Skip to the good stuff!


2021 APHA Chesapeake Chapter Officers’ Report

Annual Meeting November 13, 2021

President’s Report

This past year the Chesapeake Chapter has been navigating the COVID pandemic challenges with reasonable success. Using Zoom has become second nature for most of us, and helped keep the connections alive, albeit, digitally. We were lucky enough to have two in-person events, one at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and another at Lancaster Printers Fair. The Fair was a great success, in sales of member printing ephemera, but most importantly, in the camaraderie of those in attendance—something sorely missed in the past year.

In the coming year I hope we can feel secure in planning in-person events once again, still using proper protocols, but doing what we do best—sharing our knowledge and experience, and handing down it to the next generation, which is our real mission. We need to strategize, together, on how to find opportunities to attract and engage younger demographics. I would like us all to work together to help APHA Chesapeake have a stronger social media presence. Visibility of our activities, especially during the ups-and-downs of COVID living, is important in attracting younger demographics and, in turn, helping increase membership. Whichever social media platform you might use, hash-tagging any printing activity members are engaged with—printing in our studios, museum visits, discovering printing treasures—all are valid. Simply use #aphachesapeake in your posts.

I’d like to thank all the members for their contributions and patience, especially the officers and the members of the LoC Common Press committee, during the ongoing COVID pandemic.

Respectfully submitted,
Don Starr, President

Vice President’s Report November 13, 2021


In 2021 chapter programs and events were, as we all well know, affected by caution due to the SARS-CoV- 2 virus. Hopes that the second half of the year would allow for more in-person get-togethers were dashed. The chapter’s first event of 2021 was a Zoom get-together on February 23rd. Steve Garst, an artist, printmaker, and faculty member at the University of Indianapolis, talked about the development and use of his Provisional Press, a relatively inexpensive, DIY tabletop press. Steve also provided a demonstration of the press, which he developed in connection with his teaching. Steve has made free plans available for the press, and he is also producing a low-priced kit.

On April 6th Doug McElrath and Amber Kohl provided a virtual tour of the University of Maryland’s Hornbake Library, which featured recent accessions, and items from the collections, broadly grouped around the themes of social justice, voting rights, and the human desire for a better world. Included was William Morris’ News from Nowhere, whose frontispiece was featured on a broadside previously printed at Chris Manson’s Crooked Crow Press. Doug and Amber also had some items from the library’s online exhibition, Get Out the Vote: Suffrage & Disenfranchisement in America.

On April 20th chapter members joined The Baltimore Bibliophiles for one of their Zoom meetings. Chapter secretary, George Barnum, spoke about the book, Picturing the Big Shop: Photos of the U.S. Government Publishing Office 1900 — 1980. George produced the book while Agency Historian at the GPO. George related how, during his tenure with the agency, he coordinated its history program and cared for its collections of photographs and historic documents.

The Chapter’s first in-person field trip of the year was to the National Museum of Women in the Arts on June 2nd to see an exhibit of the work of Julie Chen. Chen is an internationally recognized artist & teacher who creates elaborate books that call on readers to do more than simply turn pages to uncover her poetic reflections. Chen’s books are small sculptures of handmade papers. The exhibit of over a dozen artist books was on display in the museum’s Library and Research Center where the staff had taken most of the books out of their display cases for chapter members to see up close. After the initial presentation, those attending were encouraged to turn the pages to further appreciate Chen’s incredibly precise work.

Attendees were also encouraged to explore the rest of the library. The immersive experience provided by the museum and library staff was greatly appreciated.

On September 18th the chapter had a booth at the Lancaster Printers Fair in Lancaster, PA. We were able to promote the chapter, sell the 2022 chapter wall calendar and chapter pint glasses, as well as ornaments, cuts, books, and miscellaneous equipment from the collection of Roland Hoover (the proceeds of which support the Roland Hoover Memorial Fund to promote the book arts) and the collection of past chapter president Mike Denker. The fair is sponsored by the .918 Club and, this year for the first time was held at the club’s Ken Kulakowsky Center for Letterpress and Book Arts on the campus of Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology. As a result, we were able to see and enjoy the impressive facility which is filled with letterpress presses and hot metal typesetting equipment. We were very successful, in part because the public who came to the fair seemed to be artists and printers and those interested in actually making purchases.

Participatory Projects:

We want to thank Val Lucas for again this year coordinating the 2022 Chesapeake Chapter Wall Calendar, and Ray Nichols and Jill Cypher of Lead Graffiti for their part in binding the calendar, and, of course, all members who contributed their time and effort to produce calendar pages.

Thanks also go to chapter president, Don Starr, who coordinated this year’s Print Exchange of Chesapeake Chapter Trading Cards which provided the opportunity for chapter members of the printing persuasion to show off their skill and share information about their printing practice.

Respectfully submitted,
Chris Sweterlitsch, Vice President

Secretary’s Report November 13, 2021

The report of the Chapter Secretary is brief. Membership is holding fairly steady at or just under 70 members. Renewals last year were relatively smooth. Renewal reminders from the Chapter for 2022 will be going out soon, and Chris Manson has again volunteered to produce a beautiful keepsake that will go out to all renewing members.

Although the regular Chapter Notes schedule has been interrupted by the chaos in the secretary’s life since September, it will return to its regular schedule, sent out sometime around the 10th of each month, and as always contributions are always welcome.

Respectfully submitted,
George Barnum, Secretary

Treasurer’s Report November 13, 2021

Starting Balance (1/1/21) $13,641.68

   Income $532.60

   Expenses $260.75

   Ending Balance (10/30/21) $13,913.53
   (Additional calendar income and expenses to come.)

Respectfully submitted,
Lauren Emeritz, Treasurer

Report of the Wooden Common Press Project

In the last year, the press project faced several setbacks and has made some far more important advances. Just when the committee was feeling rather hopeless about locating an already existing press, in June 2021 Chris Manson made contact with Mr. Jack Williams, of Effingham, NH, initially inquiring if he would be interested in talking with us about building us a press, which we understood he had done several times before. He told Chris that he owns a press, which he built several years ago from the Harris and Sisson plans, and which he was interested in seeing go to a good home. The press was used for many years for demonstrations at a heritage museum in New Hampshire and is in excellent shape.

With the committee’s enthusiastic approval, Chris worked out an agreement with Mr. Williams that will see the Chapter purchase his press, some type, typecases, a stone, and other accessories for $15,000. We began a fundraising appeal late in the summer and have at this point raised $12,500 in pledges, entirely from members of the Chesapeake Chapter. Planning is going forward at the library for the renovation of the visitor space in the Jefferson Building, and we will soon meet again with the Rare Books and Special Collections staff to determine the next steps, and begin to document requirements for getting the press moved to Washington.

At this point, we would like to offer a motion that the Chapter’s initial pledge from 2018 of $5000 be increased to $7500. This would complete the major portion of the fundraising and would allow us to purchase the press, completely with donations from within the Chesapeake Chapter. Any further donations received toward the larger goal we announced will be directed to funding the ongoing programming with the press in cooperation with the Library of Congress.

We’re grateful for all the generous pledges and support for the project, as well as to Jack Williams.

Wooden Press Project Committee: Chris Manson, Ray Nichols, George Barnum, Stan Nelson, Chris Sweterlitsch, & Don Starr