Baltimore Print Studios continues to thrive in a burgeoning Station North

 

This year,  (BPS) is celebrating five years of business. A public-access printing studio, BPS is located at 18 W. North Ave in Station North. The husband and wife co-founders, Kyle Von Horn and Kim Bentley, run all parts of the business, including hosting workshops and studio hours, and working on private design commissions.

BPS works with two types of printing: screen printing and letterpress. Screen printing is a process that uses silk screens to create all sorts of striking images. Letterpress uses older machines and handset type to create beautiful typographic items – from chapbooks to stationary to posters. Both require expertise, but more importantly: they require equipment. Letterpress equipment is especially difficult to come by, since the machines are all older, and many are rare or expensive. The two Vandercook SP 20s, for example, are huge machines, and not items most people would be able to fit in their house.

The price and cumbersomeness of the equipment is a large part of why Von Horn and Bentley founded BPS. The model – which was meant to provide a space where people could learn and practice printing without purchasing expensive equipment – drew inspiration from other cities, which offered spaces for printing artists to produce their craft.

Having worked the printmaking program at MICA for a number of years, Von Horn had seen first hand how often graduates of the printing program were in dire need of space.

“They didn’t have access to the equipment, and some of this stuff is hard to find, or hard to maintain, or expensive,” he said. “We thought we could create a space that would be a resource for the design community.”

The pair looked for potential spaces throughout the city. When Baltimore Print Studios opened its doors back in 2010, Station North had already begun to live up to its designation as an Arts and Entertainment District. Things were changing quickly in the neighborhood, and Von Horn and Bentley felt that North Avenue was an ideal location for an art related space.

Since BPS opened its doors five years ago, many other businesses have followed suit. Red Emma’s moved into an expansive space on the corner of Maryland Avenue, and just this past year, Hopkins and MICA opened the new film space in the Center Theater. Meanwhile, the Parkway theater is being renovated to become a multi-use arts, film and office space. These are only a few examples of the change happening throughout the neighborhood.

Throughout all this change, BPS continues to run a threefold purpose of studio hours, commissions and workshop. The studio hours are available to those who are either experienced in printing, or have attended the appropriate introductory workshops. The rental fees are generally $15 per hour. Van Horn and Bentley also work with private individuals who might commission a variety of printed items – such as wedding invitations or business cards – and sell their own work as well.

Workshops are going to be of the most interest to readers who haven’t worked on this type of printing before. Offered on a monthly basis, workshops are limited to small groups of six to nine, ensuring that every student receives the help he or she needs. The introduction courses – in screen printing and letterpress – are offered on a monthly basis, with other seasonal or featured workshops occurring as well. This month, for example, is the ever-popular holiday card workshop, where participants make their own set of cards.

“We provide typical holiday phrases – ‘happy’, ‘merry’, ‘something’, ‘whiskey’,” explains Von Horn.

At the end, everyone leaves with a set of their own cards. Though the holiday workshop is full, there are still openings in the Valentines workshop that will happen in February.

“These include skills like bookmaking or textile printing,” explained Bentley. “Basically, these are things we’re not expert at, but we do have the facilities and the knowledge to help co-teach the workshops.”

Generally, the workshops cost 150 dollars, and run most of the day, from 10 am to 4 pm. Lately, they have also been working with a number of visiting artists and designers as well. Both the regular and the one-time workshops fill up very quickly – when I checked the website, every listed workshop was full – but interested parties can sign up for BPS’s mailing list to receive notification of sign-ups.

In addition to running BPS, both Von Horn and Bentley work other jobs. When I ask them about their work life balance, they look at each other and smile weakly. At this point, they are at the end of their BPS work week. Tomorrow, they will go into work for their other jobs. This is their week every week.

“A lot of the shop stuff happens at the end of the week,” said Bentley. “And the beginning of the week is for other work. And then evenings, that’s the time we have to talk about the shop.”

Though it seems like this leaves little time for leisure, it is clear from how they talk about their work, and their willingness to devote so much of their time to the space, that BPS is a labor of love, built as much on passion as it is on dedication and business skills.

All through the interview, their little dog sat under their desk, watching passersby walk down North Avenue and occasionally letting out a warning bark or two. I could see why she was so interested, and why she probably loves coming to work with them. There was, as usual, a lot of foot traffic on North Avenue: a mixture of MICA students, people making bus connections and locals just enjoying their neighborhood, a neighborhood that Baltimore Print Studios has helped to shape.

To learn more about Baltimore Print Studios, see upcoming workshops and sign up for the mailing list, visit: http://baltimoreprintstudios.com/

 

All photos courtesy of Jessica Kim

The Diversity and Culture Center host ‘Dinner and a Movie’

By Matt Nickelson, Contributor

Recently, the Diversity and Culture Center hosted a dinner and a movie event, which is held once a month in room 002 where a projector and screen are set up.  Pizza, salad, and drinks are provided. The featured movie this month was a heart wrenching documentary tilted “We Shall Remain: Wounded Knee.” This particular documentary was shown because November is Native American Heritage Month. There were 10 students from different backgrounds that attended to learn and expand upon their knowledge of Native American culture and the struggles Native Americans have faced throughout history.

The documentary also served as a platform for discussion. After viewing the film there was a thought provoking conversation that was initiated by a few of the students connected with the Diversity and Culture Center.

The mission statement of the Diversity and Culture Center states that they are here to promote and “sustain an inclusive community that supports personal growth and intellectual exploration by building bridges of multicultural and international understanding through academic excellence, cultural awareness and leadership development.” The Center is open to all UB students and offers a wide variety of cultural awareness and diversity education.

The goal of the Diversity and Culture Center “is not to make everyone the same, but to promote recognition and appreciation of the different cultural threads that make up the UB campus community.”  Access the Diversity and Culture Center’s website to learn more about current and future event.

Budget of Traveling

Thanksgiving isn’t just for turkeys

This Thanksgiving I’ll be in Mexico, away from my family with whom I’ve spent countless wonderful Thanksgivings, in a place where Thanksgiving Day is just a regular day. It won’t be my first holiday away from home, and I didn’t want to be away for Thanksgiving, but school breaks are typically during the holiday season and it’s often the only time to travel. Traveling over the holidays is always bittersweet. I’m going to miss reminiscing and toasting with mimosas in the morning while peeling potatoes with my mom and sister and drinking a beer with my dad and brother outside by the turkey fryer. I’ll miss seeing relatives that I don’t often see, and of course I’ll miss the delicious food. On the other hand, I’ll be with one of my best friends in seventy-degree weather making new memories and reliving the old ones we’ve shared.  I will be thankful that I’ve spent so many lovely holidays with my family, and that I am able to spend this Thanksgiving with my amazing travel buddy.

When considering booking a trip over the holidays there are a few more things to think about before making definitive plans. The first is: whatever the holiday may be, will it upset you to be away from family? The first holiday I spent away from home I was with family. Although all the traditions weren’t there, the people I loved were, and that made it feel like home. As kids grew up and people passed away, the holidays and our traditions have changed. It gradually became easier to be away for the holidays. Assess your priorities—is it more important to have extra time on your travels or to be home with your family? If it is important to be with family, another option is to celebrate a different day. My family and I always pick a day to designate as our holiday celebration with everyone together if one of us is gone for the real holiday. This is very personal and only you can decide for yourself.

Once you’ve decided you’re willing to be away from home, the next thing to consider is budget. Traveling over the holidays is often more expensive than at any other time due to the fact that it is a popular time to travel. Unfortunately I’ve learned that, when it comes to flights, it doesn’t make much of difference if you’re traveling to a place where your holiday isn’t a common holiday, or isn’t a holiday at all. With your possible destinations in mind, find out how much more the plane ticket will cost rather than traveling at another time. It is important to look at different dates, as traveling on the actual holiday is often cheaper than traveling on the days leading up to it.

Accommodation may or may not be more expensive, depending on the destination. Hotel prices within the US rise during Thanksgiving and Christmas, but not necessarily in other countries, depending on local customs. In addition, it’s always smart to be aware of local holidays that could cause prices to rise, street closures, or accommodations to be unavailable.

There are other things to consider especially when traveling near a holiday. If possible, fly early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid long check-in and security lines that form at peak travel times. Try to avoid layovers in locations prone to bad winter weather. There’s nothing more depressing than spending a holiday in a hotel alone when you planned to be on vacation.

I hope my column has inspired some of you to take full advantage of your winter break by traveling somewhere, be it far or near. I’m preparing to set off to Southeast Asia, specifically Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, on my first extensive solo trip. I can’t wait to share all of my adventures with you!

Library Insider

Stay up late:

Here we go

For students:

Are your ready to wrap up your semester?

End on a positive note with Langsdale Library’s Final Finish on Dec. 2.

On Dec. 2, the library is open to until 1 a.m.

Make sure you bring your Bee Card.

Reference librarians will be available until 1 a.m. on Dec. 2 Photo Credit: Laura Melamed
Reference librarians will be available until 1 a.m. on Dec. 2
Photo Credit: Laura Melamed

The Langsdale Library and the Achievement and Learning Center(ALC) are partnering to bring you a late night of writing and research help. Writing consultants and reference librarians will be around to answer questions throughout the evening.

Do you need fuel for your research?

Coffee, tea and snacks will be up for grabs during the event.

You can attend a free fifteen minute workshop on citations or another fifteen minute workshop on constructing effective sentences.You can also find out how to get free access to resources you need for your research. Get tips on navigating databases in yet another fifteen minute workshop. Feel free to attend all the workshops offered.

Final Finish at the library is a free event, but please R.S.V.P. on the UB calendar. Free registration includes eligibility for a free raffle drawing before each workshop.

Arrive at 6 p.m. for the opening ceremony with UB President Kurt Schmoke.

Reserve a 30-minute appointment with a consultant by visiting the ALC’s online scheduling system now. Choose an open time on the “Final Finish” schedule.

For more information about the online appointment system, please contact the ALC at 410.837.5383 or alc@ubalt.edu.

For more information about Final Finish please visit the Writing Center website or contact langref@ubalt.edu

We hope to see you there!

For faculty:

KnowledgeWorks@UB is an ideal space to store your most important work. The new digital repository has major advantages like high Google visibility and a permanent url. It’s a great backup for content located elsewhere and preserves your work on University of Maryland servers.

Knowledgeworks@UB is an optimal place for articles, papers, books, chapters and reports. Presentations and posters as well as audio and video files can be stored on KnowledgeWorks@UB.

Any file format is acceptable as well as large files up to two gigabytes.

Currently there is no limit on the total volume of uploads per registrant. We recommend you register now before limits are set.

To become a KnowledgeWorks@UB community member, register here. We will contact you about uploading your files.

To request help with uploading, email knowledgeworks@ubalt.edu.

We hope to hear from you soon.

Fashion Cents: how to be stylish without offending grandma

By: Sakina Stamper, Contributor

Going home for the holidays doesn’t mean it is time to break out that hideous reindeer sweater Grandma gave you ten years ago. Feel free to save that for the ugly holiday sweater contest, or even honor it by keeping it in your memory box. The holidays are a time for sharing love, peace, and style. Whether you are dressing for a corporate holiday party or dinner with your family, you can still break the barriers between modest and sassy fashion.

One of the best things about this season is that the 2015 color of the year, marsala, is being seen all over the fashion runway and in every fashion store. Initially, many were concerned about marsala being the color of the year, deeming it too “dark and lackluster,” but during the holiday season it’s just the pop of color you need to turn your holiday outfit from dreary to dreamy.

You don’t have to be dressed like a Christmas tree, wear a sweatshirt with the Kwanzaa symbols on the front, or have on the latest pair of dreidel earrings to be in Grandma’s good graces. Let’s face it, pleasing Grandma is important, but that does not mean our sense of fashion has to leave us. One surefire way to impress her this holiday season is to give her a gift she will love inspired by her sense of fashion, and implementing that style into your own holiday attire. For example, my grandmother loves broaches. So not only will I show up at the family holiday dinner with a carefully giftwrapped broach for my grandmother, but I will also add some fun bling to my holiday outfit by wearing a matching bedazzled broach. The brownie points will be out of this world, plus whatever else I have on will be downplayed in her eyes because she will be so enraptured by the broach.

Below you will find my top list of ways to be fashionable without offending Grandma:

  • Don’t show too much skin! It’s cold anyway so make sure you cover up in some fashionable threads. What to wear to cover up? Try a sweater, vest, or duster!
  • Layers! Add fun layers to your holiday outfit with a fashionable scarf that can be worn numerous ways. Infinity scarves are still the rave.
  • Respect our counterparts that make up the ecosystem! What does that mean?  If you are going to rock leather or fur, make sure it is faux.
  • Make sure your outfit fits. Even if you believe your clothes always fit, just remember: grandma doesn’t like too tight or too loose fitting clothing
  • Ladies, save the short mini dress for the holiday partying with your friends and make sure the dress/skirt you wear around grandma passes the fingertip test.
  • Most of all, don’t be afraid to be festive!  Be inspired by your favorite holiday colors such as green and red.
  • Accessorize yourself by adding some holiday flowers such as mistletoe or Poinsettias.

Following the above tips will not only have you impressing Grandma at the dinner table, but you will be full of confidence at your next corporate holiday party!