Frank Brannon Jr., owner and operator of SpeakEasy Press in Dillsboro, will speak about his art from 12:30 until 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 23, in Room 130 of the Fine and Performing Arts Center at Western Carolina University.
Brannon will deliver a talk titled “Printing in the Cherokee Language: A New Art Institute in Cherokee, North Carolina.” Topics include assembling a printmaking/letterpress studio at the Oconaluftee Institute for Cultural Arts and printing in the Cherokee writing system.
SpeakEasy Press prints limited-edition books on handmade paper. Brannon recently wrote and printed a limited-edition a book titled “Cherokee Phoenix: Advent of a Newspaper.” The book examines the printing press, metal type and paper used in printing the Cherokee Phoenix, the newspaper of the Cherokee Nation, printed from 1828 until 1834 in New Echota, in northern Georgia.
The Oconaluftee Institute partners with Southwestern Community College and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to offer an associate’s degree in fine arts. An agreement with WCU allows graduates to enter the university as juniors pursuing the bachelor of fine arts degree.
Brannon, who studied physics before turning to printing, is scheduled to teach a printmaking class at the Oconaluftee Institute in the fall. Grants from the federal government and the Cherokee Preservation Foundation are funding the printing press project. Brannon’s work is in collections and has shown in exhibitions around the country.
The Artist-in-Residence Program is made possible by the Visiting Artists Fund of the Office of the Provost, with support from the College of Fine and Performing Arts, the School of Art and Design, the Fine Art Museum and friends of the School of Art and Design.