LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 15, 2021) — Join University of Kentucky Libraries’ King Library Press this spring for the 2021 “Pandemic Printing” Virtual Lecture Series. Featuring prominent printers from around the country, over the next three months this series will give audiences multiple chances to hear from book artists as they share their experiences printing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Last April, Kadin Henningsen, who I met in 2019 at Rare Book School, emailed me to ask for my address as he was getting ready to start printing ‘a series of pandemic postcards,’” UK Libraries rare books librarian Colleen Barrett said. “This correspondence did much to raise my spirits in a very stressful year, and also got me wondering what others were doing to adapt to all our changed circumstances.”
The series will kick off with book artist and printmaker Tia Blassingame Tuesday, March 16. Blassingame is the proprietor of Primrose Press and assistant professor of art at Scripps College in Claremont, California, where she teaches book arts and serves as the director of Scripps College Press.
Blassingame’s art explores the intersection of race, history and perception, and her works are currently housed in libraries and museums around the world, including Library of Congress, Yale University, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tate Britain and State Library of Queensland.
The 2021 King Library Press “Pandemic Printing” Lecture Series will continue with the presentation of:
- The Itinerant Printer Chris Fritton on March 20;
- papermaker and mixed media artist Rejin Leys on April 17; and
- Kadin Henningsen of Meanwhile…Letterpress on May 18.
All four lectures will take place at 2 p.m. via Zoom and are free and open to the public. Advance registration is required.
“All our lecturers embody the spirit of King Library Press by making book arts more widely available to all through their varied educational efforts,” Barrett said.
The “Pandemic Printing” Virtual Lecture Series is a continuation of the King Library Press’ biannual seminars and workshops celebrating the book arts and fine printing.
The press hosted its first ever virtual lecture in the fall of 2020 to great success. “(We) feel fortunate to be able to offer our engaging programming to a wider geographic audience than we would be able to otherwise,” Barrett added. “Two continents were represented at our fall lecture, something that would not have been able to happen before the pandemic, and we look forward to being able to offer hybrid programming sometime in the future.”
King Library Press is devoted to the tradition of fine printing and produces books and broadsides. Typesetting, printing and binding are all done at the press and there are opportunities for apprentices. The press, part of UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center, is located in the basement of the King Library Building.
The Special Collections Research Center at UK Libraries sustains the Commonwealth’s memory and serves as the essential bridge between past, present and future. By preserving materials documenting the social, cultural, economic and political history of Kentucky, the center provides rich opportunities for students to expand their worldview and enhance their critical thinking skills. Special Collections Research Center materials are used by scholars worldwide to advance original research and pioneer creative approaches to scholarship. UK Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center is the Archives, the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, the King Library Press, the Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center, the Bert T. Combs Appalachian Collection, the John G. Heyburn Initiative and ExploreUK.
The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers." We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.