The Power of the Press Exhibition

Power of the Press focuses on works that are political in nature, works that help us understand cultures and subcultures other than our own, works that inspire inclusiveness… works that build bridges rather than walls.

This exhibition of prints and books by artists with something to say includes the works of Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr., Jenn Farrell of Starshaped Press (and her young daughter Josephine), Ilana Smith, Maureen Cummins, Eric Woods & Co. at Firecracker Press, Kyle Durrie & Co. at Power & Light Press, Joan Iversen Goswell, Ed Hutchins, Robert The, Carol Todaro, Tom Virgin, Karen Esteves, John Cutrone & Paula Marie Gourley, Karen Hanmer, Ambar Past & Co. at Taller Leñateros, Lee Krist, the artists of Migration Now, and Jules Remedios Faye of Stern & Faye, Printers.

Spirited FEISTY PRINTERS

MARY KATHARINE GODDARD was one feisty printer. In fact, she might be considered one of the earliest of the feisty American printers: she was hired in 1777 by the Continental Congress as the printer for the Second Printing of the Declaration of Independence––the version that was delivered to the British Crown. Goddard’s printing was different from the first printing of the Declaration, for hers included all the names of the signers. And, at the very bottom, she included her own:

BALTIMORE, in MARYLAND :
Printed by MARY KATHARINE GODDARD.

Including her own name made her just as guilty of treason against the Crown as the men who signed the Declaration. So this activist printer put her own neck on the line for what she believed in.

Activism came hand in hand with the perfection of the printing press and movable type in the 15th century, for the technology revolutionized communication and the dissemination of knowledge, and so it wasn’t long before the press became a voice for the people (or for those with access to the technology, at least). This continues to this day, even in our post analog, digital age, which has fueled a renaissance of interest in letterpress printing and the book arts. At the heart of this exhibition, though, is one powerful thing: the activist spirit of Mary Katharine Goddard and all the printers that follow in her feisty footsteps.

Firecraker Press

Eric Woods and the folks at Firecracker have been inspired by current political events to create protest works... letterpress printed signs that can be mounted on poles and actually used in marches, and postcards that can be mailed to political representatives to help constituents better express their concerns.

Starshaped Press

Jen Farrell has built a name for herself creating intricate images (like the Chicago skyline) composed entirely of printer’s ornaments. We also love her messages of positivity and inclusiveness... even in facing adversity of her own.

Migration Now

This 2012 print portfolio addressing migrant issues is by Culture Strike and the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative. "Walls go up in the desert to stop the free flow of humans, but building walls between nations will never stop people from moving.”