Five Presses in the Exhibition

The Art of the Book in California: Five Contemporary Presses

June 1 – August 28, 2011

Foolscap Press
Foolscap Press is Lawrence G. Van Velzer and Peggy Gotthold. Both had worked for many years in the fine printing field in the Bay Area when they founded Foolscap Press in 1990 in order to publish books under their own imprint. Peggy Gotthold worked as a bookbinder at Schuberth Bookbindery in San Francisco and Arion Press. She trained in letterpress printing and typesetting at Cowell Press (UCSC), The Yolla Bolly Press, and Artichoke Press. Larry Van Velzer operated his own press and worked as a printer and typesetter at Arion Press. His father taught printing in technical high schools and was a letterpress printer who learned printing from his father, who published a newspaper printed on a handpress in the 1870s.

Foolscap Press books are designed, printed and bound at the press in Santa Cruz. Gotthold and Van Velzer work as a creative team, collaborating in every aspect of a book’s creation, from conception through editing, designing, printing, binding, and marketing. Their hallmark is finely-made, hand-crafted books of literature produced in limited editions of 100-200 copies. The press’s annual April Fool’s Day monograph, distributed by mail, has surprised and delighted friends and clients since 1999.  

Moving Parts Press
Book artist, typographer, printer, and publisher Felicia Rice set Moving Parts Press in motion in 1977. She grew up in California surrounded by what she describes as “a hybrid community of immigrants and artists.” She learned to print as a student of Jack Stauffacher at the Cowell press and an apprentice of William Everson at the Lime Kiln Press while a UC Santa Cruz undergraduate (class of ’78). The sole proprietor of a letterpress print studio for the past 30 years, she has published numerous limited edition artist’s books, broadsides, and prints. As a book artist, she endeavors to “build bridges between art forms, cultures, artists/audiences, and technologies.” Toward this end, she works collaboratively with “visual artists, performance artists, and writers to create book structures in which word and image meet and merge.”

Work from the Press has been included in countless exhibitions and collections both nationally and internationally, from the AIGA Annual Book Shows in New York and Frankfurt to the Victoria & Albert Museum. Rice has taught and lectured extensively on the history of the book, typographic design, printing, binding, and literary publishing, primarily through UC Santa Cruz, where she currently manages the MFA program in Digital Arts and New Media.

Ninja Press
Carolee Campbell had a stage career in New York, starred in the long-running NBC soap opera The Doctors, practiced kendo and kyudo (Japanese fencing and archery), and was an avid river rafter and experienced photographer before founding Ninja Press in 1984. Campbell became interested in the arts of the book through her work in photography, when she began to bind sequences of her photographs into books. Subsequent studies in papermaking and bookbinding led her to design and letterpress printing. She enrolled in the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara to learn to print letterpress from Harry Reese, graduating in 1987. She approached the study of the book arts with the same passion and discipline she brought to the stage and the dojo, and has focused her publishing efforts on contemporary poetry. Campbell wrote eloquently and articulately about her bookwork in “Ninja Press at Twenty,” published in Matrix, a Review for Printers and Bibliophiles (no. 25, Winter 2005). In 2010, the press’s 25th anniversary was celebrated with a retrospective exhibition, Ninja Press: Twenty-five Years & Counting, mounted by the Skillman Library Special Collections Department of Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania.

Peter Koch, Printers
A native of Montana, Peter Koch got his start in printing in Missoula when he founded Montana Gothic: A Journal of Poetry, Literature & Graphics and the Black Stone Press, a publishing imprint and letterpress printing office, in tandem with artist Shelley Hoyt, in 1974. Four years later, the press relocated to San Francisco, where Koch embarked on a one-year apprenticeship with printer and book designer Adrian Wilson at the Press in Tuscany Alley. Koch has operated his own studio continuously for 36 years. A creative force and personality in Bay Area fine press book design, printing, and publishing, Koch’s work has earned an international reputation. Since the dissolution of Black Stone Press, he has published under numerous imprints, creatively named to suit different facets of his work: Peter Rutledge Koch, Typographic Design; Peter and the Wolf Editions (with photographer Wolf von dem Bussche); Peter Koch, Printers; Hormone Derange Editions; and Editions Koch. He variously describes himself as “Artist/Collaborationist,” “Designer/Printer and Publisher,” and “Cowboy Surrealist.” His works include—but are by no means limited to—editions of ancient Greek philosophers, the musings of maverick poets, and the images of world-renowned wood engravers and photographers. Editions Koch specializes in publishing limited edition livres d'artistes, broadsides, portfolios, and what Koch describes as “text transmission objects.”

In addition to his creative and collaborative ventures, Koch’s studio handles private and commercial work on commission. For the past 20 years he has taught “The Hand-produced Book in its Historical Context” at UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library and is currently developing a course entitled "The Book as Object, Lectures in connoisseurship and the book" at both Stanford and at Berkeley. In 2005 Koch created The CODEX Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to promoting and preserving the arts of the book and the biennial CODEX International Book Fair.   

Turkey Press
Turkey Press, the imprint of Harry and Sandra Liddell Reese, was founded in 1974 by Harry Reese while he was a graduate student at Brown University. He moved to Berkeley, California in 1975 and in 1977 with Sandra Liddell relocated the press to its present home in Isla Vista just north of Santa Barbara. As publishers of poetry, prints and artist books the Reese’s design, set type by hand, print, bind and, when needed, make the paper for their editions. Their work integrates traditional as well as digital printmaking processes and often features their own visual and typographic art. In 1990 they created a second imprint, Edition Reese, to produce books in collaboration with various artists, writers and thinkers. Harry Reese is a Professor in the Department of Art, and Associate Dean of the College of Creative Studies, where he directs the Book Arts program, at the University of California, Santa Barbra. He teaches book art, print, papermaking, public art and media ecology classes. Sandra Reese devotes her full attention to the printing and edition binding for their publications.

Media Contact: Anna Koster, Head of Communications, 650-725-4657,

View Press Release for the exhibition.