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Aqus: The Letterpress Show Reception

March 19 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Susan Amalia
Words get to me. Some exalt, some grate. I am somewhat grateful for both.
For this exhibit I have chosen two pieces which vary in form, sensibility, and intent.
 I WAS (or my RANT!!!!)  was created during and after a trip to my hometown and nearby parts of New England.  It hurt my ears to eavesdrop (the only option on a crowded train to Boston) on passengers who loudly described the chaos of their lives.  Did it help that they were mostly young women heading to shop?  Did my ire increase because they spent much of their conversations describing how others, “well, like my mother like makes me” were the reason they were not succeeding? In my other life, I am a teacher who reframes those kind of statements routinely.
The Second Coming arrived indirectly.  For years I heard “Things fall apart” and “The center will not hold” and “slouching towards Bethlehem” without any connection to W. B. Yeats; Chinua Achebe and Joan Didion got all my attention.  After a brief, almost gossipy, conversation with a friend’s sister, Yeats and his stanzas ‘got to me’ in a seriously serial way.   I have returned to The Second Coming over these past COVID years to address my distress…creating works printed on found photographs and collaged into books.
Both pieces shown at Aqus Café are letterpress printed on a VanderCook press at North Bay Letterpress Arts in Sebastopol.  The Second Coming has some fancy bits, there’s a fetus and words that require close viewing, a bit of printerly vocabulary….Check it out….
I learned about printing from Eric Johnson and other teachers at NBLA.  I regularly print on fabric, make books and cards some with die-cut additions, often refer to my completed stash as The Redemption Collection and use those words to clarify materials were heading to the landfill.  In another sense, ideas are redeemed.

Megan Arnold
Megan A Arnold’s (kid sister press) journey into letterpress started with an Uncle’s gift of a Pearl press and some type. Trying to figure out what to do with these things led her to Iota Press/North Bay Letterpress Arts, where she has been putting ink on paper since 2011. She is inspired by letters both as graphic elements and as containers of meaning, and mildly weirded out by writing about herself in the third person.

Lyn Dillin
Lyn Dillin was born and raised in Long Beach, California. Since 2013, she’s been a Studio Printer at North Bay Letterpress Arts in Sebastopol, California. Prior to that, Dillin received her BFA from California State University Chico and went on to do graphic design and illustration. She has exhibited throughout California, including most recently the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sometimes Books Gallery, and Occidental Center for the Arts, and CODEX Artists Books Exhibit.
The two pieces in this show are offset printed drawings that Lyn originally drew in black ink on white paper. After letterpressing, she went back to each work with watercolor, markers and black ink, so they are each printed two different ways. Each work is a one-of-a-kind piece.
@lyndillin on Instagram

judi goldberg
here. say. press
writer. letterpress arts. mixed media. book arts.
studio printer northbayletterpressarts since 2010 
I ask questions without preamble;
what good reading if you can’t read the lay of the land
I disclose discover divulge extract break;
the skirmish takes place at the line
my work is declarative;
there are no rules, but you better know them
my work interrogates the allofit together;
there’s no single line back to the starting point


there are limits, tools have constraints, there is a geography;
the chaos in the between is the art


judi Goldberg

James Freed
James Freed, a skilled draftsman and painter, also has a background in architectural design. Originally from Los Angeles, CA, James grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. In the late eighties he returned to southern California to attend Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. While there he studied letterpress with Vance Studley, and enjoyed running the letterpress studio during evening student work sessions.
After earning a BFA in Art Center’s Illustration program in 1992, he worked as an artist and animator in the software industry for several years before switching to exhibit design. He currently runs his own exhibit design firm and teaches design and drawing at Santa Rosa Jr. College.
James also works with students through drawing and painting workshops that he offers through his website. James loves drawing and painting, especially outdoors, and is an avid hiker, swimmer, cyclist, and climber. He currently lives and works out of his home studio in Sebastopol.
@jamesfreedart on Instagram

Eric Johnson
I’ve been obsessed with ink for 60 years. Always in poems, sometimes in images, always with pens and typewriters and now letterpress. I have used my print shop as a lab for 18 years, and have been amazed at how many ways the medium can be expressive. But it’s still that vivid thing: hands making ink into words.
Eric Johnson
Iota Press

Andrew Mecum: I’ve been creative with my head in the clouds since day one. Throughout school I was the “hey could you draw me something” kid. In fact, for the last two years of high school I convinced the counselor that art was a visual language and was allowed to replace language with additional art classes. I had a great art teacher for all of high school, and he had a really diverse amazing studio.
After high school I dipped my toes in Graphic Design at SJSU, but was more interested in skateboarding and enjoying life. Eventually the “party” wore out, and I moved to San Francisco. Eventually I attended the Academy of Art University where I received a degree in Printmaking,  and also where I met my wife who was focused on Ceramics.
I still feel that art is visual language, and using letterpress and text brings it all full circle.
Andrew Mecum
@andrew.mecum on Instagram

Pauline Minser

I have been experimenting with a variety of methods of printmaking for much of my adult life, including linocut, etchings, lithographs, monotypes and currently letterpress.

I’ve been influenced by artists’ use of layering color, images, words, and letters to create textures and patterns. Since the fall of 2020 I have used large wood type to compose and print short phrases from memorable music lyrics that have left an impression after many years of listening.

I’m inspired by the work of Amos Kennedy, Squeak Carnwath, and Sophie Taueber Arp; my favorite of the “masters” include Matisse and Picasso, and Bay Area favorite Richard Diebenkorn. The lyrics of Bob Dylan, John Prine, Paul Simon, the Supremes and Stevie Wonder have inspired my current work.

Pauline Minser
Printmaker, book artist, and Studio Printer at North Bay Letterpress Arts in Sebastopol.

Adrienne Momi

I love books and I love to make them. Telling stories in words and images has been a passion since childhood. The intimacy of an artist book makes as powerful a statement for the viewer as monumental images. It can be kept as a secret on a shelf or offered to curious eyes and hands. My sculptural structures subtly enhance my books’ meanings. Whether these books make you laugh, cry or reflect on life, enjoy them for the treasures they are.

Trained as an oil painter, I began my journey as a printmaker in Florence, Italy, in the late 1980’s. Embracing etching, monotype, collagraphy, woodcut, pochoir, and letterpress, I often print on handmade paper pushing the limits of tradition while maintaining my quirky aesthetic. In 1994, I left the studio to work “in the field” creating monumental paper installations. Ten years later, I founded Momi Lani Paper Arts in Santa Cruz, a school for printmaking, book arts, and papermaking and published “The Amazing Adventures of Radish Toe,” a children’s book featuring my monoprints on handmade paper. Now in Sebastopol, I immerse myself in the thriving book arts culture. What a joy to find new ways to combine storytelling with printmaking and letterpress.
@adrienne_momi on Instagram

Allie Rigby

Allie Rigby is a North Bay poet and letterpress artist whose writing explores emotions, memory, and connections to place. She joined the NBLA in 2021 and began creating broadsides and chapbooks under the name Creosote Press. Her work has been published in Manzano Mountain ReviewParenthesis JournalPostScript MagazineCholla NeedlesVisitant LitLiving on Earth Radio, and more.

Allie’s debut manuscript, Moonscape for a Child will be available in 2023, courtesy of Bored Wolves, a small press based in the highlands of Poland. She values the creative community of NBLA studio printers, where she prints on a Vandercook Press, and welcomes anyone curious about letterpress to reach out.

@CreosotePress on Instagram

Michael Rylander of Sweet Bippy Press
Sweet Bippy Press is located just down the street in the Watershed building. They hand print each piece on vintage letterpress machines using FSC Certified paper, century-old printing techniques, and a healthy dose of love. Michael and Patricia enjoy the hands on approach to making greeting cards and posters. Their cards can be found at I Leoni in Petaluma, Marin Country Mart Trading Post, Mill Valley Depot Cafe & Bookstore, Once Around, George, Jolt!, Proof Lab, and The Fig Garden in San Anselmo.



March 19
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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Aqus Cafe
189 H Street
Petaluma, CA 94952 United States
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Aqus Cafe