This book-arts based apprenticeship will focus on apprentice artist Sharon Gallant’s goals to further develop her understanding in all facets of bookmaking to apply in her own classroom and beyond. Sharon has parlayed this new passion to her community incorporating arts into sciences with marked test results. In addition to learning new formats and letterpress options, Sharon hopes to create “The Book of Books” – a reference tool for future teachers wanting to use this method of creative instruction. The pair will achieve this by working one-on-one for 100 hours at Richard’s studio, and also Maine Media Book Arts Studio in Rockport.
Richard Reitz Smith (Camden, ME)
Richard Reitz Smith is a book artist who excels in marrying traditional techniques with current technology. He is a co-owner of the Letterpress Studio at Steel House Collaborative and runs DoubleDoor Creative in Camden, ME. In 2015, Richard was the co-award recipient of the Book Artist in Residence at Maine Media where he wrote, illustrated, printed, and bound a limited-edition abecedary of alliterative haiku. Richard received a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in painting and illustration. After working for three years developing products for Crayola and Liquitex, he returned to school and earned an MFA in graphic design (Tyler School of Art- Temple University). Then started a five-year tour of universities as an art and design professor which led him to New York City, where he taught at Pratt Institute and School of Visual Arts. While doing this, he freelanced as an illustrator and graphic designer producing work for The GAP, Macy’s, American Craft Museum, Metlife, Pearson Education, and Scholastic. Then Richard took positions at Clicquot, Inc. and Clinique Cosmetics consecutively. For Clinique Cosmetics, he managed multi-million-dollar, international, seasonal product and promotional launches as the director of package design-worldwide. For Clicquot, Inc. he was a one-person art department for the wine importer/promoter of Veuve Clicquot, Krug, Bouchard and many other ultra premium wines. It was in NYC, that he found and frequented The Center for Book Arts learning much about letterpress and the book as an art form. In 2002, Richard moved to Maine. He worked in-house at William Arthur Stationery and Briggs Advertising, then started an art and design studio focused on creative custom solutions for visual problems. Richard’s work has won awards across a wide-ranging platform like logo and brand development, package design, print collateral, as well as book arts, painting and drawing. He is comfortable marrying traditional skills with current technology and often incorporates handwork into Adobe Creative Suite.
“Sharon came to my attention through Erin Sweeney, who I hired as an online instructor for Maine Media where I am the Book Arts chair. Erin told me about the great things Sharon was doing in her school district to incorporate books as a tool for non-art subjects.
Sharon then attended an in-person workshop with Lucky Platt, who suggested the apprentice program. Due to an unfortunate health issue, a previous apprentice application was not completed. Sharon’s interest re-ignited my interest.“ – Richard Reitz Smith
Sharon Gallant (Augusta, ME)
Sharon Gallant is a science educator at Gardiner Area High School. She has a master’s degree in geosciences from Mississippi State University and is certified to teach both life and physical sciences. She is a Maine Master Naturalist, leader of the Outing Club, and a varsity field hockey coach. Her unique style of teaching; participatory, interdisciplinary, and academically sound, is on display in her earth science class which spends 75% of their time outdoors. Her passion to connect students to meaningful assessment through book art has only deepened her conviction that given the opportunity to creatively show what they know, students will always rise to the occasion. To pass on this belief, she has provided a variety of professional development opportunities for colleagues to actively experience dynamic learning through book art.
“I want to work with Richard for two reasons. First, he is a leader in the field and has a broad range of skills learned over many years from many masters. Secondly, he has a teaching style that incorporates patience and kindness with thoughtful questioning of how to see things differently. As a biology major, and science educator, I have no formal training in the arts and need his insightful perspective – a characteristic that is part of the reason he is so highly regarded in the business.” – Sharon Gallant