Letterpress and Book Arts Center

Letterpress and Book Arts Center

The Letterpress and Book Arts Center at the Ringling College of Art and Design is an interdisciplinary facility for education, creative research, collaboration, and production. The mission of the center is to bring together students, faculty, staff, visiting artists, alumni, friends, and other members of our community to honor, explore, and advance the potential of artists' publications to serve as connections between art, media, technology, and theory. The Center hosts undergraduate classes, lectures, workshops, and demonstrations, and facilitates the production of artists’ publications by visiting artists, faculty, students, and community members.

Monitored Studio Hours

Monday 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM (by appointment)
Tuesday 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM, 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Wednesday 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM, 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Thursday 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 
Friday 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM (by appointment)
Sunday 6:00 - 10:00 PM

Monitored Studio Hours, with full access to our printing and binding equipment, are available for Ringling College of Art and Design undergraduate students who are currently enrolled in, or have successfully completed, Intro to Letterpress (ELEC 220), Advanced Letterpress (ELEC 330X), Collaboratory: Artists' Publications (ELEC 350), or an Orientation Session. Project consultations are also available, by appointment, for students who are new to the studio or need some help getting started. Students, faculty, staff, and community members who are interested in learning more about the Letterpress and Book Arts Center are welcome to drop in for a visit during Monitored Studio Hours.

Contact Us
Bridget Elmer
Edward & Carol Cheek Center
Campus Map #15


What's New?

Demonstrations and Orientations

Letterpress Luncheons

October 18, 2017
Artist Talk with Marshall Weber
11:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Letterpress and Book Arts Center

After 20 years in New York, Marshall Weber has recently relocated to Olympia, Washington and is represented by, and is currently a curator for Booklyn, Inc. Booklyn is an artist-run not-for-profit organization headquartered in Brooklyn, NY which focuses on distributing, publishing and designing exhibitions of artworks by activist artist and groups that are concerned with social and environmental justice issues. Weber has significant bodies of art work in: artists’ books, collage, drawing, poetry, printing, video, social practice, and public endurance performance art. He has curated 100's of exhibitions around the world since the 1980's and he is known for his outspoken advocacy for cutting-edge artists and cultural organizations that work outside of the mainstream academic and commercial art world.

November 8, 2017
Artist Talk with Sheryl Oring
11:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Academic Center Auditorium

Sheryl Oring examines critical social issues through projects that incorporate old and new media to tell stories, examine public opinion and foster open exchange. Using tools typically employed by journalists (the camera, the typewriter, the pen, the interview and the archive) she builds on experience in her former profession to create installations, performances, artist books and internet-based works. Oring received her MFA from the University of California at San Diego and works as an Assistant Professor of Art at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She recently completed a public art commission at the San Diego International Airport, and is currently at work on a public art commission at the Tampa International Airport.

December 6, 2017
Embossing on the Letterpress with Bob Tauber
11:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Letterpress and Book Arts Center

Grab your lunch and join us at the Letterpress and Book Arts Center on the first Wednesday of each month for our Letterpress Luncheon. Each month, we feature a different letterpress printing technique and provide a hands-on demonstration of the process. A small selection of work is also displayed, with a focus on the techniques demonstrated. All Ringling College students, faculty, and staff are welcome. Sweet treats and refreshments are provided. No experience necessary, no fee, and no registration required.

Orientation Sessions

November 1, 2017 9:00 - 11:30 AM

Risograph and Bindery
November 8, 2017 9:00 - 11:30 AM

These sessions are available for Ringling College students, faculty, and staff who are interested in working in the Letterpress and Book Arts Center during Monitored Studio Hours. Each session begins with a tour of the center, followed by hands-on instruction with an emphasis on learning to work safely and creatively with the equipment at the center. Anyone who successfully completes an orientation may use the demonstrated equipment during Monitored Studio Hours. Elective courses and intensive workshops are available for those interested in more extensive instruction. No experience necessary and no fee. All materials provided. Registration required. Please contact Bridget Elmer at (941)309-4049 or belmer@c.ringling.edu to register.


Freedom of the Presses

Freedom of the Presses is a collaborative exhibition co-curated by Booklyn, Inc. and members of the Ringling College of Art and Design community. The project focuses on the creative and democratic processes of 21st century independent artist's publishing and offers models of empowering and educational art publishing practices. The exhibition will include a selection of artists' publications from Booklyn, Inc. and the Brizdle-Schoenberg Special Collections Center at Ringling College of Art and Design. Highlights include the Streetopia artist’s book, alternative art fair, and textbook project; performances and publications by Sheryl Oring; and community publishing projects from the multi-generational collective, Mobile Print Power. Artists’ books, zines, prints, and items of ephemera will be exhibited, along with a curators panel, book fair, and other events.

Other Events

Wednesday, October 18
Artist Talk, Marshall Weber
Letterpress and Book Arts Center, 11:30 am-12:15 pm

Thursday, October 19
Gallery Talk, Curators
Richard and Basch Gallery, 11:30 am-12:15 pm              

Friday, October 20
Opening Reception
Richard and Barbara Basch Gallery, 5:00-7:00 pm
with concurrent openings at madeby Gallery
and the Brizdle-Schoenberg Special Collections Center

Tuesday, November 7
SEA Change Film Screening: Access + Mobility
Academic Center Auditorium, 6:30-8:00 pm
featuring Beauty in Transition, Triple Island, Swale, Nanny Van, and I Wish to Say

Wednesday, November 8
Artist Talk
Sheryl Oring Academic Center Auditorium, 11:30 am-12:15 pm

Friday, November 10
HaikU Road Signs Workshop, EXILE Books
Academic Center Lobby, 11:00 am-1:30 pm

Saturday, November 11
Book Fair, Ringling College of Art and Design Ringling Students and Alumni, Booklyn, Inc., and EXILE Books
Alfred R. Goldstein Library, 11:00 am-4:00 pm

Bluebird Books Bus, NOMAD Art Bus
Ringling College Campus, 11:00 am-4:00 pm

I Wish To Say Performance Sheryl Oring
Alfred R. Goldstein Library, 1:00-3:00 pm

HaikU Road Signs Installation, EXILE Books
Ringling College Campus, 11:00 am-4:00 pm

Continuing Studies Classes

Letterpress Printing (LTP150)
Oct 1-29, Su/10 AM-4 PM, $295
Polly Johnson, 5 sessions, 30 hours
Celebrate the elegance and craftsmanship of letterpress printing as you learn the foundations of this centuries-old art form. Using our extensive collection of vintage type and antique metal engravings, students in this workshop will be introduced to the basics of hand setting type, make-ready, and printing on the letterpress. Beginner through advanced skill levels welcome.


Visiting Artists

Information for Academic Year 2017-2018 to be announced soon.

Artist's Publication Series
The Letterpress and Book Arts Center invites applications for our annual Artist's Publication Series. This program invites visiting artists to propose an original artist's publication that, if chosen by the selection committee, is produced in collaboration with Ringling College students, faculty, and staff at the Letterpress and Book Arts Center. Production takes place over the course of the academic year and the finished edition is released at our annual Handmade Artist's Book event, organized in collaboration with the Ringling College Library and Vamp & Tramp Booksellers. Artists previously featured in the series include Ke Francis, Graciela Iturbide, Julie Chen, and Ellen Knudson. For more information about the series or to submit a proposal, please contact Bridget Elmer at (941)309-4049 or belmer@c.ringling.edu.



About Us

The Letterpress and Book Arts Center was established at the Ringling College of Art and Design in May of 2011, with the acquisition of Harold and Judilee Sterne’s studio. Harold "Hal" Sterne, who passed away in 2010, began printing at the age of 14 and is a central figure in the history of letterpress printing and equipment preservation. Hal co-founded NA Graphics with Tom Bell and purchased Vandersons (previously Vandercook & Sons) just days before the company was scheduled to close its doors. As Fritz Klinke (current owner of NA Graphics) explains, if it weren't for Hal, "we would have nothing in the way of support for these presses today."

The Ringling College Letterpress and Book Arts Center currently houses five operational printing presses, including a Chandler and Price 8x12 Old Style platen press, two Vandercook SP-15 flatbed cylinder presses, a Vandercook Universal III AB, and a Nolan Standard proof press. The Center is generously equipped with over 400 cases of type, 4,000 metal engravings, and an Anderson Vreeland Orbital XI photopolymer platemaker. In addition, the Center houses a variety of tools for bookbinding, box making, and creative packaging, with two book presses, a D&K 210M dry mounting press, a Golding Pearl guillotine, an Ideal 4315 guillotine, an Ideal 1046 Kutrimmer, and two additional paper cutters. Hal's extensive library of printing, bookbinding, and graphic arts resources, which was generously donated to Ringling College of Art and Design by his wife Judi, is also available for on-site access at the Center.






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