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2022 Conference

 

APHA invites you to join us at our 47th annual conference in Los Angeles on October 13–15, 2022. “Making Artistic Noise” will explore the printing and printmaking revolution unleashed in the United States by the political and social movements of the 1960s and 1970s. Conference speakers, panelists and paper presenters will tackle the conference theme from a variety of intersecting topics and perspectives: printing history, alternative publishing, DIY printing techniques, graphic design, book arts education, community engagement, labor organizing, feminism, Black studies, Chicano and Latino history, and LGBTQ+ activism.

APHA conference organizers will draw from Southern California’s wealth of cultural institutions and resources, including the Center for the Study of Political Graphics  in Culver City; the International Printing Museum in nearby Carson; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and Self Help Graphics & Art, a community artist collective in East LA founded in the early 1970s by Sister Karen Boccalero. Tours and demonstrations at these institutions will round out the conference program.


Registration   |    Conference Venue    |   Travel and Transportation   |   Accommodations   |   Schedule  |   Optional Tours    |    Rare Books LAX    |     Speakers    |    Sponsors     


Registration

Registration is now open and limited to 120 participants. Conference registration is $150 for current APHA members ($200 for non-members) and $70 for current student members ($90 for non-member students); after September 23, all conference registrations will include a late fee of $40 for regular registrants and $20 for students. Registration includes admission to all keynote, paper and panel presentations, optional pre-conference tours, opening reception on Thursday evening, as well as free admission to Rare Books LAX, an antiquarian book, ephemera, fine press, and map fair being held concurrent with the conference at the same venue.

Conference attendees are also invited, for an additional fee of $85 per person, to a multi-course dinner with beer and wine bar. This is scheduled for Friday evening following the first full day of conference programming and the Rare Books LAX opening reception.

Registration for this year’s APHA conference and optional Friday evening dinner is available on APHA’s secure payment page. Please note that registration fees will not be refunded for cancellations made within 15 days before the start of the conference.

All California state and local Los Angeles County health regulations current at the time of the conference will be followed.

Questions? Please contact Danelle Moon, APHA VP for Programs, programs@printinghistory.org.     


Conference Venue

Both the APHA conference and Rare Books LAX are being held at Rare Books LAX, a historic event center and food bazaar located a stone’s throw from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and about 1.5 miles from the conference hotel and other nearby hotels. The Proud Bird was recently named “LA’s Hottest Food Hall” by the Food Network. It features a food bazaar with six culinary kitchens inspired by Asian, Italian and American cuisines.     


Travel and Transportation

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is served by all major domestic and international airlines and located within a couple of miles of the conference venue and conference hotel.

Los Angeles is also served by four regional airports, including Long Beach Airport (LGB), which is 20 miles from the Conference hotel and venue; Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR), 30 miles away; John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Santa Ana, 40 miles away; and Ontario International Airport (ONT), 55 miles away.     


Accommodations

Sonesta Los Angeles Airport LAX is the conference hotel. The Sonesta is located at 5985 W. Century Boulevard, Los Angeles (tel. 310-642-7500), about 1.5 miles from The Proud Bird, the conference venue. For conference attendees arriving at LAX, the Sonesta offers a complimentary airport Shuttle 24/7, every 20-30 minutes.

APHA Conference attendees will be able to take advantage of a special $135 rate per night (plus applicable taxes) by making their reservations with the Sonesta on a secure page for APHA and Rare Books LAX attendees. Early reservations are strongly advised in order to take advantage of the limited number of rooms available at the Sonesta at discounted conference room rates.

Additional lodging options are possible along West Century Boulevard near the Sonesta and The Proud Bird, including:

Hyatt Regency Los Angeles International Airport
Courtyard by Marriot Los Angeles LAX
Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel
Los Angeles Airport Marriot
Hilton Los Angeles Airport     


Schedule

Complete conference schedule available to registrants.


Optional Tours

Registration for optional tours and demonstrations on Thursday, October 13 coming soon!  


Rare Books LAX

Rare Books LAX, an antiquarian book, ephemera, fine press, and map fair scheduled for October 14–16, is proud to serve as the conference host. APHA conference attendees will receive complimentary admission to the entire run of the fair through Sunday, plus its opening reception on Friday following the first full day of the APHA conference. This joint approach will provide great synergy between the two organizations while pivoting to a general audience and Rare Books LAX participants.

APHA conference attendees who would like to register as exhibitors in the fine printing and book arts section of Rare Books LAX will receive a 50% discount until August 15 pending availability. Rare Books LAX organizers have reserved just 14 spaces in this section, so please register early to ensure your place. Exhibition booths each come with a six-foot table with a covering, two chairs and half of a six-foot lighted trophy case. Fair organizers are providing a locking trophy case, so your materials can remain on display even while you are participating in the conference. To register as a fine printing and book arts exhibitor, please go to the exhibitor page (password: LAX2022). To find out more about registering as an exhibitor, please email Jodi Tolan at info@rarebooksla.com.   


Speakers

Invited Speakers


Lincoln Cushing

Press Power of the ‘Long 1960s’

“Looking back, immediately behind us is dead ground. We don’t see it, and because we don’t see it, there is no period so remote as the recent past. The historian’s job is to anticipate what our perspective of that period will be.” —Professor Irwin, in Alan Bennett’s The History Boys (2004)

History is a moving target. We are blasted with new content, and it seems almost impossible to keep track of the information we need to get through the day. But APHA members and conference participants are eager to take the extra step to drill into our trade’s history. Lincoln will share some recent research projects that demonstrate process techniques and that will hopefully encourage more citizen-scholarship. His research focuses on stuff that has happened during his lifetime. Why? Because, in many cases, the participants are still around, and Lincoln has been able to capture their stories. Lincoln is also convinced that much of this period’s political printing history is not taken seriously. He will give examples of obscure movement shops, interviews with printers, and lessons of what worked and what didn’t.

Lincoln Cushing is a Berkeley-based author and archivist specializing in social movements and visual art. He ran his first offset press as part of a high school project in 1971, and later was the director of the UC San Diego Student Print Coop. He moved to Oakland and was a member of a worker-owned union offset print shop for 20 years. He is also a designer, and has created graphics for the Coalition of Labor Union Women, the Labor Party, U.S. Labor Against the War, and other groups. He contributed to the 2003 statewide exhibit “At Work” sponsored by the California Historical Society and the California Labor Federation. His book Agitate! Educate! Organize!: American Labor Posters (Cornell University Press 2009) offers a comprehensive illustrated survey of this little-known genre. He curated a 2012 major exhibition with the published catalogue, All of Us or None: Social Justice Posters of the San Francisco Bay Area for the Oakland Museum of California.


Staci Steinberger

‘What Would You Say?’: Activist Graphics from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Since the mid-20th century, California has been a beacon of both inventive design and political activism. The exhibition What Would You Say? Activist Graphics from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art uses case studies from the museum’s collection to explore how the state’s artists and designers championed civil rights, opposed wars and injustice, and pressed for change. Drawing from the exhibition, this paper explores how designers and artists skillfully employed the available means of production—from newspaper broadsheets and screenprints to risographs and social media—to distribute powerful imagery despite limited resources. The paper will also examine the role of printing in building movements and communities across generations. Ranging from the 1960s to the present, the works under consideration express both outrage and optimism, going beyond protest to envision alternative ways of living. The exhibition What Would You Say? Activist Graphics from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art will be on view at the California State University, Northridge Art Galleries during the American Printing History Association conference. For additional information and full tour schedule, please visit the exhibition website.

Staci Steinberger is an Associate Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at LACMA, where she specializes in modern and contemporary design and craft.  Her recent exhibitions include “What Would You Say?”: Activist Graphics from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2022–23) and Conversing in Clay: Ceramics from the LACMA Collection with Rosie Mills (opening August 2022). Prior projects include Found in Translation: Design in California and Mexico, 1915–1985 with Wendy Kaplan (2017–18), West of Modernism: California Graphic Design, 1975–1995 (2018–19), Vitality of New Forms: Designs by Alvin Lustig and Elaine Lustig Cohen (2015–16) and Jack Stauffacher: Typographic Experiments (2013). She contributed to California Design, 1930–1965: Living in a Modern Way (2011), To Live and Dine in L.A.: Menus and the Making of the Modern City (2015), and Only on Saturday: The Wood Type Prints of Jack Stauffacher (forthcoming 2023) among other publications.


Marshall Weber

I Am An Activist Printer!: Centering Current Social and Environmental Justice Printmaking in Acquisitions, Curriculum, and Scholarship

Ongoing ecological and political catastrophes demand an immediate refocusing of academic resources on resolving crises of climate change, human rights and economic equity. In a global communications culture primarily informed by social media, state/corporate sponsored police and military propaganda and violence, and popular social unrest and protest, info-graphics and print-based media have become increasingly crucial tools of both democratic and authoritarian movements. In this survey of current progressive activist printmaking, including the art build movement, the screen-print ‘renaissance’, and the rise of diverse print-media based collectives, Weber will make a compelling argument for the immediate paradigmatic re-balancing of the focus of the entire academic print field. Major tenets of this argument include advocating for the temporary academic defunding of the secondary market antiquarian print trade, and the steering of academic finances and curriculum towards the study and support of living activist printmakers.

Marshall Weber is an artist, activist archivist/curator, and publisher best known for his exuberant artists’ books, his passionate advocacy for diversity and equity in the field, his expertise in the field of social justice print-making, and his publishing work with social justice organizations including Iraq Veterans Against the War, Justseeds, Librarians and Archivists with Palestine, the Occuprint project of Occupy Wall Street, and Voces de La Frontera. He received his MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1981. In 1999 he co-founded Booklyn, in Brooklyn, where he is currently the Directing Curator. Weber has curated dozens of major exhibitions of artists’ books and authored numerous critical texts regarding artists’ books, including co-editing the Diamond Leaves exhibition catalog (Guangxi Normal University Press, 2013) and editing Freedom of the Presses (Booklyn, 2018). He was the recipient of the 2019 Herzog August Bibliothek Artists’ Book Prize and has also received Interdisciplinary Arts Fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the McKnight Foundation. Weber is a radical archivist, notably placing Booklyn’s archives at the Library of Congress, San Francisco Chicano curator René Yañez’s archives at the University of California, Berkeley, the archives of V. Vale’s punk publications Search and Destroy and RE:Search at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Fly Zine Archive at the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts.


Panelists and Paper Presenters

Alexander Akin, John Durham, and Kate Mitas; Greg Williams, moderator

Panel: Selling the Revolution: The Role of Booksellers in Preserving the History of Social Movements

Alexander Akin, Ph.D., whose first international trip was a visit to North Korea at the age of 15, first started part-time at Bolerium Books in San Francisco while finishing a PhD in Chinese history at Harvard University. After discovering that academia pays even worse than the book trade, he returned to Bolerium in 2011 and became a co-owner in 2013. Melding his academic interests with his background in the anti-nuclear and environmental movement, he has expanded the bookstore’s purview to include Asian language materials, while also cataloging materials related to labor and radical history. He has published a number of articles in the fields of East Asian cartography, cultural exchange and numismatics.

John Durham, original co-founder and senior owner of Bolerium Books in San Francisco. A former graduate student of economics and an activist in the struggle against the Vietnam War and for gay rights, John left school to establish Bolerium in 1981 as part of a group of five that rapidly shrank to saner proportions. He has a rich background in labor history, with particular emphasis in the Trotskyist movement to which he formerly belonged. Bolerium’s unusual blend of specialties—including both radical politics and gay studies—derives ultimately from his experience as a political organizer dispatched to work with the gay liberation movement in San Francisco.

Kate Mitas founded Kate Mitas, Bookseller, in 2017, after nearly a decade in the book trade. She specializes in women’s history, social history and social movements, Californiana, and cookery, primarily as represented in ephemera and archival material. She is a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA), the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and the Ephemera Society of America.

Greg Williams is director of Archives and Special Collections at California State University-Dominguez Hills and has been an archivist for four decades. He has curated exhibitions, published collection guides, and served as photograph editor for three coffee-table books. His publications include Guide to the Manuscript Collections of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (1993) and Filming San Diego: Hollywood’s Backlot, 1898–2002 (2002); his is the co-author of the chapter, “The Importance of Collecting, Accessing, and Contextualizing Japanese-American Historical Materials: A California State University Collaborative,” published in Archives and Special Collections as Sites of Contestation (2019). Greg has curated several exhibitions at CSUDH focusing on the Watts Rebellion, the Chicano movement, 1910 Los Angeles Air Meet at Dominguez Field, Japanese-Americans during World War II, Southern California elections, and disasters in Los Angeles County.


Anastasia Armendariz

Press Blocks, Not Grapes: (Re)printing the Graphic Arts of the Delano Grape Strike & Boycott

Grounded in a discussion of graphic arts printed in El Malcriado and AFL-CIO News in support of the Delano Grape Strike, this paper weaves together a historical survey, visual cultures of consumption, and an exhibit case study. Press Blocks, Not Grapes concludes with a call for collaborative integration of printed arts into exhibit design to enhance the thematic resonance of printed materials on exhibit.

Anastasia Armendariz is the Librarian for Special Collections and the Malibu Historical Collection at Pepperdine University. She graduated with an MLIS (Archives & Digital Curation) from the University of Maryland, College Park in May 2022. Anastasia previously earned a BA/MA in English from Georgetown University. Her interests include community archives and the material cultures of book collecting.


Alexandria Canchola and Joshua Duttweiler

Chicano Independent Publications: A New Generation of Activist Designers

Chicano independent newspapers provide a rich understanding of the politics and social justice issues that existed in the 1960’s-1970’s. These publications, composed mostly by non-professional designers, had the power to mobilize traditionally underrepresented groups toward action through their intimate knowledge of Chicano visual language and audience. By understanding the process and inspiration of artists that produced independent publications, designers and non-designers today can use this as a template for addressing social injustice of this era.

Alexandria Canchola designs, illustrates, and creates immersive large-scale installations that are inspired by narrative, color, letterforms, and filmmaking. Her personal approach to design stems from her desire to empower people and make a difference by crafting engaging and meaningful work. She has worked for publications, small businesses, and non-profits in many roles working to solve problems creatively so ideas can come to life. Alexandria has a BA from University of Texas at Austin and an MFA in 2D Design from University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. She is an Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi.

Joshua Duttweiler is a designer, artist, and educator. His multi-disciplinary practice encompasses personal, collaborative, and client-based projects focused on social justice and community building. Largely inspired by his ever-changing location, the work is a critical exploration of historical and present-day societal systems and constructs. Duttweiler asks his audience to consider the spaces they occupy and makes way for new voices to be heard. Joshua Duttweiler holds a BFA in Applied Design from Houghton College and an MFA in Graphic Design from Boston University. Duttweiler currently resides in Texas where he is an Assistant Professor at Texas A&M–Corpus Christi.


Samantha Ceja, Lisa Kahn, Emily Sulzer, and R.M. Waldorf

LA Political Poster-Making Collectives That Made History

This lightning round presentation will cover four Los Angeles-based poster collectives active during the 1960s–1980s: Peace Press, Mechicano Art Center, Women’s Graphic Center, and Fireworks Graphics Collective. Panelists will discuss print collective workplace structures, inter-movement solidarity, and how marginalized groups use posters to communicate their experiences and organize for social change. Research materials stem largely from the collections at the Center for the Study of Political Graphics, the nation’s largest post-1945 political poster archive.

Samantha Ceja began her career in archives at California State University-Northridge, where she worked as a work-study student in the Special Collections & Archives department. As a history major, she appreciated the opportunity to work with and learn from primary sources to tell the stories of marginalized people and their communities. As a current MLIS student at San Jose State University, she is dedicated to working in archives to promote social change through the preservation and education of historical movements. She joined the team in March 2022 to help digitize the Center for the Study of Political Graphics’ (CSPG) 90,000+ political graphics.

Lisa Kahn is responsible for digitizing CSPG’s 90,000+ political graphics. She was first introduced to CSPG through an internship facilitated by the UCLA History Department’s Public History Initiative in 2017. Since 2016, she has worked for six different archival institutions including the June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives, the Jewish Women’s Archive, and Zion National Park. After earning both her B.A. in History and her MLIS from UCLA, she was eager to begin working at a community-based archive and readily joined CSPG’s staff in September 2021.

Emily Sulzer began her time at CSPG as a volunteer in 2015, an experience that fomented her interest in a career in archives. She holds a MLIS from UCLA and a B.A. in Art History and Visual Art from Occidental College. In her mind, preserving and providing access to provocative art is necessary to uncover hidden histories, reveal truths, and change the world.

R.M. Waldorf was introduced to CSPG by a colleague in February 2021, and they have volunteered at the archive ever since. While a current student at UCLA earning their MLIS degree, they work in the Hugh & Hazel Darling Law Library and will also begin work at William Andrews Clark Memorial Library in Summer 2022. Serving non-traditional student patrons in the Santa Barbara City College Luria Library inspired them to get curious about ways information professionals can work more closely with and in communities.


august CLINTBERG

Join, or Die: Queer Print Activism in the Episcopal Church, 1978–85

In the 1970s and early 1980s, The Integer was illustrated using found encyclopedia illustrations, printers’ ornaments, advertisements, gay ephemera, and photographs. The Integer used such images to represent countercultural ideas—specifically, to agitate for gay rights in the Episcopalian Church and to build fellowship. This newsletter made counterimages that argued for a present and a future—even an afterlife—for gay and lesbian people.

August Clintberg is an artist who works in the field of art history. He is an Associate Professor at the Alberta University of the Arts, and his artistic practice is represented by Pierre François Ouellette art contemporain in Montreal, Canada. His research focuses on gay and lesbian printed matter in art and activism, queer worldmaking in contemporary art practices, and legacies of site-specific art and public art, and he has published in Journal of Canadian Art HistoryJournal of Curatorial Studies, Senses & Society, and The Art Newspaper.


José Guerrero

Printing as Progress: London Radical Presses and the Latin American Development Photonovel

This presentation will discuss DIY printing in the 1970s by comparing two manuals that advocated for social transformations. Jonathan Zeitlyn’s Print: How You Can Do It Yourself emerged from community activism in Anglo-European metropoles that challenged Western capitalist modernity while Daniel Weaks’s The Photonovel: A Tool for Development hailed development actors looking to initiate “underdeveloped” Latin Americans into the modern world. Thus, DIY printing emerges as a field where two apparently irreconcilable ideologies converge.

José Guerrero is a cataloging librarian at Sutro Library, a branch of the California State Library located in San Francisco.


Jennie Hinchcliff

Semblance of Authority: Rubber Stamps as a Tool of Protest and Activism

The handheld rubber stamp has historically been regarded as a practical tool used by businesses and bureaucrats to regulate, validate, and officiate. In the hands of artists and activists, these stamps have become a tool of protest and a call to action. This presentation explores how the handheld rubber stamp has been utilized throughout the 20th century by individuals and artists as a tool for protest and a call to action.

Jennie Hinchcliff is the Exhibitions and Events Manager at the San Francisco Center for the Book. In her role, Hinchcliff strives to build connections between book artists and the larger arts community. From 2007 until 2014 she was an adjunct instructor in the Fine Art department at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where she taught bookbinding and artist book theory to undergraduate and graduate students. She has been involved in the artist book and correspondence art communities since 1996 as a creator, curator, and organizer.


 

Matthew Hopson-Walker, Virginia Patterson, Yasmin Rodriguez, and Glenn Terpstra

Panel: Print and Public: Engaging Students in Social Activism through the Social Justice Poster Project

Panelists will discuss Social Justice Poster Project, an initiative which invites all students to create a social justice poster, participate in printing workshops and lectures, and distribute their posters in a public venue. The project fosters a campus-wide educational opportunity, centering the history and power of the printed poster, and printmaking as a democratic form of activism. Panelists will discuss the details of the project, while offering a precedent for facilitating similar projects across campuses.

Matthew Hopson-Walker is a printmaker and educator currently teaching printmaking at California State University, Fresno. Matt has been included in 172 juried and group exhibitions and 12 solo shows since 2006. His work is in the collections of numerous national museums and archives. He has twice been invited to be an instructor at the nationally renowned Frogman’s Print and Paper Summer Workshop and has given numerous demonstrations at institutions across the country involving his knowledge of screen printing, lithography, intaglio, and prints that combine more than one technique.

Virginia Patterson is a graphic designer and educator with a background in packaging design and food communication. She currently teaches in the BFA Graphic Design program at California State University, Fresno. Her scholarly and creative research focuses on ethics and sustainability in food communication, the role food packaging plays in consumer literacy of health and food origins, and equity in design education. Virginia is concerned with the designer’s role as sociocultural producer, critic, and activist. She advocates for design that inspires or enables social progress and is centered around ethics and self-reflexivity.

Yasmin Rodriguez is a graphic designer and educator currently teaching at California State University, Fresno. Her work explores social justice through letterpress printing, digital and traditional hand lettering, typeface design, and LEGO art. She is particularly interested in immigration policy and the role graphic design can play in generating policy change through awareness, activism, or civic engagement.

Glenn Terpstra is an artist, designer, and educator currently working with the Interior Design program at California State University, Fresno to achieve strong graphic communication and forward thinking sustainable design solutions. Glenn is serving as chapter president of US Green Building Council Central California and has an MFA in Integrated Visual Arts from Iowa State University. Themes of work engage in sustainability, experience design, and the psychology of shared spaces with a focus on building strong community engagement opportunities


Alastair Johnston

Subversive Letterpress: The Throwaway Art of Zephyrus Image

Zephyrus Image were publishers & activists in the heart of 1970s San Francisco. They were actively involved in printing subversive artworks in unusual formats, often with a strong literary component. In many ways their books were pioneers of the artists’ book genre. They distributed their works freely, handing them out on the street or at poetry readings. They stapled their broadsides to phone poles. Their work supported the Black Panthers, Timothy Leary and other famous causes of the time and attacked the Nixon government.

Alastair Johnston is a partner in Poltroon Press, founded in 1975 with the artist Frances Butler. He is the author of bibliographies of three key Bay Area small presses of the post-WW2 era: Auerhahn, White Rabbit and Zephyrus Image. His other works include Dreaming on the Edge: Poets & Book Artists in California (Oak Knoll, 2016); William Loy’s 19th-century American Designers & Engravers of Type (with Stephen O. Saxe, also from Oak Knoll); Alphabets to Order: The Literature of 19th-century Typefounders’ Specimens (The British Library, 2000); and Transitional Faces: The Lives & Work of Richard Austin, Type-Cutter, and Richard Turner Austin, Wood-Engraver (Poltroon, 2013). He edited the book arts journal The Ampersand for 16 years.


Jessica Lacher-Feldman

Documenting, Sharing, and Understanding a Global Crisis Across Time, Space, and Discipline: Up Against the Wall: Art, Activism, and the AIDS Poster

The AIDS Education Posters collection at the University of Rochester’s Department of Rare Books and Special Collections is comprised of over 8,000 posters as well as printed ephemera, artifacts, and documentation of the collection and how it was built. The collection encompasses posters from over 130 countries and in 76 languages and dialects, and is considered the largest of its kind in the world. Jessica will speak on this important collection and its connection to various political and social movements and organizations, and how the collection is widely used and taught across many academic and creative disciplines. She will also present on the recent collaborative exhibition and book project, Up Against the Wall: Art, Activism, and the AIDS Poster, which focuses on the AIDS poster as a barrier-breaking creative mechanism to reach, educate, and mobilize people all over the world in relation to the HIV/AIDS crisis through visual and textual means.

Jessica Lacher-Feldman is the Exhibitions and Special Projects Manager and the Curator of the AIDS Education Posters Collection at the University of Rochester. She holds graduate degrees in History and Library Science from the University at Albany. She is the author of Exhibits in Archives and Special Collections Libraries (SAA, 2013) and presented, taught, researched, written and curated on a wide range of topics over the last two decades, including most recently her work with the world’s largest collection of AIDS Education Posters, which are under her stewardship.


Grendl Löfkvist

Printing for the People! Behind the Scenes at Inkworks Press Collective (1974–2015)

Inkworks Press Collective was founded in 1974 by a group of progressive political activists seeking to address the printing needs of movements working for economic and social justice. This talk will discuss the history of Inkworks Press and review some of the most impactful posters printed during Inkworks Press’s long tenure. We will conclude with the challenges of working as an alternative institution within a capitalist society and discuss the importance of Inkworks Press’s legacy.

Grendl Löfkvist, Education Director at Letterform Archive, teaches type history and theory in the Type West program. Löfkvist also teaches the history of graphic design at City College of San Francisco, and gives calligraphy workshops at the San Francisco Center for the Book. Löfkvist has ink in her veins: she was a press operator for 13 years at Inkworks Press in Berkeley, a collectively owned, politically progressive offset printing company. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Printing History Association’s NorCal Chapter. Her interests include the study of printing as a subversive “Black Art.”


Marvella Muro, Miyo Stevens-Gandara and Dewey Tafoya; Angel Diaz, moderator

Panel: Community Building Through Art and Activism: The Legacy of Self Help Graphics

Since 1973, Self Help Graphics & Art (SHG) has produced more than 2,000 art print editions and exhibitions all over the world. The organization remains dedicated to the production, interpretation, and distribution of prints and other art media by Chicana/o and Latinx artists; and continues to empower LA’s artistic community by providing access to working space, tools, and training. Thanks to this essential arts organization’s investment in community over the past 50 years, Los Angeles has witnessed the organic development of a vanguard of professional creatives from marginalized communities who utilize the art of printing to produce eye-catching and provocative calls to action in support of social justice movements and revolutions.

The panel will discuss how SHG’s 50-year history of carrying out free and public printmaking demonstrations, exhibitions, and art classes for all ages has solidified its standing as a community activation point for art and activism. Further exploring how printmaking is utilized as a tool for activism, the panelists will consider the range of artists and work SHG has supported, as well as their own experiences and work, and its impact on the social and political movements that have affected the communities around them.

Marvella Muro is the Director of Artistic Programs and Education at Self Help Graphics and Art. She spearheads the long-standing Professional Print Program, Barrio Mobile Art Studio (BMAS), and SHG’s multifaceted art and education programs. She also restructured the Artist in Residence program, now called Beyond the Press, inviting multidisciplinary artists to create a body of work with or guided by the SHGs community. She was formerly the Community Engagement Manager at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), developing and executing art programs with community partners and artists in Compton, North Hollywood, and East Los Angeles. Prior to joining the Education team, she had various curatorial roles at LACMA and was an Executive Assistant and project manager at USC Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena. She has a B.A. in Art History from Cal State University, Fullerton, and an M.A. in Arts Management from Goucher College in Maryland.

Miyo Stevens-Gandara is an LA-based artist working in various media, including photography, drawing, embroidery, and printmaking. Her imagery explores issues of ancestry, migration, feminism, cultural identity, and environmental degradation. She received her BFA from the California College of the Arts, and MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. Stevens-Gandara’s work can be found in the collections of LACMA, Museum of Latin American Art, the Riverside Art Museum, and private collections in the US and internationally.

Dewey Tafoya is master printer & assistant director of the Professional Printmaking Program at Self Help Graphics & Art (SHG). Influenced by his local community, he uses symbols and imagery connected to the urban landscape, Chicanx culture, and indigenous civilizations to critique, deconstruct, and rebuild historical narratives. Tafoya’s work has been exhibited throughout Southern California, including at LACMA. He has been sharing his knowledge with youth and young adults as a teaching artist with ArtworxLA, SHG’s Barrio Mobile Art Studio, and SOY Artista summer program.

Angel Diaz is the Curator for California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives at UCSB Library’s Department of Special Research Collections. She was formerly University Archivist at Penn State University and a processing archivist at UCLA. She has a B.A. in US history from the University of San Francisco and a M.L.I.S. from UCLA.


Robert B. Riter

d.a. levy’s Cleveland: Sustaining Alternative Communities through Printing

d.a. levy (1942–1968) made significant contributions to Cleveland’s underground and independent publishing and artistic communities, issuing mimeographed editions through the Renegade Press and Seven Stories Press. This paper offers a discussion of levy’s contributions to underground and independent publishing, specifically, how his work supported political discussion, activism, and creative activity in Cleveland during the 1960s. Emphasis is placed on examining the specific role of mimeography in levy’s publishing practice and as a methodology for supporting community engagement through flexible and responsive printing.

Robert B. Riter is a faculty member in the University of Alabama’s School of Library and Information Studies, where he coordinates the School’s archival studies program, and teaches courses in book history and archival studies.


Kathy Walkup

Creating Good Noise: Students, Printing and Social Justice

The upheaval of the 1970s included a new approach to education around the book. Letterpress technology ended as a commercial enterprise; presses and type moved into academia. The social activism of a new generation of instructors helped to foster democratic approaches in the studio. This paper will explore the genesis of contemporary book art education through the work created by students determined to raise their diverse and activist voices in the print studio.

Kathleen Walkup began her printing career as an offset printer in a collective in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with a focus on issues of social justice. In 1973 she co-founded Five Trees Press in San Francisco to publish literary letterpress books, then opened a woman-owned letterpress business, Peartree Printers. As director of the Book Art Program at Mills College, she initiated the first separate graduate degree program in book art in the country in 1983. She retired from Mills in 2021 as the Lovelace Family Endowed Professor of Book Art and is now writing and curating.  


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