Archive for April, 2010

Durham School of the Arts Exhibition

Posted in Aesthetic Experience, Art, Durham, Event, Friends on April 27, 2010 by horseandbuggypress

I worked with one of the DSA seniors, Matt Brondoli, on a poster for the Durham School of the Arts Portfolio show.

The reception is this Thursday, April 29, from 4-6 pm, and the exhibit will be until May 14 in the New Building Atrium at DSA.

Matthew and and I designed the poster together, most of it was digitally printed by Theo Davis Printing, but Matthew himself hand-printed the title type on the Vandercook letterpress here at the studio.

Carolyn Maynard, one of the DSA art teachers, was here at the studio during last week’s Art Walk, and shared that she thought the work in this year’s was show was especially strong.


Builders of Hope / Art exhibit and event

Posted in Art, Event, Horse & Buggy Press project on April 15, 2010 by horseandbuggypress

Builders of Hope is a relatively new organization that is quickly establishing itself by doing a lot of good work. They are up for a Triangle Community Foundation "What Matters" Innovation Award

Learn more at the Builders of Hope website

Green Frame is their first annual art exhibit fundraiser and will be on display at the Raleigh City Museum through the end of April.

Green Frame info and links

I designed the poster, minibrochure, and catalogues for the exhibition which features the work of sixteen invited artists from across the Triangle. These artists made works with materials salavaged from Builders of Hope jobsites.

Get a peek below or even better get yourself over to the exhibit to check it out in person.

Saturday, April 24 from 7-10pm is the auction night fundraiser where the artworks will be sold to raise money. It should be a good time. Tickets are are available at their website (link above) and cost $100 each, or $175 for a couple (this does include drinks and food).

The NC artblog ran a nice article about the exhibit which includes some great pictures.

Friday night film at Center for Doc Studies

Posted in Art, Event on April 14, 2010 by horseandbuggypress

This looks pretty good. from the CDS release…

Between Floors by Jen White
Friday, April 16, 7 p.m. (reception at 6 p.m.) / Center for Documentary Studies Auditorium
Part of the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers

Between Floors examines the human condition through a uniquely claustrophobic lens, intercutting between five stuck elevators and the people trapped inside them. Each elevator becomes an existential purgatory, forcing its occupants to confront not only their isolation but also themselves and each other in varied and unexpected ways. Taking place entirely inside these elevators, Between Floors is as unusual as it is arresting, blurring lines of genre, tone and form while its characters are stripped bare—trapped, alone, waiting—and we get to watch what happens. Awkwardly funny, numbingly tragic, anxiously crushing, and ultimately liberating, the film features a colorful variety of characters stripped of control, slowed to a halt, and forced to reflect … until the doors open.

Jen White became a camera junkie at the age of twelve while earning a photography badge in Girl Scouts. After graduating from Columbia College Chicago with a B.A. in film production in 1999, White moved back to her home town of Austin, Texas, where she works primarily as a cinematographer. She has shot multiple feature films, documentaries, and award-winning shorts and music videos. Her work has aired on A&E, TLC, Discovery, MTV Europe, and PBS, as well as festivals around the world. When she’s not shooting projects for other directors, White pulls double duty as director and cinematographer for music videos, live concerts, short films, and the occasional documentary or commercial. Between Floors is her feature film debut.




Harry Duncan quote

Posted in 21st century life, Aesthetic Experience, Art, Horse & Buggy Press project on April 12, 2010 by horseandbuggypress

Doing a little organizing in the shop, I found some older stuff I had forgotten about, including the following Harry Duncan quote…

“Books are communicative instruments so vital to civilization that their production must not be consigned wholly to automatic means, whether industrial, economic, or technological; in the process of transmitting culture they embody it, and therefore need to undergo the vicissitudes of the human condition so that they will reflect our common experience more truly.”

I liked it when I first read it in the early 90s, and while the world has changed a lot in the last fifteen years I still like it, and I still think making hand-printed book editions while collaborating with contemporary writers and artists is a good and relevant activity, even in the age of Kindle and what have you.

Next month Horse & Buggy Press celebrates its fourteenth year of existence. For that I’m grateful.

I’m hopeful that I’ll keep getting interesting projects and commissioned work. I’m pretty darn sure I’ll keep meeting interesting people and getting adrenalized about the idea of collaborating with them on book editions. Where the money and time comes from to turn those ideas into physical realities is always the hard part.

For now, I’m enjoying working on Poplar Forest.

I’m also working on “Hopeful Monsters,” a collection of literary works by Ristin Cooks. Ristin lived in Chatham County where she ran Castle Rock Gardens with her partner Patrick Walsh until she passed away last year from cancer at the age of 41. A gathering of her friends, including Darren Stanhouse who wrote this article for the Independent last year about Ristin have pitched in to commission me to make a hand-printed edition of some of her works.

27 Views of Hillsborough: the third title from Eno Publishers

Posted in Aesthetic Experience, Friends, Horse & Buggy Press project on April 8, 2010 by horseandbuggypress

Back from the bindery is the third title I’ve designed and typeset for Elizabeth Woodman’s Eno Publishers.

**just in… The debut title from Eno Publishers, "Rain Gardening in the South" just won the silver award from the Garden Writers Association of America. Congratulations to Helen Kraus and Anne Spafford (and Elizabeth)

“27 Views of Hillsborough: A Southern Town in Prose & Poetry” is an excellent book with a wide range of authors and writing genres. Short stories, essays, poems, history, and more from a diverse range of Hillsborough citizens.

Allan Gurganus’s essay “Old Houses and Young Men: Notes on Renovation and Survival,” Bob Burtman’s “Indentity Crisis,” and Thomas J. Campanella’s “Hillsborough in Time and Space: A View from Afar” are some of my favorite pieces I’m enjoying re-reading.

from Allan’s essay…

“And now I have a house. Its walls are hung with photos of my dead young friends; its book shelves feature first and second novels by kids manic with starter promise. Some porch rockers serve as secret portraits of expired pals. These make my house a family home, if for one particular kind of family. “Some men propagate, others decorate,” so goes an easy joke. And it seems plain that love of Home-life is sometimes most zealously celebrated by those denied full marital-and-legal rights to it.

This old home—seen by strangers from the street—what sort of family must it seem to house? Does the off-brand-answer make mine less a family? I am sometimes asked, “You live alone in all these rooms?” Yes and no.

I was once grilled by a local husband and wife, “Why would someone like you need a station wagon?” (Does a bachelor’s furniture, mulch, and friends weigh less than that of the normative married?)

How do you answer that? And should a property-owning taxpayer really have to?

Is this domicile—containing one bachelor, his very old ancestors, and his very young ghosts—really earning its keep?

Don’t ask, don’t tell.”

The book is a virtual steal at only $15.95. You can buy copies here at the studio, from the Eno Publishers website, or at your local bookstore.

If you buy it here at the studio before Mother’s Day, the book will come with a free letterpress printed, all-purpose Southern greeting card.

Saturday, April 24; 3:00 pm
Friends of the Orange County Public Library, 137 W. Margaret Lane, Hillsborough
Purple Crow Books, and Eno Publishers will host the launch of 27 Views of Hillsborough Many of the authors will be on-hand to sign books and talk about their contributions to the collection. For the Friends of the Library, Purple Crow, and Eno, this event marks a fortunate confluence of interests that celebrate our local literary resources and Hillsborough’s unique place in the American literary landscape. (Unfortunately I’ll be up in the mountains that weekend and can’t make it, should be a fun time though).

Tuesday, June 11; 7:00 pm
Regulator Bookshop
John Valentine, co-owner of The Regulator, is one of the writers in the collection and will be on hand along with Beverly Scarlett, Michael Malone, and others.

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

Posted in 21st century life, Art, Durham, Event, Horse & Buggy Press project on April 5, 2010 by horseandbuggypress

The 112 page program guides are being delivered to the Armory tomorrow.

Thanks to all who entered the raffle for the two weekend passes. Kyle York and Cherie Westmoreland were the lucky winners, and we raised $310 for the festival.

Hopefully you’ve been seeing the broadsheets I designed up and around. (there are two versions)

The broadsheets have short descriptions of the films and the film schedule grids but you can also go to the Full Frame website, w hich has extensive descriptions of the films and more. Advance tix are on sale through Weds online.

Cranks like me who aren’t into spending more time in front of a computer in their off hours and prefer ink on paper should go to the Armory on Thursday and pickup a copy of the program guide.

In addition to 60 new docs, many that are premiering at Full Frame, the festival also has some a thematic series “Chair-Making, Pole-Dancing, Coal-Mining, Cart-Pushing: Films on Work and Labor,” curated by Filmamkers Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert.

The career award this year goes to Liz Garbus and Rory Kennedy and seven of their films will be shown.

For the first time there will be two outdoor free screenings at Durham’s Central Park, Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00. One of the films is made by some locals and will also screen Sunday evening at 7:30, again for free. Pelada is “the story of two former college athletes, one male and one female who travel the world looking for pickup soccer games, meeting an extraordinary range of people who play for the love of the game.” Sounds like a great story, and a reminder that playing sports isn’t just an activity for kids and professional athletes.

Article about forthcoming Poplar Forest title

Posted in Friends, Horse & Buggy Press project on April 3, 2010 by horseandbuggypress

Nice little article about the origins of Rob McDonald’s interest in Poplar Forest.

article in Lychburg, Virginia newspaper

Just when you thought it would be a crime against history to publish yet another book on the much-examined Thomas Jefferson, along comes Virginia Military Institute professor Rob McDonald with a new angle.

You’ve heard and read, bordering on brain freeze, about President Thomas Jefferson, Governor Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson the statesman, Thomas Jefferson the slaveholder, Thomas Jefferson the inventor and Thomas Jefferson’s views on the separation of church and state.

McDonald, who teaches English to VMI cadets, is approaching the great man from a different direction — Jefferson the writer. That led him to Poplar Forest with a camera as well as a notebook, and the result was the simply titled “Poplar Forest,” a collection of photographs framed by a short text written by McDonald and a poem by Sam Witt.

On April 24, the same day as “Conversations with Thomas Jefferson,” McDonald will be at Poplar Forest to sign prints of his photographs and take advance orders for the book. He will then return for a book signing on May 15.

Jefferson’s Bedford County retreat will be open to visitors for the season beginning today.

“Jefferson was a wonderful writer,” said McDonald. “He’s so measured, and he had such a natural form.”

And with McDonald, what writers wrote shares equal time in his investigations with where they wrote it.

“I was working on a book about the places where Southern writers found their personal landscape and private space,” he said. “Flannery O’Connor and William Faulkner were two of the subjects, and then I thought about Jefferson.

“I know you don’t usually think about Jefferson as a writer, but he was a fine one. And since he wrote most of ‘Notes on the State of Virginia’ at Poplar Forest, where he went to get away from all the activity at Monticello, I decided to go there. When I did, I was hooked.”

A native South Carolinian, McDonald had never before visited Jefferson’s Bedford County retreat.

“Walking the grounds, I could really imagine what it must have been like for Jefferson,” he said. “I even liked the fact that the house had no furniture. It took away the distractions, and it looked as if someone was getting ready to move in there.

“At Poplar Forest, Jefferson could be close to a hermit. He did a lot of his thinking walking those fields. I went back three times.”

Eventually, McDonald decided to separate Jefferson from the other Southern writers in his book and approach Poplar Forest as a separate entity. His photographs are more atmospheric than historic, an attempt to capture the mood and feel of the place.

“One reviewer said they were ‘ambiguous,’” McDonald said. “I took that as a compliment.”

The book was published by Horse & Buggy Press of Durham, N.C., which specializes in high-end books.

As owner Dave Wofford says on his Web site: “I design books … that have won awards for both their design and content. These top-shelf titles — housed in special collections across the globe, including the rare-book rooms of the New York Public Library, the British Library, the Library of Paris, the Vatican, and the Penland School of Crafts Coffeehouse — are not mere fetishized objects for collectors and vitrine cases. These collaborations also happily reside in the home libraries of thousands of readers, are shared between friends, are used in college literature programs, and donated to municipal libraries.”

“Each book will have a number attached to it, and will be a limited edition,” McDonald added.

After today, Poplar Forest will be open six days a week, Wednesday through Monday, until Nov. 30. Guided tours of Jefferson’s octagonal house begin at 10 a.m. and run every half hour with the last tour beginning at 4 p.m. Admission is $14 for adults, $12 for seniors and active military, $6 for ages 12-18, $2 for ages 6-11 and free for ages 5 and younger.

Printing on the book edition will begin in about a week.
Advance copies are for sale.
More info about the book, including links to order forms here in earlier blog post