Grand says ‘Start the Presses’

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt Andy Kahmann, from Montevideo, demonstrated the Kluge Press for visitors to the Open House for the Cellar Press at the Grand Center for Arts & Culture. The press is part of a new installment dedicated to printing and graphic arts.

NEW ULM — A crowd of visitors pressed into the basement of the Grand Center for Arts and Culture, Saturday for the official unveiling of the “Cellar Press.”

The unveiling ceremony was part of an open house event celebrating the Cellar Press. Several working printing press models are located in the Grand’s new Cellar Press. A vintage 1938 Kluge tabletop press is the highlight of the new space.

The press was used by the Mankato Free Press from the 1930s to the 1960s. It was donated to The Grand by Tom Hagen. The press came with a composing table and type fonts.

The open house featured printing demonstrations. Andy Kahmann from Montevideo worked the Kluge press for visitors. Nearby other print, artists gave demonstrations.

Rachel James made mono-printing art using found objects to make printed images. Bradley Hall demonstrated linoleum block printing.

The Gross family—Phill Gross, Mary Chris Bassman, Anne Makepeace and Mary Anne Suetholz Gross—all gathered around the plaque commerating the Grand’s new Cellar Press. The Cellar Press was dedicated to the family’s matriach, Mary Anne Suetholz Gross, who spent many years working press machines and helped make this print room possible.

Anne Makepeace, Director of the Grand, said the Cellar Press would be used for educational classes and printmaking art. Kahmann will teach a class on printmaking next month. A card making class will follow in July.

The Cellar Press was dedicated to Mary Anne Suetholz Gross, mother of Anne Makepeace. Makepeace said the Cellar Press would not be possible without her mother.

During college, Gross worked at The Milwaukee Journal as a copyholder and in 1953 went to Frazier Typesetting where she was a proofreader. In 1964, she became an editor and proofreader at Milwaukee Area Technical College. Her office was in a printing classroom.

Gross attended the open house and the unveiling of a special plaque with her photo. Gross said it was the best ever early Mother’s Day present.

Further additions are coming to the Cellar Press. Makepeace said they hope to acquire a Vandercook Press. The Grand has started fundraising for the Vandercook Press. The press is estimated to cost between $6,000 and $7,000. This press will the Grand to print larger and multi-color posters.

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