Neal Salkind is a printmaker visiting from Lawrence, Kansas, to create work at AS220 as our July Artist-in-Residence.
A former professor, Neil now owns Big Boy Press, where he devotes his time to using text, the letterpress, and other means to create powerful social commentaries. At tonight’s showcase, you can see and hear how Neil transforms diverse primary source materials—E.B. White’s writings, a famous 18th C letter from George Washington to the Newport Jewish community, an obituary of the State of Kansas—into engaging pieces of art.
Neil will show his work and give an artist talk tonight, July 25, from 6-7 pm at the 95 Empire Black Box Theater. Free admission.
Neil has spent this month of art-making at the AS220 Industries, where he used the CNC router, other fabrication tools, and the Letterpress to print a Kansas Obituary, a poem by a former poet laureate of Kansas, and a definition of democracy by E.B. White.
Recent work includes printing for the Amalgamated Printers Association, a group of 150 letterpress printers who share their work with one another on a monthly basis. Total fun. You can see some of those sets of images here as well as the Halloween door hanger he will hand out tonight.
“What I would hope to accomplish in the time awarded is to share my deep respect for letterpress (with some book arts experience) and how the meeting of craft and design is very well expressed through this medium. Through mostly self-teaching and limited workshops, I have discovered everything from shortcuts to techniques for generating ideas and helping the substance of the printed word meet the form that results on the press. Specifically, projects I would like to work on include using the CNC router, 3D printer and laser-etching technologies to develop type high characters as well as plates for printing, and producing map-fold and other accordion style books integrated with letterpress produced content.
Letterpress printing is a challenging, exciting, invigorating and in many ways, a meditative activity. Given that this is a serious second career activity, I also have special insight into an older population and its needs, something that characterizes AS220’s intergenerational student body. I would envision my presence helping to raise the visibility of what active ‘seniors’ are capable of and what they contribute to the overall art scene in an already diverse city like Providence. I am a person of an unusually high energy level and have the intellect, time and motivation to apply my interests in a very focused manner. My experience with ‘words’ both as a successful author and as a literary agent also color my approach towards my printing.” -Neal Salkind, reflecting on his time at AS220