Bookbinding: A Major Part of the Book Arts

Here at the Book Arts Center, we’re well known as a print shop. But what about bookbinding? Just like printing, bookbinding is a major part of the book arts!

Book binding, as the name implies, is the way in which pages are sewn together to create a book. There are many different styles of bookbinding, from the simple pamphlet stitch, to more decorative styles like secret Belgian bookbinding. Different parts of the world have different ways of binding books. For example, stab binding comes from Japan.

                 

Today, these decorative styles of binding are most commonly done by hand binders. Modern bookbinding is divided into two categories. Hand binding, obviously, is done by hand and may be used to bind artist books or to repair old books. Perhaps the most common type of bookbinding today is commercial binding. Commercial binderies use machines to bind large numbers of books, like New York Times best sellers.

Much like we preserve and teach people about original methods of printing by offering letterpress workshops and hand-printed merchandise in our shop, we also preserve and teach people about original styles of hand-binding books. We hold workshops in different kinds of bookbinding, from coptic stitch bookbinding to Islamic bookbinding.

We also offer handbound journals for sale in our shop from our consignment artists. WNYBAC member and consignment artist, Janna Willoughby-Lohr, owns her own business, Paper Craft Miracles, for which she makes everything by hand. Paper Craft Miracles is a lot more than just handbound books. Janna also makes handmade paper, cards, and more. She was inspired to start bookbinding when she took an artist book course in college. Janna says her favorite part of running her business is completing custom orders, and getting creative to fulfill all the specifics of the order.

In addition to running Paper Craft Miracles, Janna also teaches bookbinding. She describes herself as “the Bob Ross of bookbinding,” because very few mistakes one could make while learning to book bind can’t be fixed or covered up with something pretty. She loves to see her students get just as excited about the versatility of bookbinding as she does.

A common question we get here at the Book Arts Center is, do we offer any binding services ourselves? While our shop doesn’t actually do any bookbinding, we have relationships with several Buffalo binderies that do!

One of our members, Kathleen Hartmans, owns Quality Bindery. Quality is a small commercial bindery located in Buffalo’s Black Rock neighborhood. Quality works with the printing community in the Buffalo area to fill printing needs for organizations like Just Buffalo Literary Center, and the Burchfield Penney. Quality also rebound the Deed books for Erie county and completes individual orders for restorative binding in their hardcover binding department.

I love owning our own company and seeing the looks on our customers faces when they see the finished product.” 

– Kathleen Hartmans

Another local bindery we work with is Red Fern Bindery. Red Fern does all kinds of binding, from fine bindings in leather with gold lettering, to making new books, to making clamshell boxes for protection and display. According to Linsey Buchlis, the heart of the bindery is repairing and restoring old books. 

“I feel honored that people trust me with some of their most valuable items and that I’m able to help them pass these treasures on for years to come.”

-Linsey Buchlis 

Modern bookbinding is also art. While hand bound journals are certainly very beautiful and artistic, some bookbinders even take the artistry of bookbinding a step further. Deb Eck, one of our members and workshop instructors, is one such book binder. This past September, WNYBAC welcomed Deb as an exhibition artist. Her exhibition, “embroidered,” featured a number of intricately hand-bound books, among other artworks. Deb’s lovely books are works of art for display rather than books to be used for reading and writing. She uses embroidery to decorate the spines of her books, sometimes spelling out entire words in the spines, like in her piece A Woman’s Work is Never Done.

For Deb, the question what is her favorite part of book binding is easy to answer: 

 “It’s the sewing. But I also really love taking ordinary materials and making something beautiful, functional and extraordinary from them. Paper is such a commonplace thing, but it has so many possibilities… being able to craft books of my own gives me a great deal of joy.”

Bookbinding, even the older hand-techniques of binding, is alive and well! Bookbinders use their skills for everything from creating and selling hand-bound journals, to restoring old books and running commercial binderies, to creating elaborate works of art. Do you want to learn how to bind books, or diversify your book binding skills? Take a workshop from one of the bookbinding artists featured here, or one of our other talented teaching artists. We offer bookbinding workshops throughout the year and in many different styles of bookbinding.

A hand bound book will certainly be a unique edition to any bookshelf!

 

 

 

A Brief History of Printing in Buffalo

Did you know that air conditioning was invented in Buffalo? As crazy as it may seem, this city, known for its snow, was the one to come up with the idea for the modern air conditioner.

Buffalo can have some pretty hot summers, but air conditioning wasn’t invented for human comfort. It was actually invented to control humidity in print shops in order to make printing more efficient during our city’s hot and muggy summer months. So there’s one Buffalo history fact for you.


  


Buffalo must have had a pretty rich printing history to inspire an invention to make the process more efficient. Back in its heyday of the late 1800s and early 1900s, Buffalo, along with other major cities, operated quite the printing industry. From The Buffalo News to small community newspapers, Buffalo needed printing presses to keep its booming population informed. Some of these print shops live on today, like Gallagher Printing, which was originally founded in the basement of one of Buffalo’s West Side homes. Today these kinds of print shops have kept up with demand by adapting to and incorporating modern printing technology.

Other historically known print shops have transformed into something entirely different over the years. Did you know that a portion of today’s Roycroft Inn used to be a print shop? The founder of Roycroft, Elbert Hubbard, along with the rest of the community of artists at Roycroft, are credited with founding the Arts & Crafts movement in America. Hubbard was originally a printer, though, and, while the Roycroft Campus was transformed into an inn during his lifetime, he maintained his identity as a printer. After the Roycroft Campus transitioned to its new form, Hubbard opened another print shop across the street, this one with 22 presses.  

           
                          1800s                                                                 Today

Buffalo’s identity as the home of the Arts & Crafts movement has always had an influence on the printing culture here. You can see it in the design of Winchell, the first typeface ever designed in Buffalo. When Edward Everett Winchell was designing the typeface that bears his name, he was not shy about incorporating his arts & crafts tendencies, mixing square serifs with almost hand-drawn curves.

Today, the history of printing in Buffalo lives on as a craftsman’s movement. Vandercooks like the ones once used to print daily newspapers are preserved in places like WNYBAC for use in printing limited-run prints and other printing jobs that are shorter in nature, and more suited for the thought that goes in to hand-setting type.

WNYBAC is entering our 12th year as an organization, and our 11th in our downtown home. We started with only 2 founders, 3 board members, and a vision, and we’ve grown from there. At the beginning of the year we added our fourth full-time staff position, welcoming Nicole Cooke as the Assistant Executive Director. We also rely on our interns, volunteers and apprentices who are all just as dedicated to the organization. With each passing year WNYBAC grows our outreach and impact as we seek to continue Buffalo’s printing history and make the book arts more accessible to everyone in our community.

Just like Winchell and Buffalo’s early printers, we’re all craftspeople here at WNYBAC, and dedicated to preserving the printing history of Buffalo. From the typefaces we use, to the presses we maintain, we know our roots with the history of Buffalo’s printers.

2018 At WNYBAC: The Year in Review

WNYBAC is wishing you all a very happy New Year! As we all look back and reflect on the past 12 months, we hope you have as many happy memories as we do.

2018 was a big year for the Book Arts Center! In addition to all of our usual programming, we also had quite a few new opportunities. We hosted Lincoln Education Center for two teaching artist seminars, received a grant to hire two apprentices to train within our organization, and brought Vandercook expert Paul Moxon to Buffalo to tune-up our machines and teach our staff some basic Vandercook maintenance. We even held a wedding here this year!

                          

All of these special programs upheld our mission to promote greater understanding of printing and book related arts through education, creation and exhibition for a broad diverse community. Of course we also focused on all the programming WNYBAC is best known for. Over the course of the year we held more than 50 workshops in our downtown space. In addition to our ever-popular letterpress, screen printing and bookbinding workshops, we rolled out a couple of new workshops, including a feather printing workshop and a beginner’s calligraphy workshop, both of which were met with high interest and participation.

    

We collaborated with area art supplies stores to offer programming to a wider audience in Western New York, and continued the Printing Partners program which brings free book arts workshops to kids through venues including the Erie County Public Library and Locust Street Art.

Some of our workshops occurred in conjunction with our gallery shows. This year we exhibited nine different shows in our gallery, by individual artists, artist collaborations and groups. One exhibition that stands out in particular is Fast Cheap & Easy, an exhibition of the copy art revolution which we hosted with the CEPA gallery. We’re looking forward to our first exhibition of 2019, Combination of the Two, by Ginny O’Brien and Michael Basinski.

We’re also looking forward to continuing our four annual events. This past year, in 2018, we ate our words at our 10th Edible Book Festival, put on our 7th Buffalo BookFest, a celebration of all things printing and book arts related; we got a little type-sy at our 4th Liquor & Letterpress Fundraiser, and closed out the year with the 11th Last Minute Panic Holiday Marketplace. These events drew members of our community of all ages to celebrate arts in Buffalo!

    

 

While our annual events are certainly high profile, a lot happened behind the scenes from day to day this year too. We started a blog to keep our members and supporters up to date on the the goings on here at WNYBAC. We made posts that were member interviews for our annual membership drive, and we also made some for fun, like the recent “history of a typeface” post.

               

We focused on our social media profiles in order to best stay in contact with the people we serve. We designed new merchandise in our studio, including t-shirts, pouches, cards and prints. We filmed quirky promotional videos, and generally focused on bringing the arts to as many people as possible through our organization.

All of this is thanks to donations from people just like you! We’re currently in the midst of our annual giving campaign, and appreciate your contributions so much, as they help us continue our programs and outreach. We couldn’t do it without you!

We’re so excited to see what 2019 has in store. We can hardly wait to meet those who will become members, or see the printed ephemera our talented volunteers will make. We’re looking forward to working with new interns, and celebrating our events with old friends. And we’re wishing you the best for 2019. Happy New Year, from all of us here at WNYBAC!

 

 

Last Minute Panic Holiday Marketplace

The holidays are right around the corner, and WNYBAC just held our final event of the calendar year. This past weekend was the 11th annual Last Minute Panic Holiday Marketplace.

As the name suggests, Last Minute Panic is one of the very latest holiday artisan markets in Buffalo. This year we hosted more than 40 vendors. All three floors of the building were filled with holiday cheer, including the basement studio, which for the first time ever housed two vendors this year. Last Minute Panic just keeps on growing. The vendors had everything, from hand-made pottery by pots by djr and jewelry by Elements of Ash, Fossil Craft and more, to all-natural soaps by Dirty B*tch Soap Co. and Wild Mountain Botanicals and candles by Rose and Mags Country Mile.

For the bookworm, Buffalo Heritage Press offered all sorts of books about Buffalo, as well as books by local authors and artists. OssaBelle Trinkets had one of a kind home-decor items, including macrame hanging holders for plants, or anything else you can imagine! Huurman’s Handmade provided unique, handcrafted journals as well as reusable gift boxes, so that even the wrapping of your gift could be a thoughtful surprise.

                                     

Yes, there were plenty of gift options for anyone on your list. The vendors listed above aren’t even half of the talented creators we hosted at Last Minute Panic.

LMP is more than just a sale, though. After all, would it really be a WNYBAC event if there wasn’t at least one hands-on letterpress demonstration? Guests had the opportunity to learn about our historic Vandercook Printing Presses and try their hand at printing their own holiday card.

                              

There was also a fun origami craft perfect for kids and the young at heart. You could create a beautiful ornament to hang on your own tree, or to give as a gift. Kids could work on this while a parent shopped.

On Saturday afternoon one of our members did henna, and throughout both days there was a coffee and hot chocolate bar, for when you just needed a break from shopping to sip something warm.

Every year, Last Minute Panic is a community event. It brings artists and makers from across Buffalo together in the holiday spirit. 

In the words of one of our vendors, Jessica Gadra, of Gadra Illustration;

The sale was, as ever, such a delight.  I call it the “reverse snow globe show”—sitting in a warm and glittering place while the city and the weather swirls around us.  

Many of our own WNYBAC members vend, volunteer, or attend, and we couldn’t hold this amazing event every year without them. So thanks to all our vendors and volunteers for sharing their time and talents with us, and thanks to everyone who came out to support the local arts community in Buffalo, at WNYBAC and beyond.

We hope to see you all again next year for another great holiday marketplace. And for now, happy holidays from all of us here at WNYBAC!

 

On the History of a Typeface

Fonts are something you might not spend much time thinking about if you’re not a designer. Before I ever started designing anything, Times New Roman was my go-to, because that’s all I was ever told to use in school. It wasn’t until I started letterpress printing at WNYBAC, that I realized the design power a typeface can have. Walking into the studio at a place like WNYBAC and encountering rows upon rows of type cases gives “choosing a font” a whole new meaning. 

Just some of the many, many type cases we have here at WNYBAC

That being said, it doesn’t mean that we here at WNYBAC don’t have a few go-to fonts. Here’s the history of a couple of them:

Adobe Caslon:

          

Most typefaces are named for the person who designed them. This is the case for Adobe Caslon. William Caslon lived in England and designed the typeface that bears his name in the 1700s

So what does a typeface so old have to do with WNYBAC? None of our presses, even Olga, are that old.

Here’s the thing about Caslon though. Before Times New Roman stole the show, Caslon was the go-to typeface for printed material. An old saying in the printer community was “when in doubt, use Caslon.”

Caslon is so attractive to printmakers because it’s easy to read, making it a suitable font even for long passages of text. It’s a serif font, that, because of its popularity, has been redesigned many times. While it may not be one of the standard fonts on programs like Word or Google Drive, there are plenty of digital versions available.

 

So why does WNYBAC care about Caslon? Because, true to our traditional nature, when in doubt, we use Caslon. If you’ve ever received anything in the mail from us, it was likely printed in Caslon. While Caslon is a little too plain to use when designing things like posters and cards, it’s perfect for informational printing.

Did you know that both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were set in Caslon? For our modern printing needs, WNYBAC uses a digital version of this historic typeface.

Digitizing type is always an interesting undertaking. In the case of Caslon, the type had already been redesigned before computer word processors ever appeared on the scene. It is likely that the computerized version of Caslon we use today only looks vaguely like the original. Even so, it’s pretty cool that we can still use the same font the Founding Fathers used at the birth of the country.

 

LTC Winchell

 

Become a member, and you’ll get access to this typeface! It’s a Buffalo typeface, and in the spirit of hometown pride, the digital version of LTC Winchell is exclusively available to WNYBAC members and members of the P22 Club.

LTC Winchell isn’t as old as Caslon. It was designed in 1903 and is the only known typeface designed in Buffalo before P22 Type Foundry was formed. It was designed by Edward Everett Winchell, while he was serving as the Art Director for Matthews-Northrup Printing Works.

It is said of Winchell that he is “among the best of American designers and artists.” Indeed when Winchell’s typeface was first released by the Inland Type Foundry of St. Louis, MO, it quickly became one of Inland’s most popular type designs. Winchell remained in the type selection booklet for The Courier Express, a Buffalo newspaper, until well into the 20th century. It was one of the Headline typefaces of choice.

 

After the dawn of digital printing, however, Winchell was nearly lost to the modern world of printing. That is, until a case of 39pt Winchell was discovered in the basement of SG Press in East Aurora, NY. Covered in dust, it was obvious the type hadn’t been used in years. Nevertheless, the decision was made to digitize the typeface, and in this way this unique piece of Buffalo history was preserved.

A Boozy Bash at the 4th Annual Liquor & Letterpress

If you know anything about our organization, you should know about our four annual events. All are open to members and nonmembers alike, and a great way to learn about WNYBAC. With the free demos we always offer, you’ll even get to try your hand using one of our historic presses.

You especially get to try your hand at letterpress at Liquor & Letterpress! Our 4th annual just happened this past weekend on the 3rd. What is Liquor & Letterpress, you ask? The name says it all.

Liquor:

Each year we try to showcase new or existing distilleries in the Buffalo area. This year we offered tastings by Niagara Craft Spirits, Yoga Pants Vodkas, Snowy Owl Kombucha, Lakeward Spirits and Lillybelle Meads. We also had a beer and wine bar with signature cocktails provided by Fat Bob’s.

   

Catering was also provided by Fat Bob’s. They brought in pulled pork, mac & cheese, and more. And for dessert? Cupcakes courtesy of Fairy Cakes. Yes, there was plenty of good stuff to eat and drink at L&L this year. But what was there to do?

Letterpress:

We had virtually every working press we own set up in our studio to print some demo or another. From coasters printed on our platen press, to a poster printed on one of our Vandercooks, guests could create plenty of printed ephemera to take home with them. Because the whole point of Liquor & Letterpress is to get a little tipsy (or type-sy!) and print stuff!

 

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Liquor & Letterpress is so much more than a party we throw for fun. It’s also one of our biggest fundraisers of the year. The food and drink were all provided by our sponsors. The demos were all lead by our generous volunteers. Still more local business and organizations provided the good for our silent auction.

In addition to all the drinking and printing fun, we had a silent auction of prints and baskets stocked full of all kinds of goodies to win. One basket included tickets to a performance at Shea’s. Another held memberships for three local organizations. Some were filled with sweet and savory treats, and others included specialty liquors. Just to name a few.

We were so happy to see everyone who made it out for our event. It was a great evening of drinking, eating, printing and socializing with good friends. Followed, of course, by a lit after party. That’s right, our event may have ended at 9:00, but the fun kept going at Misuta Chows, a bar just down Main St. from WNYBAC.

With so very many great guests and participants, this Liquor & Letterpress was certainly a success. Did you miss it? Never fear, L&L isn’t going anywhere any time soon. That’s one of the great things about an annual event, there’s always next year.

Thanks to all who came out to support on our biggest fundraising night of the year. I hope you all had as much fun as we did!

WNYBAC Welcomes Paul Moxon

This past weekend, printer extraordinaire and Vandercook printing press expert, Paul Moxon, came to visit WNYBAC.

Paul Moxon
Photo credit Katherine Taylor (Paul’s amazing assistant)

Paul Moxon is one of only a few dozen people in the United States trained in Vandercook maintenance and upkeep. Hailing from Alabama, on this “tune-up tour” across the North East and parts of Canada, Paul will be making stops to work on about 20 different Vandercooks. One of the stops on his tune-up tour was right here at WNYBAC to work on the three Vandercooks that live in our studio!

Check out Paul’s website: Vanderblog

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Meet our presses:

Mandy the mangler
Vandercook No. 4

The Vandercook No. 4 was in production for 25 years from 1935-1960. Today, more than 300 No. 4 presses are still known to exist, as recorded by the Vandercook census, making them a pretty common model by today’s standards.

Please note: Mandy is not known to have ever mangled anyone or anything.


Olga
Vandercook 219

An older style of press, the Vandercook 219 was in production for 20 years from 1927-1947. Today, only about 3 dozen 219s are known to exist, as listed in the Vandercook census, making this a much rarer model of printing press.

Olga may be an old broad, but her quintessential beauty attracts many. She’s used most for demonstrations with tours, field trips and workshops.


Barbie
Vandercook SP20

The SP in SP20 stands for “simple precision.” The SP20 was only in production for 16 years, from 1960-1976. This late model of Vandercook was designed to be able to easily print photo-litho plates, a more modern way of printing than using traditional hand-set type. More than 140 Vandercook SP20 presses are listed in the Vandercook census.

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Why do we name our presses? Naming Vandercooks is actually a fairly common practice. We couldn’t really tell you why nearly all modern printers feel compelled to call their printing press by a name, but at least for us it’s because we know every single press that still exists today has a history and a story. Vandercook stopped manufacturing printing presses in 1976. That means that even the very last Vandercooks ever produced are still 42 years old. And a lot can happen to a machine that many think of as “outdated” in 42 years.

During his time with us, Paul told several stories of the histories of Vandercooks he has encountered. For example, there’s a No. 4 out on the West Coast still in operation after having been through a fire. He mentioned Vandercooks that had been left out in barns and under trees because whoever had inherited them didn’t know what else to do with them or where to put them. Some of these Vandercooks were later re-discovered and were able to be restored and brought back into commission. Stories like these make these machines feel worthy of a human name, don’t they?

Paul Moxon didn’t come all the way to Buffalo to tell us stories about Vandercooks, though. He came to do maintenance on our Vandercooks, and to teach us how to do some basic maintenance in the process.

Most of the WNYBAC staff, including myself, attended the workshop. 

Paul went over the basics with us, then, as we started taking apart each of the presses, we learned by doing. With Paul’s guidance, we completed maintenance tasks including stabilizing Mandy, re-timing the cylinder on Barbie, and cleaning and checking the rollers on all three of the presses. Paul also taught those of us who never had before, how to cut and add new packing to a press.

                  

Vandercook Maintenance Workshop
Photo credit Katherine Taylor

We learned terms like “worm gear” and “crescent.” For reference, the worm gear is a gear inside the top roller that’s cut in such a way that when the crescent turns around the gear it causes the roller to oscillate, mixing the ink and spreading it evenly across the roller. When you remove the crescent, the roller won’t oscillate, which makes it easier to do a rainbow roll (which is when you use multiple colors of ink in a single run).

We practiced this technique the second day when we had enough time to get into some printing. Removing the crescent to do a yellow and red rainbow roll, we did a quick run of prints using a word known to all Buffalonians: Scajacquada.

After two days of getting our hands dirty taking apart Vandercooks and putting them back together, we definitely all know a lot more about our three favorite printing presses. As a community print shop, we aim to maintain a welcoming space for printers of all kinds. By working together to take care of our printing press babies, we’re able to preserve these pieces of history.

We here at WNYBAC plan to be printing for many years to come.

If you’re interested in learning more about letterpress printing and our presses,
take one of our letterpress workshops!

Register Here

Featured Member Artist: Julia Dzwonkoski

Julia Dzwonkoski is one of our members whose art is on display in our 10th Annual Members’ Exhibition. This is her first year displaying work in our Members’ Show and she created her piece here at WNYBAC. In fact, it’s the first print she ever made here.

The print itself is a group of women hanging out and chatting. Julia purposely gave them empty speech bubbles that she could fill in later. This way the text is different in each print, and can reflect different experiences Julia has.

The text in the print in the Member’s Exhibition reflects an experience Julia had in which she was “mansplained” to multiple times in a single day. The experience was “infuriating, but also kind of funny,” Julia explains, which is why she decided to turn it into a little dialogue for her print.

“How we speak to each other, how conversations begin and end, what’s said versus what’s implied, etcetera.”

Julia tends to think in dialogues. “How we speak to each other, how conversations begin and end, what’s said versus what’s implied, etcetera.” The purpose of this series of prints she made is to have a place to put these dialogues that would otherwise be stuck in her head. The one displayed in our Members’ Show is just one of many.

The 10th Annual Members’ Exhibition is on view until August 18th


Prints, like the one Julia has in the Members’ Exhibition, aren’t Julia’s typical artistic medium. Usually she draws or paints. However, after taking a screen printing class with Nathan Deganis-Libera, one of our teaching artists, she has gotten more into printing, taking advantage of our open studio hours.

Julia says the next one of our classes she would like to take is a letterpress class. In addition to taking classes and using our studio, Julia has also done some volunteering here at WNYBAC, helping out with BookFest, one of our biggest annual events, this year.

“She’s impressed by ‘the amazing women who run [the organization]’”

Julia listed off a few different things as her favorite things about WNYBAC. She’s impressed by “the amazing women who run [the organization],” and appreciates “the down-to-earth vibe.” She also enjoys getting to see what other people are making.

We’re happy to have Julia as a member here, and excited to be displaying her work for the first time in this year’s Members’ Show. Here’s to many more Members’ Exhibitions, and many more member years, with Julia!

Featured Volunteer: Katy

Katy is new to WNYBAC; she just started volunteering here earlier this summer. She recently returned to Buffalo from New Paltz, New York, where she is working on finishing up a BFA in Printmaking and a BS in Art Education at SUNY New Paltz.

“With her printmaking background, the opportunity to learn how to typeset ‘was irresistible.'”

She says she wanted to get involved with the local art scene, and with her printmaking background the opportunity to learn how to typeset “was irresistible.”

While Katy is here each week, she uses the presses to create various items for WNYBAC. She has loved the process of learning how to typeset. She says her time here has given her the chance to learn the process of letterpress and she has come to appreciate the technique behind a complicated art. Additionally, volunteering here gives Katy experience working in a professional space. “My favorite thing to do here is learn!”

“My favorite thing to do here is learn!”

In addition to volunteering here at WNYBAC, Katy also is an intern at People Inc’s The Art Experience. There, she teaches art to adults with disabilities, a part of People Inc’s day habilitation program that specializes in art, theater, dance and music.

Katy’s interests are many. When she gets to create her own pieces she uses photo printmaking processes, like photo lithography and photo silkscreen. “I combine photography and line drawing in a dreamlike, but sometimes harsh, way to find an understanding between myself and my deepest fears and desires.” Katy also enjoys embroidery.

“I combine photography and line drawing in a dreamlike, but sometimes harsh way.”

Katy has exhibited her printmaking work in the Hudson Valley area and hopes to continue exhibiting here in Buffalo. She’s off to a good start. Katy has a piece in this year’s Tenth Annual Member’s Exhibition. It’s called “Hallway Scene” and is a lithography print.

            

Hallway Scene


The 10th Annual Members’ Exhibition is on view until August 18th

For Katy, volunteering at WNYBAC has been a great way to tie all her interests together. Printmaking and bookmaking have a closely knit history that Katy has only just begun to explore as a student, and WNYBAC has allowed her to explore this connection further. It has also given her experience in one of the areas she’s getting her degree in, all while allowing her to stay true to her printmaking roots.

Katy has been a great edition to the WNYBAC team and we’re happy to have her as a volunteer here.

Featured Member Artist: Frank Singleton

 

Frank has a unique style of art, just as all of our members do. His art is on display in our Members’ Exhibition. Frank’s piece “Variety” was created using a typewriter.

                                   

“An unusual kind of dictionary.”

Frank’s art centers around the typewriter. “Variety” is part of a longer, book-length series he is creating. He describes it as “an unusual kind of dictionary.” In this dictionary, “the typed text of the meaning of particular words is also used to visually illustrate the meaning.”

The 10th Annual Members’ Exhibition is on view until August 18th


Frank’s artistic process varies widely. Sometimes he creates conceptual works that play with words and meanings, but he also does abstract works and representational works, including landscapes, portraits, and nudes. Frank says his abstract works are often created spontaneously at a manual typewriter, without forethought or planned design. Other works require careful planning before he starts to type. Finally there are times when he only has a vague idea of what he wants to embody, and the piece takes on clarity through his process of creation.

                                        

                                How to Square the Circle                        Music Combo

Frank’s work has been included in various exhibits over the years. He recently had a piece displayed in an exhibit of typewriter art at the Perez Museum in Miami. In 2015 his work was prominently featured in Ruth and Marvin Sackner’s book The Art of Typewriting.

Of course, Frank also displays his work in our annual Members’ Exhibition. This is his third year participating.

               

                                   Earthquake                                                   Portrait of a Lady

Frank is proud to be a WNYBAC member. He first discovered us 10 years ago, when we were just starting out, and when he had just moved back to Buffalo from Massachusetts. He was attracted by the variety and quality of the works we exhibit in our gallery space. In fact, Frank says his favorite thing about WNYBAC to this day is still our variety of exhibits in many media.

There is no better time when this variety is displayed than during our members show. Frank says that when he sees media that’s new to him, he is often tempted to try it himself. That’s another reason why Frank loves WNYBAC. He has a special interest in the book arts and in artists books that “expand on the meaning of what it is to be a book.” Frank himself loves “the idea of creating a book that violates norms and in which one is constantly surprised as one turns the pages.”

“Expand on the meaning of what it is to be a book.”

Frank has already taken a workshop on letterpress and is looking forward to ones on bookbinding and papermaking. His goal is to use these techniques to enhance his own typewritten books.

~ The Maze of Human Life ~

For Frank, WNYBAC is an important asset to the local arts community. It allows him to experience and appreciate art in different media than the one he personally uses. It is also a place for him to display his own art, and to learn new skills to incorporate into that art. Frank encourages his friends and acquaintances to join WNYBAC so that they too can experience these benefits. Frank has been a loyal member for years, and we are proud to provide a space for him to display his work and enhance his skills.

 

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 Wendt Foundation StoryGrowing