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The King Library Press holds seminars and workshops every semester, including the Hammer International Book Arts Biennale, held every two years. The seminars have brought some of the most distinguished printers, type designers, typographers, and book artists from around the world to UK, and give UK students, faculty, staff, and the wider Lexington community an opportunity to gain hands-on experience with noted experts in the field.

Seminars are free and open to the public. Workshops often require advanced registration.

Learn more about upcoming events and find recordings of recent seminars below.

Upcoming Seminars & Workshops

The King Library Press holds seminars and workshops every Fall and Spring.

Fall 2023 Book Arts Weekend

Join us for the Fall 2023 Book Arts Weekend with Philadelphia-based artist Rebecca Gilbert. 

On Friday, October 27, Gilbert will offer a free public lecture in the Great Hall of Margaret I. King Library. The lecture will focus on Gilbert’s current project, A Dance of Death in Two Parts, a series of 82 miniature wood engraved prints on the theme of death. Light refreshments will follow the lecture. 

On Saturday, October 28, Gilbert and Kentucky artist Joanne Price will host a workshop on the ruling machine, a specialized piece of precision equipment used during the heyday of commercial trade engraving. Gilbert and Price will demonstrate the ruling machine’s capabilities and attendees will collaboratively create and print a block. 

Find more information about the visiting artists, times and locations for the events, and how to reserve workshop space on the lecture and workshop event pages.

Type set out to spell King Library Press

Learn the art of letterpress printing at the KLP's biannual seminars and workshops.

Hammer International Book Arts Biennale

Held every two years, the Hammer International Book Arts Biennale honors Carolyn and Victor Hammer and their legacy to fine printing by inviting distinguished scholars and book artists to lecture on printing, typography, illustration, bookbinding, graphic design, and other aspects of the book arts.

The Hammer Biennale is made possible by an endowment established through the King Library Press. Gifts to the Hammer Biennale Fund are most welcome.

Recent speakers have included:

  • 2022 – Richard Kegler – Kegler is the founder and lead designer of P22 Type Foundry, an internationally renowned source for digital typefaces. Kegler’s lecture, “Victor Hammer, the Man from Uncial,” honored the legacy of Lexington’s favorite fine printer.
  • 2018 – Jerry Kelly – Kelly is an internationally known book designer, calligrapher, type designer, and typographer, and a partner at Kelly-Winterton Press and the Nonpareil Typefoundry, an independent type design firm. His lecture, “Hora Fugit – Carpe Diem: Hermann Zapf on His Centenary,” covered the long career of the German type designer.
  • 2016 – Peter Fallon – Fallon is a prize-winning poet and the founder and director of Gallery Press, Ireland's preeminent publisher of poetry and drama. Described as “one of Ireland’s greatest literary talents” by the Sunday Times of London, Fallon spoke on Irish publishing in his lecture, “The Purpose of Praise: Extending the Tradition of Irish Literary Publishing.”
Richard Kegler delivers the 2022 Hammer Biennale lecture in front of an audience in the Great Hall

Richard Kegler delivers the 2022 Hammer International Book Arts Biennale lecture in the Great Hall.

Past Seminars & Workshops

Recordings are available for several past seminars.

  • Spring 2022 – Chris Fritton, "Painting with the Press" – Reviving the spirit of "tramp printers," Chris Fritton has traveled over 100,000 miles and visited more than 200 print shops across North America. Fritton recounts stories from the road and talks about his stylistic journey. 
  • Winter 2022 – Roundtable Discussion, "Print/Reprint" – Panelists E. Haven Hawley, Erin McGuirl, Autumn Womack, and Elizabeth Ott discuss the impact of 20th century printing technologies on our collective understanding of social, cultural, and labor history. Recording available.
  • Spring 2021 – "Pandemic Printing" – Find out how different book artists around the country have adapted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A poster with the words "Break Free and Run" is rolled on a press

King Library Press seminars and workshops draw printers and book artists from around the world.

Chris Fritton