The Austin Chronicle

Austin Book Arts Center: PUSH Print! Party at the Central Library

By Wayne Alan Brenner, November 1, 2019, 11:45am, All Over Creation

No, seriously: Rock star.


Because, if we’re ever going to call anybody but an actual rock star – one of those jet-setting musical icons who filled arenas back in the tail-end of the 20th century, remember? – if we’re ever going to call someone other than one of those people a rock star – and we are, we do it all the time, we’re all about the easy cross-cultural hyperbole, aren’t we? – then it makes perfect sense that Amanda Stevenson of the Austin Books Arts Center would refer to Richard Kegler as a book arts rock star.

Stevenson’s reference could even validate the term for all the myriad instances that came before it.

Because, Richard Kegler? Richard Kegler is the founder and lead designer of the award-winning P22 Type Foundry. Yeah, and he’s the founder of Buffalo’s Western New York Book Arts Center. And he’s also the director of that cinematic Making Faces: Metal Type in the 21st Century. And –

No, okay, that’s sufficient to shore up the description: Richard Kegler is a goddam book arts rock star.

Kegler is also the guest of honor at the ABAC’s fourth annual fundraising party that enlivens Austin’s Central Library on Tue., Nov. 5, 6:30-9pm.

And how does the ABAC complement the starpower of such a guest who’s flown in from out of town? By having KOOP radio’s Greg Ciotti as their MC, that’s how. And by having DJ Laurel Barickman of Recspec working the turntables. Also, this sort of shindig, do we have to tell you there’s gonna be a fine silent auction? There will be. And a cash bar? Check.

But this is a fundraiser for the Austin Book Arts Center, so it’s not all just mingling and merriment. There will also be interactive learning opps, too, focusing on the P22 Blox, a modular letterpress printing-block system that uses only eight basic shapes to create lettering and pattern design.

(Note: Those Blox from P22 are based on Bauhaus principles, and 2019 is also the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus school. But don’t get distracted now, citizen – that’s just a coincidence.)

And if you’re really serious about book arts? Then you’ll want to know that Kegler will be teaching a two-day master class on the P22 Blox at ABAC on the weekend before the party. (Mind you, there’s only room for six students in that workshop, so maybe you’ll click this link and all the spots will have already been taken? But then … that will only make the Blox activities at the party an even more welcome opportunity, n’est-ce pas?)

We just want the best for you, reader. Hell, we’ll be there, too, at the Central Library, that night. Because there’s something about print media that just puts a smile on our collective faces. Something about books and the well-crafted creation of them that brings us a deep, abiding joy.

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