interesting people with a wide range of artistic skills. If she could be any piece of printing equipment, she would be the colorful ink we use so often here at WNYBAC. She loves the reds and oranges because they’re her favorite colors and are uplifting and positive.

 

 

 

Rosemary Williams – Program Director

Rosemary discovered WNYBAC when she was searching for a college internship, and one of her professors at UB mentioned the place. She remembers stalking the website before she started here, and quickly falling in love with the environment and our mission. Her favorite part about working here is the smell when you’re the first one in in the morning. She describes it as the smell of warm dust and ink, and says its one of her favorites. If Rose could be any piece of printing equipments, she would be what we call “furniture.” Furniture is used to hold type in place, and she views it as the “unsung hero” of printing because it holds everything together, but you never actually see it printed.

 

 

Melissa Rechin – Retail Manager

Melissa first learned about WNYBAC at the Allen West Arts Festival, and soon after she started volunteering, which lead to a full time position. Her favorite part about working here is that she can come to work everyday in a creative environment where she can be herself. She also loves that the staff all shares the same love for caffeine. If Mel could be any piece of printing equipment she would be a squeegee, because they are used for so many different things, and also because the word is just really fun to say.

 

Bye for now. Hope you enjoyed WNYBAC’s very first blog post and learned a little something about our organization. Stay tuned for another update next month! 🙂

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our funders listed below, for providing support to WNYBAC's ongoing programs taking place throughout Western New York:

NYSCA M & T Art 4 Moore Zenger Group Evans Bank Community Foundation
Baird Foundation Cameron Jane