Exhibition Catalogue in Process

I’m working on a catalogue for Thomas Sayre’s upcoming exhibit at the Gregg Museum of Art & Design. The opening reception is Thursday Jan 22.


There was a halfway decent N&O article in Sunday’s paper about Thomas’s earthcasting sculptures.

The show at the Gregg Museum of Art & Design will be more than fully decent and is slated to include vessels created especially for this exhibition, as well as paintings made after an inspiring visit to Colorado. This trip and subsequent experiments by Thomas resulted in a new process of creating imagery (visitors to the new Raleigh convention center may have seen one of these large scale Aspen paintings.)

Working on the catalogue has been pretty great. In large part, because of Roger Manley’s terrific essay that really delves into the person behind the artifacts and finished pieces and explores the why’s of making things.
The essay also does a great job of tracing the trajectory of an artist through their life, changes, realizations, and development. Many catalogues end up being merely an assemblage of images with captions and a rudimentary essay where one person pontificates on the meaning of the finished work. Thankfully, the Gregg is a place where you can count on not only a well curated show, but a catalogue that will still be interesting to read ten years down the line and be far more than extended captions and pseudo-intellectual masturbation.

Roger has woven some great quotes into his essay and this also creates a sense of overlapping narratives to absorb and feed into each other….

I now know definitively over 9,000 ways that an electric light bulb will not work. Success is almost in my grasp.—Thomas Edison

Architecture versus art is somewhat like sonnets versus free verse. Is one activity more creative than the other, simply because it has fewer restrictions? I don’t think so.—Thomas Sayre

I’m trying to ensure this will be a catalogue where the text and visual narratives will actually drive each other and come together in a holistic fashion as opposed to merely residing next to each other. This is where publication design projects are fun. Figuring out how to have the content feed into the form of the piece, and thinking about the experiential aspect of reading the catalogue, and considering the second and third readings as much as the first all encompassing glance and flip.
The fixed parameter of two page spreads means there is an element of time and pacing to be considered as a design tool. And this time measure and page flip does different things on different types of reads.

Another spread below in progress. We are likely going to use a relatively new typeface called Dolly. It actually came out in 2001 but I just purchased it and this is the first time I’ll be using it. The typeface came with a lil type specimen printed book with the story of how the shop dog is whom the typeface was named after.


One of the the nice things about this typeface is it is a lower contrast serif book face, and semi-heaviyish. It lays down a fair amount of color when used as a text block. This means it looks good and will be easier to read. (In a high contrast typeface the thins would be quite thin and often be wimpy, this tends to look like crap and makes reading less than pleasurable). In the old days when letterpress was the printing method used the thins tended to thicken up a lil bit inevtiably due to the slight impression of letterpress printing. Nowadays, offset is how books are printed and we don’t get that thickening up of the strokes (and a few years ago when many design files began running straight to plate instead of going to film then plate we lost another bit of thickness/weight/color). Okay enough type primer.

See you at the reception. Maybe if enough people holler at the NC DOT and our local governments there will be a passenger light rail line in our lifetime and we can shoot the shit on the way to a cultural event at NC State?

Dare to dream… but in the meantime find some official and make some noise.

Do you really want $918 million of North Carolina’s share of the upcoming infrastructure bill to go to the 540 Outer Loop? I sure as hell don’t.


2 Responses to “Exhibition Catalogue in Process”

  1. This is phenomenal. I am doing a project on Thomas Sayre for school. I found this information and pictures online and was very impressed. I as wondering if there was a way I could get larger versions of your pictures of the process to include in my project. I will give you credit for it. Also any other information you have would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Kimberly please email me and I will get you what you want.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: