Kalamazoo Book Arts Center: Jeff Abshear



On February 2, 2016, a two-hour session was conducted for area artists and writers connected with the print suite being created in conjunction with Alchemy: An Artists and Writers Initiative. The session was held at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center (KBAC) with Director Jeff Abshear presenting numerous KBAC broadsides and sharing his personal experience as a printmaker and book artist.

Jeff gave an engaging account of his path as an artist as well as initiator and director of the KBAC. Participants viewed and discussed the various printmaking approaches associated with the creation of a broadside with letterpress being the dominant medium for the type in the samples provided. One broadside in the KBAC’s collection is digitally printed with the remaining ones being hand-pulled, original prints in the more traditional mediums of lithography, screen print, relief, intaglio, collagraph, and various combinations. Assorted papers were examined and debated with the consensus being that archival papers would be used for the Alchemy Suite.

This session was the first opportunity for the pairings of artists and writers to meet and converse about their collaboration. It proved to be a fun and educational experience with participants engaging in meaningful and good-humored dialogue.

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