IF YOU GO
• What: "Crafted by Southern Hands" printmaking exhibition, reception and workshop
• When: 5-7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30
• Where: Warehouse Row motor court, 1110 Market St.
• Admission: Free
• Phone: 423-267-1127
• Website: www.craftedbysouthernhands.com
Micah Whitson lives in Somerville, Mass., but he and his wife, Marianna, haven't lost sight of their native South. Indeed, they make it front and center in their printing business.
Their business, Old Try, uses a letterpress to print images that, they say, "connect a person to home, no matter where home might be."
The Whitsons will get a little closer to their Southern homes (his, Athens, Ala.; hers, Raleigh, N.C.) on Friday, Aug. 30, when Warehouse Row hosts a reception for their work -- as part of Warehouse Row's "Crafted by Southern Hands" series -- and a demonstration of the rare art form of custom printmaking.
"It'll be great to get back home," he says. "It's our first show. We were excited we were asked to do it. We haven't had many opportunities [to show their prints] in the real world."
The Whitsons will personalize the event by unveiling their Chattanooga print at the reception and allow those who wish to purchase one to "run it for themselves" on The Open Press' vintage equipment that includes movable type and 100-year-old wood blocks.
"I sent the design to Open Press," he says, referring to the Chattanooga startup that launched last month with a Kickstarter online fundraising campaign and intends to provide access to printmaking, book arts and letterpress classes, workshops, and equipment. "They carved the design into blocks, will lay down one color [the night before the event] and let it dry."
The one-color prints then will be brought to Warehouse Row, where the printmaking process can be demonstrated with the application of the second color. And interested attendees can help run their own print.
Others will be able to buy the print through Old Try's website, theoldtry.com.
An exhibit of 25 to 30 pieces of the Whitsons' work will hang at the retail center through the end of September. It will include some of their Southern state-related prints already available on the website as well as printer's proofs, one-color prints and other items.
"This installment of the 'Crafted by Southern Hands' series will give guests a firsthand experience with printmaking," George Krauth, vice president of Warehouse Row parent Jamestown Properties, says in a news release. "We celebrate the recommissioning of this historic Chattanooga press [by Open Press] as well as the resurgence of printmaking and letterpress as an art form under the leadership of native Southerners whose works have both a nostalgic and modern appeal."
Guests at the reception can dine on local bites from Champy's Chicken and Southern Burger Co. and handcrafted beer from Chattanooga Brewing Co.
Contact Clint Cooper at email@example.com or 423-757-6497. Subscribe to his posts online at Facebook.com/ClintCooperCTFP.