UK Happenings

King Library Press Spring Book Arts Weekend Welcomes Printer Chris Fritton

Printer Chris Fritton. Photo provided
Printer Chris Fritton. Photo provided

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 17, 2022) — Join University of Kentucky Libraries’ King Library Press for its Spring 2022 Book Arts Weekend with The Itinerant Printer Chris Fritton

Fritton will kick off the weekend with the free public lecture “Painting with the Press” at 7 p.m., Friday, March 25, in the Great Hall of the Margaret I. King Building, with light refreshments to follow. The next morning, Fritton will host “A Collaborative Workshop with The Itinerant Printer” beginning at 8:30 a.m., Saturday, March 26.

Chris Fritton is a poet, printer and fine artist who has spent over 20 years writing, printing and making his own books. Over the last eight years, Fritton has been working on his long-term project called The Itinerant Printer, in which he visits different letterpress print shops across North America, sending the unique prints he creates during his travels back to supporters. To date, Fritton has covered over 100,000 miles and visited over 200 shops across the continent. 

During his lecture, Fritton will recount stories from the road, explore traditional and experimental printing techniques, muse about the analog and the digital and share about his own stylistic journey toward the abstract. 

Advance registration is required for “A Collaborative Workshop with The Itinerant Printer.” Cost for the workshop is $45 per person and $25 for students. The number of participants is limited. Call Paul Holbrook at 859-608-9623 to reserve a space, and for further information about the workshop.

The “Book Arts Weekend with Chris Fritton” is a continuation of the King Library Press’ biannual seminars and workshops celebrating the book arts and fine printing. Fritton was originally scheduled to present at the King Library Press’ Book Arts Weekend in March 2020, but the event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We were all heartbroken when Chris’ original visit had to be canceled in March 2020, so we are all excited to have him visit as our first on-campus guest since then,” UK Libraries rare books librarian Colleen Barrett said.

Founded in 1956, the King Library Press is among the longest-running presses on a college campus. Devoted to the tradition of fine printing, the press produces books and broadsides through typesetting, printing and binding, and hosts several lectures, workshops and other outreach events each year. Various opportunities to engage, intern or volunteer are also available. The press, part of UK Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center, is located in the basement of the Margaret I. 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 Rare Book collection, 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.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.