Minot State University Art Department receives letterpress donation

MINOT, N.D. – Ryan Stander finds beauty in creating art from processes that span centuries.

A letterpress donation from Allan Burke and the Braddock Letterpress Museum will enable students and faculty a new opportunity to do just that.

“There are really fun ways of blending what people create in graphic or digital design and then printing it on a machine from the 1800s. There is this really remarkable process of the newest technologies and antique technologies coming together,” the Minot State University associate professor of art said.

The donation includes a small rolling pin press, or proof press; three cabinets full of metal and wood type; furniture, an industry name for items such as wood and metal spacing; and other items necessary for a letterpress shop.

“There are a lot of ways to integrate letterpress into the curriculum,” Stander said. “I feel like most art faculty see the potential of that and will reimagine how to use it and fit it into their courses.”


A new letterpress studio on the second floor of Hartnett Hall will create workspace and an area to house the presses and work items. The space will also offer opportunities for community letterpress classes in the future.

“In 2013, we applied for an internal grant that got Flat Tail Press (an educational printmaking studio at Minot State) going. With that money, we bought a press and a few other things to start moving in this direction,” Stander said. “Letterpress is hard to find because a lot has been scrapped, and some items, like wood type, are very expensive. We have slowly been accumulating our collection.”

As Stander continues to hunt for letterpress equipment to add to the Minot State Art Department, he notes a resurgence of interest in the artform.

“You get embossment, you get imperfections in the ink, and you get this really beautiful handmade work of art,” he said. “Letterpress has really gained interest in the last 25 years. Once any process leaves the commercial world, artists take it up. Because the machinery is no longer valuable, artists can afford it when it is out in the periphery. Then it can be integrated back into making art.”

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 07/30/20   

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