Dozens of print artists from across the country will converge on the Eastern Market Sunday for the second Power of the Press Fest.
Presented by Detroit’s Signal-Return, a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation and education of traditional letterpress printing, the festival, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will feature vendors and artists specializing in a range of printing techniques including letterpress, screen printing, risography, woodcut, papermaking and more. Free demonstrations will also be organized throughout the day.
The festival has been postponed twice due to COVID-19, but is now taking place in Hangar 5 in Eastern Market. It’s the only festival focused on printmaking in Detroit starting from letterpress but expanding into other non-digital printmaking means, said Melinda Anderson of Studio M in Detroit. and the festival director.
“Our goal in doing this is to provide a larger platform for artists to share their work,” Anderson said.
Signal-Return, which opened in 2011 in an empty storefront on Division Street in Detroit, is dedicated to reviving letterpress printing as a means of artistic expression and communication. But it’s not just a centuries-old craft: Typography has also been used recently in social activism, creating posters for protests.
The first Power of the Press festival was held in 2017. This year’s event will feature approximately 50 artists from Detroit, Kalamazoo, Brooklyn, Pittsburgh, and Vermont, all of whom will sell original artwork.
Demonstrations throughout the day will include wood engraving; marblin paper; wood engravings; papermaking; and the arts of the book. Prior registration for workshops is required at the festival reception desk.
The festival will also include music and the Quarantine Public Library, a project started by two artists during the pandemic. He invites other artists to create free and downloadable artist books.
“To date, over 200 artists from all over the world have participated, and we have printed and folded all the books to share with Fest visitors,” said Lynne Avadenka of Signal-Return.
Press Power Festival
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Market Hangar 5
Free demonstrations, selling artists
Go to https://www.powerofthepressfest.org/