NEW ULM– Sarah Evenson, the latest artist to participate in the Grand’s Artist-in-Residence program, has nearly completed her residency project. Evenson described the job in The Grand’s Cell Press as a wonderful luxury.
Evenson’s primary work is printmaking, but this includes zine-making, book-making, and writing.
Evenson also identifies as a queer trans person, using the pronouns them/them. Since earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts in printmaking from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2016, Evenson has had an eclectic and varied career. Over the past five years, Evenson has received numerous grants and opportunities to further her career and study bookmaking.
After hearing about the Grand’s Artist-in-Residence program, they jumped at the chance to work at the Cellar Press.
“I was drawn here because of the description of typographic equipment,” said Evenson.
Having exclusive access to Cellar Press equipment, a large library of print and ink texts was a rare opportunity.
During their two weeks at the Grand, Evenson worked on printing and distributing a zine edition. A zine is a non-commercial home publication devoted to a particular topic. Using Cellar Press equipment, Evenson prints single-sheet, cut-and-fold zines.
They described it as a large-format zine. Each edition will be accompanied by a small cover. The zine will include a short poem on the theme of queer empowerment and community.
“As a queer artist, I’m interested in how the print media has helped the gay community,” said Evenson. For a time, zines were the only method for publishing writing on queer theory and other LGBTQIA topics because regular trade publications were afraid to print queer stories. The zine work is a tribute to this history.
Upon completion of their residency, Evenson will distribute the take-out zines to bookstores, arts spaces and community centers in and around Brown County. Evenson plans to create about 60 of the zines.
Evenson will also host a 90-minute workshop beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, April 22. The workshop will cover the history of the print media from the German roots of movable-type letterpress printing to contemporary zine and DIY publishing practices.
The conversation will explore how print media and letterpress printing in particular have been used as both a tool of oppression and a tool of resistance.
Attendees will learn about Vendercook typography from Cellar Press and practice a simple cut and fold book shape. Each participant will leave with a small paperback book with a cover printed in typography and an interior that can be unfolded into a poster.