The Newman University Steckline Gallery will present "Lock Up" by Jeff Pulaski as the fourth show of its 2013-2014 season. The exhibit of prints, which begins with a Final Friday reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 29 will be on display through Dec. 20. Both the reception and admission to the gallery are free and open to the public.
An "Art for Lunch" presentation by Pulaski will be held Tuesday, Dec. 3 from noon to 1 p.m. in the gallery. A light lunch will be served on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests can also bring their lunch. This event is also free and reservations are not required.
Jeff Pulaski is an assistant professor of graphic design at Wichita State University. He graduated from Wichita State in 1990 with a B.F.A. in Graphic Design and went to Kansas State University to earn his M.F.A. in Visual Communications in 2008. He currently works with Out of Sports Press to create books and posters using letterpress printing.
Pulaski began working with letterpress in graduate school in 2004. He helped move equipment and type in the letterpress lab at Wichita State and became intrigued by the physicality of the letters.
Pulaski describes letterpress as an old technology. Its practice today is filled with limitations.
"You are limited by the materials you have on hand, there are not an unlimited number of fonts with unlimited characters," Pulaski said. "When you use all the Es you have on hand in a specific font and a specific size, that's it, there are no more. If you want a word to be slightly larger, you can't just make it a bigger point size. If a piece of wood type has been abused and has dents and gouges taken out of it, there is very little you can do to change it. The type shows its history of use physically on its face. There are limitations. I like these limitations. These limitations force me to be more creative.
"Letterpress puts the designer back in charge of the process," he added. "Skill and practice can lead to perfect copies, but variety can also be achieved. I enjoy the tactile nature of letterpress, each element selected and placed in the press bed by hand. Each color printed individually so the image is created slowly, building the overall color as the piece is created. The scars on the type add character. The artist leaves their physical mark on the paper. There is a sense of history to the final piece."
The Steckline Gallery is located inside the De Mattias Fine Arts Center on the Newman campus, 3100 McCormick. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by appointment. For more information, call 316-942-4291, ext. 2199.