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Tour of 1890 Bryant Street Studios


Visitors explore Studio 308 on Friday, October 17. (Paul Romaine)

1890 Bryant Street Studios hosted an open studio for conference members on Friday afternoon, followed by a reception for the Friends of Dard Hunter Members’ Exhibition. The Best Foods Building, an historic warehouse located in the Mission District of San Francisco, is home to an array of artist’s spaces, including one book arts studio. Located on the third floor the building, Studio 308 is shared by four artists: Rhiannon Alpers (Gazelle and Goat Press), Meredith Hudson (Clandestine Press), Elizabeth McDonald (Fineline Letterpress), and Kathleen Rydar (Il Pavone Press). They carry on a tradition of book arts in the space that was previously utilized by Ward Dunham and Linnea Lundquist of Atelier Gargoyle, and book artist Rich Spelker. The spacious studio is well-lit and equipped with four Chandler and Price presses, one Gordon press, three Vandercook presses, a Jacques board shear, a Valley beater, and two guillotines. One wall is lined with type cabinets, and two of the presses were inked up and available for guests to print keepsakes. 


Spread from Unbound by Kerri Cushman and Jessica Peterson

 Later in the evening, the studio hosted a reception for the FDH Members’ Exhibition {this is ourselves} Under Pressure. Anne Beck curated the event, designed the promotional materials, and worked with Rhiannon Alpers and other volunteers on the installation. The exhibit space is situated in front of the entrance to Studio 308, and allowed plenty of room for viewing work, enjoying food and drink, and socializing. On display was a diverse selection of work, running the gamut from installation of handmade paper to letterpress-printed posters on recycled paper. The work related to the theme of the exhibit, “to encounter the pressing issues of today and envision a different future,” in a variety of ways. Kerri Cushman and Jessica Peterson’s collaborative artist’s book, Unbound, explores the Prince Edward County, Virginia school lockout of 1959, while Jennifer Baker’s poster People on Streets (Give Love) addresses the recent shootings in Ferguson and St. Louis, Missouri. Several artists utilized local, sustainable materials for their work as a way of addressing issues surrounding the environment and climate change. Participating artists were May Babcock, Jennifer Baker, Drew Cameron, Kerri Cushman + Jessica Peterson, Nicole Donnelly, Julia Goodman, Amy Leners, Kent Manske, Marie Bannerot McInerney, Scott Murphy, Rebecca Redman, Suzanne Sawyer, Anna Terrarova, Michelle Wilson, and Nanette Wylde. 

Toward the end of the evening, Peter Thomas led a “book arts ukulele-backed hootenanny” that enticed a large group of conference-goers to sing and clap along to book and paper-related tunes.  Lyrics can be found on his website


From left to right: Colin Browne, harmonica; Fritzi Huber, singing; Kathryn Clark, spoons; Howard Clark, tenor guitar, Peter Thomas, ukulele, Donna thomas, ukulele bass, Joel Ricci, trumpet; and Jim Croft, trombone. (Paul Romaine)

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