PRESS is part of the 2012 Downstreet Art series, and is supported by the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA). It is located at 105 Main Street in North Adams.
HOURS OF OPERATION:
THURSDAY-FRIDAY 12-6 p.m.
SATURDAY 12-4 p.m.
SUNDAY 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
CONTACT: letterpress105 [at] gmail [dot] com
What is PRESS?
PRESS: LetterPRESS as a Public Art Project is an educational and artistic resource for letterpress printmaking in the Berkshires, with a fully operational Vandercook Universal III Proof Press as the centerpiece of the combined gallery, studio and teaching space. Located in North Adams, MA, PRESS invites the public to experience traditional letterpress printing through observation, exhibitions, workshops and independent explorations.
What is a Vandercook Proof PRESS?
Moveable type revolutionized the world. Chicago newspaperman Robert Vandercook capitalized on that when he founded Vandercook proof presses in 1909. (PRESS uses a machine from 1969.) Originally, proof presses tested moveable type and plates that made up the pages of the newspaper. In the 21st century, artists use letterpress machines to create contemporary art, with moveable lead and wood type, and relief surfaces like linoleum, wood, and polymer plates.
Why is PRESS relevant now?
In a time when many people feel detached from print that isn’t on a computer screen, PRESS embraces the physicality of the printing process, celebrating the tactile qualities of beautiful handset lead and wood type prints. PRESS utilizes traditional processes to create contemporary art, often using techniques that bring state-of-the-art processes together with century old practices. Visitors love to watch the single sheet of paper strapped to the cylinder moving across the relief surface as it gets printed and punched. At PRESS, you can see how newspapers, books and pictures were created in the days when the first step in getting print into the public’s hands was to use a letterpress proof press.
Who benefits from PRESS?
People who link printing to foreign-made ink jets and lasers, learn about the roots of printing and the avenues for personal pleasure and experience that it offers. Others may remember their experience of traditional print media and its processes. Work made at PRESS slows down the process, encouraging the creator to mindfully create with the wood and lead, image and text.
How can I support PRESS?
PRESS invites you to see for yourself through observation, workshops or the realization of independent explorations. Whether attending an opening, passing by in your spare time or visiting for a special event, sharing your experiences at PRESS with others is crucial to our continued growth and success. PRESS also offers other avenues of contribution for those that feel inclined to offer monetary support.
PRESS invites you to see for yourself through observation, workshops or the realization of independent explorations. PRESS is a Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) project, supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. To find your way into our project: