PCS Blog

The Printed Word Comes to The Armory Starting Thursday

Posted by Kinsley Suer | 03 November 2009

Ben Franklin may be most famous for his role in a certain hand-signed Founding Document, but he actually made his living for many years as a printer and author of the Poor Richard’s Almanack. In celebration of that fact we have invited Portland-Area letterpress artists to create a series of special art-quality prints in honor of the man and inspired by the aphorisms of the Almanack.


They’ve been arriving into the building all week and the results have been beautiful, thought provoking, and so tactile…in each case the direct interaction of plate with paper is clearly visible. Today’s digital printing may be speedy, high resolution and efficient, but it sure doesn’t have the sheer tactile pleasures of a letterpress.

This cell phone photo does not even remotely do it justice, but just to give you a sense of the creativity being brought to the project:


The exhibit will be up in the Armory’s lower lobbies throughout November and December, but this week we are hosting two very special events to kick things off on a celebratory note.

Join us Thursday, November 5th from 5 pm to 7 pm for a First Thursday reception where you can browse the work and then head off on further Pearl District gallery adventures (or stay and see the show that inspired the exhibit, Ben Franklin: Unplugged, at 7:30 pm).

Or bring the kids on Saturday, November 7th from 10 am to 1 pm for aLetterpress Fair and Demonstration in the Armory Lobby. In addition to browsing the exhibit, you’ll get to see a demonstration of a working letterpress, a short film about the last letterpress edition of the NY Times, and meet many of the PDX letterpress printers at work here in Portland. Afterwards, stay for the 2:00 pm matinee performance of Ben Franklin: Unplugged.

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