Stunning Calligraphic Works Showcased in "Exploration 2012" at the Newberry

Newberry 2012 Purchase Prize Winner "Layered Play" by Lisa Kivland
Newberry 2012 Purchase Prize Winner "Layered Play" by Lisa Kivland
April 2012

Quotes from William Wordsworth, Robert F. Kennedy, A.A. Milne and other text have been transformed into beautiful works of printing and book arts, and are now featured at the Chicago Calligraphy Collective’s (CCC) 26th Annual Juried Exhibition, Exploration 2012, being hosted at the Newberry. This stunning exhibition showcases a unique variety of calligraphy, from traditional to experimental broadsides, 3-D, and hand-bound book art, encouraging calligraphers to explore and stretch the boundaries of their letterforms and technique.

April 7, the CCC and the Newberry hosted a day of festivities that included an opportunity to meet the artists, calligraphy demonstrations, and live music, capped by the announcement of the annual Purchase Award winner. Newberry Custodian of the John M. Wing Foundation for the History of Printing Paul F. Gehl announced that “Layered Play” by Lisa Kivland was this year’s winner. Kivland’s piece will be added to the Newberry’s collection.

“Printing and book arts, or what we call ‘The History of the Book,’ is a critical strength area for the Newberry, and scholars from around the world come here to conduct important research on these materials,” Gehl said. “We are grateful to the Chicago Calligraphy Collective for this partnership, which helps us ensure our Wing Collection remains relevant.”

Exploration 2012 runs through June 8 in the Newberry’s R.R. Donnelley Gallery, which is open from 8:15 am to 5 pm Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays; and from 8:15 am to 7:30 pm Tuesdays and Thursdays. Selected items will be available for purchase by the public.

Founded in 1976 to represent the interests of the calligraphic community of the Chicago area, the CCC has fostered the development of many hundreds of calligraphers, including many who have achieved national renown.  By sponsoring exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and various educational activities, the CCC provides a forum for the exchange of ideas, techniques, and instruction related to letterforms and their application in numerous artistic mediums. In recent years, an increase in community outreach events is yielding a greater public awareness and appreciation of calligraphy in our neighborhoods. 

Since 1887, the Newberry has been preserving, adding to, and making known in diverse ways a remarkable collection of books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, and other materials that relate to the humanities – disciplines that pose fundamental questions about human beings and their lives, their social, cultural, and moral existence across time, their ongoing pursuit of meaning.  The Newberry’s programs, which include fellowships, adult seminars, conferences, semester-long undergraduate programs, seminars for professional scholars, professional development activities for teachers, and summer institutes for college faculty, all seek to make our collection, our staff’s expertise, and the special knowledge of outside experts available for those who want to read, listen, and learn.