Press Ready Workshop a success!

Last week we welcomed Sarah Platanitis at PRESS for a Berkshire Festival of Women’s Writers workshop entitled Press Ready.

Workshop participants will be coached by a seasoned journalist and award-winning teacher to gain a better understanding of how journalists work.  Learn the secrets to writing the perfect press release, how to prepare press and media kits, plus get tips on how to ace interviews and tune-up existing PR skills.  This workshop can be motivating for beginners and energizing for those at intermediate or advanced levels.

She spoke to a group of a dozen or so people about the ins and outs of communicating with the press as an artist/creative person.

Many of the participants were students in Melanie’s Senior Art Project, a practicum class designed to introduce graduating senior art majors to the business of being an artist. Sarah presented and discussed realms of this process from her side of things, as a reporter and a journalist. We’re even thinking of hiring her here at PRESS to help us get our press packet into order we were so inspired. Look her up. She does great work–she is a business and lifestyle journalist from Western Massachusetts.  She is the curator and photographer behind the Women & Food Project and authors the cooking blog, Sarah in the Kitchen.

 

Press Ready 101 with Sarah Platanitis

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We’re excited to have Sarah Platanitis lead a workshop at PRESS. The workshop is part of the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers, and it starts at 6 pm on Wednesday, March 19th. 

Workshop participants will be coached by a seasoned journalist and award-winning teacher to gain a better understanding of how journalists work.  Learn the secrets to writing the perfect press release, how to prepare press and media kits, plus get tips on how to ace interviews and tune-up existing PR skills.  This workshop can be motivating for beginners and energizing for those at intermediate or advanced levels.

Sarah Platanitis is a business and lifestyle journalist from Western Massachusetts.  She is the curator and photographer behind the Women and Food Project and authors the cooking blog, Sarah in the Kitchen.

Have presses, will travel

Mid-February found me traveling across the state to New Bedford, the whaling center of Massachusetts to participate in their version of Downstreet Art, their Aha! Night. It was part of their Big Read Project, Stark Raven Mad. In addition to printing with my mini-presses at the Aha! Night, the Aha! staff put me in touch with a number of other people in New Bedford. We created a mini artist-in-residence. I spent one morning talking to students at UMass Dartmouth, showing them my work and doing a small printing demo. And another morning & afternoon working with fifth graders at two different New Bedford Public Schools. Since the elementary school kids were working on poetry this month, I set a haiku by Basho, that they then printed onto a previously printed bird card. Here are pics of me working with the students. A big shout-out to Peter Pereira, for these great images.

For the Aha! Night, I was invited to print something inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven. Quite a dark piece of writing, a bit counter to how I create my mantra cards. So how to make it positive, how to make it my own?

I began by highlighting some of the really great words in the poem. I chose words that were most inspiring and then poured over my lead type to see what I could put together. During the Aha! Night, visitors used one of my mini-presses

Aha! Raven-inspired card.

Aha! Night New Bedford, The Raven-inspired card.

What’s your Mantra?

What are you thinking about this week?

This semester, PRESS has an artist-in-residence. In January Dr Alke Gröppel-Wegener came over from Staffordshire University in the UK for two weeks to work with students on visual ways of integrating writing into a number of subjects. As part of her stay, she also ran a number of workshops for faculty, where we explored her techniques in order to develop our own professional development, particularly through the medium of postcards. We made ‘academic mantra’ cards, with short text that inspires us in our teaching or advice we ‘give’ to students regularly; and we thought about the goals we have for the rest of the semester. You can see how Melanie is doing this here. And you can go here and here to see what Alke is doing. At the end of the semester, Alke will be back for follow-up and an exhibit related to this process.

This dovetails nicely with some of the things we do at PRESS.

You might be familiar with PRESS’ ever popular mantra cards – portraying inspirational statements, slogans or quotes – so popular we even made our 2014 calendar on the theme. Now we want to fill our window with not just our, but also YOUR mantras – some of which might well make it onto cards…MantraWindow

So come in and pop your mantra on a post-it, ready to add to our collection! If you are not local, write your mantras in our comments and we will add them to our window.

Make your own Mantra, on the road to Vancouver

What a winter! PRESS has taken a bit of a pause after all the effort required to create our fabulous calendars. During this time, I traveled to Vancouver to present a workshop about our the monthly mantra cards that we make that inspired our calendar at the Design Principles and Practices Conference.

Title: Make your own Mantra – Discovering Design As Collective Intelligence Through Designing And Printing Mantra Cards

One of the key aspects of design thinking is that very often it is not purely thinking at all, but it is backed up by a healthy portion of making. Schön’s seminal concepts of reflection-in and on-action as well as generative metaphor will center our workshop. We will explore how as designers and educators we rely on tacit knowledge and how it underpins not only our cognitive thinking strategies but how we think and make in the studio, the classroom and in the world.

In this workshop, participants will examine and evaluate examples of how text and image paired together can challenge and change collective understanding. We will discuss ways of using tacit knowledge, reflection-in and on action and generative metaphor to create new and memorable meaning with overused, out-dated or tired text and image. Text and image will be drawn from design education theory, open-source/stock imagery that designers often farm, as well as vintage letterpress cuts.

Participants will design a number of mantra cards – short, useful and inspiring statements that when paired with different images inspire collective learning, challenge perceived biases and enhance memory.

Here are a couple examples from participant David Short:

Mantra card using packing tape transfer imagery and hand lettering by David Short.

Mantra card using packing tape transfer imagery and hand lettering by David Short.

Mantra card using packing tape transfer imagery and hand lettering by David Short.

Mantra card using packing tape transfer imagery and hand lettering by David Short.

This practice and the workshop spawned additional creative ideas, all based on the mantra idea, these short phrases that we repeat over and over to ourselves. My friend and colleague Alke Groppel-Wegener and I are now working together to continue the practice of making mantra cards and recording mantras in a number of different ways. Click this link to learn more about how!

If you have mantras that guide your practice, whatever it is, teaching, printing, making, please share them with us. More soon about how we are using them.

Some letterpress printed calendars still available!

You know you want one. The PRESS 2014 Calendar.

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Get inspired every month with our Mantra Calendar. Every month was printed at PRESS gallery on our infamous Vandercook letterpress, on 100% cotton paper locally made by Crane Paper and includes quotes from Susan B. Anthony, Helen Keller, Emily Dickinson, VIrginia Wolfe, and more. Every month will contain the usual PRESS charm!

$50+tax for pick-up at PRESS, $60 for shipping and handing (includes tax). For multiple calendar shipments, add only $55 for each extra calendar.

Download the order form and get yours today.2014CalendarForm

Rising Opening

It was another wet, raining gallery opening. That makes two in a row! We wanted something more fun, like snow, or nothing at all. Either way, we had a good time celebrating the rising of a new year with our finally finished calendars (which are still for sale at $50+tax for pick-up or $60 for shipping. They make great Christmas gift!) For this exhibit, they are displayed with the standard clip-and-nail method and the glorious framed method. Also displayed are seven steampunk inspired pressure prints created by the Intro. to Design class, and they are so charming. Even more, it was the first time that they ever made pressure prints! We hung up a collaborative piece between artists Nick Vaughan and Jake Morgolin and the Collage and Printmaking students where Nick and Jake typewrote on wallpaper and the students stenciled on top of it. Our window display is also festive with banners, a tapestry, and a wreath made by Melanie (what doesn’t she do.) Our card of the month features a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson and features a vintage block of an owl, everyone’s favorite.

Here are couple photos from the night, which includes Melanie and the gang (Ben, Jonas, and Michaela.) There are more at our Flickr page. Happy Holidays everyone!

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