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Posts tagged ‘Genesee Center for the Arts & Education’

2014 Letterpress Calendar is Ready!

2014 Letterpress Calendar

(Click image to go to the Genesee Center for the Arts & Education’s Etsy page to purchase.)

This calendar is a collaboration of over a dozen “friends of the Printing & Book Arts Center” (based out of the Genesee Center for the Arts & Education) in Rochester, New York. The Printing & Book Arts Center program began in 2005 and is dedicated to preserving and promoting the tradition of letterpress printing, paper making, and bookbinding.

Each and every page of this calendar (with exception to May, which is hand screen-printed) was printed on a Vandercook No.3/No.4 Proof Press or a Heidelberg printing press.

Each month is an original piece of artwork from a featured local artist.

A variety of methods were used to print the images including lead type, wood type, hand cut linoleum block, photopolymer plates, and more! It’s nearly impossible to find a letterpress calendar of this size with such diverse images and processes.

January: Geri McCormick
February: Mariah Pfeiffer/Adriane Smith
March: Steven Lee-Davis
April: Shana Krisiloff
May: Matt Saxon
June: Karin Marlett-Choi
July: Bill Dexter
August: Christina Bartonicek
September: Elaine Cohen
October: Amy Rau
November: Roy Sowers
December: Chris Charles

Front Cover: Steven Lee-Davis
Back Cover: Mitchel Cohen
Calendar Grids: Bill Dexter

Two of our Rochester Artisans contributed to the creation of this calendar – Karin Marlett-Choi and Chris Charles!

Rochester Artisan Chris Charles of Fly Rabbit Press created the December page.

Rochester Artisan Chris Charles of Fly Rabbit Press created the December page.

Rochester Artisan Karin Marlett-Choi of Intertwingle created the June page.

Rochester Artisan Karin Marlett-Choi of Intertwingle created the June page.

Get to Know . . . Chris Charles


Hello! I’m Chris Charles, and I own Fly Rabbit Press. My business Facebook page is here.

How long have you been an artist and how did you get started?

I’ve been an artist my whole life – in high school I used to waive lunch so I could take an extra art class! After high school I attended Montserrat College of Art (Beverly, MA) and received a BFA in painting. Then, while living in Southern California, I went back to school for graphic design, which I still do today. About 4 years ago I stumbled on letterpress printing. After taking a couple of classes I became a renter at the Genesee Center for Arts Education. This is still where I do most of my printing.


Explain a little bit about your process.

I use a combination of hand-set type, linoleum carving and photopolymer (custom plates made from computer files). Setting type involves putting together letters made of metal or wood, one letter at a time. Everything needs to be properly spaced and blocked out, then locked up in the press. I would say about 80% of each project is sketching/design and set-up, the other 20% actual printing on the press.


What’s the comment heard most often about your art?

Many people say they like how it has a vintage look. I also get laughs from a few of my cards.


What is one thing people find surprising in how your art is created?

I don’t think letterpress is a printing technique many people are familiar with, so often my prints are confused for silk-screens or even digital prints! Once I explain the process, people are surprised by the technique, and how time-consuming it is.


What’s the one tool you couldn’t live without, in creating your art?



How has your art changed over time?

I feel like I have more tricks up my sleeve these days – different techniques I’ve learned or experimented with over the past several years–which creates more possibilities. My carving skills have improved as well, so overall I’ve become more adventurous with my art.


What’s your favorite part of making your pieces? Least favorite?

My favorite part– the first time I pull a print, and get to see ink on paper.

Least favorite– when things go wrong on the press and I can’t figure out why. Usually many tears are involved.

What’s your dream project?

A poster series for a musician or festival (listen up Jazz Fest!), of course with no limit on materials/colors I can use, and an endless budget 🙂

Where is your art available for purchase?

Dunham Enfield Gallery
Pistachio Press, 250 Goodman Street, Rochester, NY 14607
Western NY Book Arts Center in Buffalo, N Y (in the gift shop)


What is a Cash Mob, You Ask?

A Cash Mob is a group of people organized to shop at a certain small business at a prearranged date and time. The idea is to support a locally-owned business, giving them a boost in sales and visibility.

Janice Gouldthorpe, Executive Director, and Kate Edgerton, Communications Specialist, at the Genesee Center for Arts and Education are organizers of Rochester’s Cash Mob. “We are a community arts center and cash mobs support the locally owned and created goods and service businesses in our community.  We hope you and other supporters of the Genesee Center for the Arts & Education want to support our local businesses by spending your dollars locally.”

I’ve noticed that public awareness about supporting local businesses has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years. From time to time, I have customers ask me at shows, where I’m from. Sometimes it’s because they like getting to the know the artist whose work they are purchasing. Sometimes, it’s very specific, they are looking to buy gifts made locally. I love when they say that because it gives me an opportunity to thank them for supporting us.

Last year I encouraged Rochester Artisans to identify themselves as a local artist by having a sign in their space stating their hometown. And posting a sign like this one that I found online and printed, framed and hung in my space.

(I’ve tried to trace back to the original source for this, have not been successful. I’m happy to give credit to the original artist who created this. Anyone know? But I have a feeling he/she is pleased it’s gone viral.)

And lastly Rochester Artisans can always post our own sign in their selling space. I’ve been printing them on bright yellow paper and it’s been fun to see them all over the place at shows. (I always carry some with me, if I run into you at shows, just ask. Or go to the Files section of our Yahoo site and print your own!)

I’m loving this cash mob concept. It’s such a win for all. The shop gets a shot of funds and both store and artisans get some nice exposure.

For this go-round, I’m pulling hard for Soulstice Artisan Market to be the “victim” of the Saturday March 24 Cash Mob. Voting ends Tuesday, March 20. A good number of us Rochester Artisans are grateful to Collette Welch and her amazing store for selling only local hand crafted artisan works. Please vote – and visit the store, located at 632 North Winton Road, Rochester, NY.

Soulstice is also involved in Rochester’s First Friday events. I was lucky enough to be featured one Friday last year, at her store. I demo’d my stitching, brought new items to the store, a bunch of Rochester Artisan friends stopped by – and Channel 8 showed up! That was simultaneously weird and cool. If the video existed somewhere, I’d link to it. You’ll have to trust me, I was breathtakingly gorgeous and profoundly entertaining. 😉

But I’d be remiss, if I didn’t also talk about Jean Wescott’s The Artful Gardener. Her very cool store is located at 727 Mt Hope Avenue, Rochester, NY – and also nominated for the March 24 Cash Mob.

I had the pleasure of meeting Jean at the Blue exhibit the Rochester Artisans held at The Dryer House Gallery in Victor, now sadly out of business. Tom Zachman sells his fused glass work there – I’m guessing there are other Rochester Artisans there too.

The cool thing is any locally owned store can be nominated over and over until they win, then they are asked to sit out and give other stores a chance.

Let’s get busy and support each other!

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