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[BKARTS] The Press at Colorado College: traveling exhibition and catalogue



For Immediate Release
Contact: Jane Turnis
(719) 389-6138;  jturnis@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
                   
NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED CAMPUS PRESS
CELEBRATED IN NEW ART EXHIBIT

The Press at Colorado College Tells Story of a Passion for Printing

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. April 13, 2004. Students remember passing dampened
sheets of Rives Heavyweight paper to Jim Trissel, watching as he precisely
placed each sheet, stamped it with a press-mounted plate, and handed it
back.

For 22 years they worked with this impassioned artist at The Press at
Colorado College, and today, they continue to create finely made books,
keeping alive an art professor¹s sense of discovery, his love for the
aesthetically beautiful book, and a legacy of fine printing that made its
mark nationally and internationally, including:

Three publications included in the New York Public Library¹s exhibits
³Seventy from the Seventies,² ³Eighty from the Eighties,² and the current
³Ninety from the Nineties.²

Several books collected by the Newberry Library in Chicago

A book produced on commission from the Arts for Nature Trust of England as a
75th birthday gift for Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh

>From April 17 through May 16, the fine art of such handset,
letterpress-printed books created at The Press at Colorado College will be
celebrated in a new exhibit at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center: ³The
Press at Colorado College: The Pressroom as Classroom.î After its Colorado
Springs run, the exhibit will travel to Scripps College, the Newberry
Library in Chicago, the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, and the University
of Arts in Philadelphia.

On April 24, book-art fans can visit The Press at Colorado College (at
Jackson house, on the southeast corner of North Nevada Avenue and San Rafael
Street on the Colorado College campus, Colorado Springs) for a free open
house where they can view the limited-edition books created there since
1977. 

The first press was brought to Colorado College in the mid-70s by
then-provost Jim Stauss, who enlisted Trissel, a professor of studio art and
art history, to help transport it. But Stauss died shortly thereafter, and
the press sat unused for several years. In 1977, it came to life--as did
Trissel¹s interest. Trissel, whose father and grandfather had both worked as
printers, took a sabbatical from 1977 to 1978 to immerse himself in the
technology, design and history of printing. He sought out and learned from
the very best in the art of fine printing, and he began to collect classic
typefaces.

In 1979 Trissel, five students and another faculty member printed Wendell
Berry¹s ³Reverdure,² one of the first books issued by The Press at Colorado
College. An initially disgruntled Berry--he had earlier refused to sign any
books--saw the finished 100 copies, and immediately signed them all. That
book was selected for ³Seventy from the Seventies² at the New York Public
Library.

In the ensuing 20 years, Trissel and his students turned out nearly 40
books, including some that he authored, including ³LETTERpressworkBOOK,²
currently on display in the New York Public Library¹s ³Ninety from the
Nineties² exhibit. At least 200 students--about 10 each year--worked with
him, tweezering letters and spaces into place, aligning registration so a
color would print perfectly on pages as they were fed into the press, one at
a time. It was painstaking work; often a year or more was spent on one book.
Sometimes only 25 copies of a particular book were made.

Trissel was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 1998, and died in 1999. The
Press at Colorado College, now under the supervision of press coordinator
and former Trissel student Brian Molanphy, continues to print books--poetry,
history, sacred literature, historical documents and more--and students
continue to learn the fine art of printing, carrying on the legacy of the
fine campus press. 

The catalog for the exhibit ³The Press at Colorado College: The Pressroom as
Classroom² is available for purchase ($15) at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts
Center, 30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs, (719) 634-5583; or at The Press at
Colorado College (for $15 + $2 postage/handling), 14 East Cache la Poudre
Street, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903, (719) 389-6376. The catalog
features essays by Trissel, former student / now faculty member and poet
David Mason, former faculty member and poet Joan Stone, curator and
book-arts expert Betty Bright, and Newberry Library curator Paul Gehl, as
well as images of some of the pages created at the press.

Exhibition and open house information:
Saturday, April 17-Sunday, May 16
Exhibition opening:  "The Press at Colorado College: The Pressroom as
Classroom," an exhibit on book arts and fine-quality books printed by The
Press at Colorado College. Exhibit will tour to Scripps College (fall 2004),
the Newberry Library in Chicago (early 2005), the Minnesota Center for Book
Arts (fall 2005), and the University of Arts in Philadelphia (spring 2006)
after this show. 
9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Sundays. Colorado
Springs Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St., (719) 634-5583, $2-$5.

Saturday, April 24
Open House: Demonstration of The Press at Colorado College, as well as
viewing and sale of the high-quality books produced there since 1977 using
letterpress printing, calligraphy, and other book-arts printing techniques.
Offered in conjunction with "The Press at Colorado College: The Pressroom as
Classroom" exhibit at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, April 17-May
16. Noon-5 p.m., Jackson House (southeast corner of North Nevada Avenue and
San Rafael Street), Colorado College, free; RSVP to Brian Molanphy at (719)
389-6376.

About Colorado College
Colorado College is a nationally prominent, four-year liberal arts and
sciences college that was founded in Colorado Springs in 1874. The college
operates on the innovative Block Plan, in which its 1,900 students study one
course at a time in intensive 3-1/2-week blocks.

Editor¹s Notes: 
For more information online, visit:
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center: HYPERLINK
"http://www.csfineartscenter.org/newexhib.htm";
New York Public Library: HYPERLINK "http://www.nypl.org/press/nineties.html";

Photos are available upon request.

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