Dartmouth holds a Winter Carnival every February and amid the snow sculptures and athletic contests, the Alumni Office invites class & club officers back to campus for a special event. The alumni program theme for 2011 was “Hidden Treasures” and if you know anything about the Library's Book Arts Program you know it is “hidden” in the southwest corner of Baker Library's basement and is an undisputed “treasure”.
I worked with Anne Peale, '11, to plan the event and we decided to have our visitors print covers for a keepsake pamphlet that they would sew themselves. Anne is a student instructor in the Book Arts studios and she came up with a wintery design printed with silver ink on “Dartmouth green” card stock.
Anne did a fantastic job explaining letterpress-printing technology to the alums and enthusiastically described the influence working in the studio has had on her life. I wouldn't want to embarrass Anne by announcing her career plans in a blog post but simply put, the Books Arts Program had a transformative impact.
It turns out, Anne's wasn't the first life to be transformed through the program. One of the Dartmouth alums who showed up for the tour had been a student employee of Ray Nash, the founder of the Graphic Arts Workshop and in whose honor the Book Arts Program was re-established. I was humbled to meet a "Nash student" and felt privileged as he movingly described his mentor, Ray Nash, and his mentor's influence on him. That day I formed my own "mental keepsake" as I watched a past student of the Graphic Arts Workshop nod his approval of the generation that has found a home in the Book Arts Workshop.
Photos by Sue Wiley Young '77
Written by Barb Sagraves