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'Letterpress Printing: From Industry to Art' Exhibition on Display in John A. Day Gallery

The Letterpress Printing exhibit in the John A. Day Gallery "The Letterpress Printing: From Industry to Art" exhibition is on display in the John A. Day Gallery March 15-April 9.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The “Letterpress Printing: From Industry to Art” exhibition will be on display in the John A. Day Gallery in the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts at the University of South Dakota March 15-April 9. A closing reception and workshop demonstration will be held April 9 from 5-7 p.m.

“We are fortunate to have so many diverse examples of letterpress works in our collection,” said Amy Fill, University Art Galleries director. “This, in combination with the exquisite contemporary works, has created a robust and inspirational exhibition. We have included elements of sound, video and a selection of tools of the trade to further enhance the educational experience.”

James Quigley, assistant professor of graphic design, and University Art Galleries staff members co-curated this exhibition. They selected works from USD's permanent collection of letterpress works on paper printed in USD’s printmaking department during the 1980s along with letterpress artworks from prominent artists across the United States. Richard Kegler from P22 Type Foundry and Jen Farrell from Starshaped Press and Lead Graffiti are among the artists whose works are on display.

Johannes Gutenberg is credited for inventing the first movable type printing press in the 1430s. This modern printing process revolutionized education for the mass public and was the primary method of printing books for 500 years. As technologies advanced, the labor intensive process of letterpress printing was replaced by offset lithography, which is the primary printing process in use today.

A revival of the letterpress process occurred in the 1990s when smaller printing companies and artists wanted the handcrafted look and feel to their printed matters.

The gallery is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., excluding holidays. For more information about this exhibition and upcoming events, please email Amy Fill at or call 605-658-3437.


USD's College of Fine Arts encourages students to pursue their chosen professional field in art, music or theater through their study with nationally recognized faculty who are working professionals. Students learn and grow to be professional fine artists with great job potential anywhere in the country. The college offers opportunities for additional real-world experiences through work with guest artists, study tours abroad and opportunities at the National Music Museum and the University Art Galleries on the Vermillion campus and the Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park. The college brings more than 80 guests artists to campus annually to work with students.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News