NEWS RELEASE

Aug. 28, 2008
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Baldwin City, Kan. — Bill Ritchie, a guest artist and lecturer with experience creating etching presses, will present “The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, in the Owens Audio-Visual Room as part of Baker University’s Artist and Lecture Series and a three-day residency.

A reception will follow at the Holt-Russell Gallery, where the exhibit titled “Small is Beautiful: An Invitational Exhibit of Works Produced on Halfwood Presses” will be available for viewing. The exhibit will continue through Oct. 3.

During his residency, Ritchie will work with Baldwin public school students on Wednesday, Sept. 10, and Baker students Thursday, Sept. 11, and Friday, Sept. 12.

Ritchie has worked with etching presses for nearly 40 years after seeing a reconstruction of an all-wood press at the Rembrandt House Museum in the Netherlands. He soon realized building a press out of wood and steel required the collaborative assistance of an engineer and steel worker to produce rollers and mill the necessary hardware.

In recent years, Ritchie has manufactured presses of three different sizes and is currently working on a fourth size which will be the world’s smallest, fully operational etching press. Often referred to as his “laptop” printing press, the 12-pound Mini can be carried by one person.

During the exhibit, one of Ritchie’s Mini presses will be on display in the gallery. While he is in Baldwin City, Ritchie will demonstrate various approaches to the use of his presses  and refer to works on display to help visitors learn more about the equipment’s versatility.

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