FlyBy: The Bird at PRESS, October 25-November 25, 2012

On Thursday, Oct. 25, PRESS: Letterpress as a Public Art Project will open its fifth DownStreet Art 2012 installation, “Fly By: The bird at PRESS.”
An opening reception will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served, including something special for those with trick-or-treat bags.

“Everyone keeps asking us, ‘Why the bird?’” said MCLA assistant professor of art Melanie Mowinski, PRESS founder and curator. “The bird is part of the experience of PRESS: LetterPRESS as a Public Art Project, ever present in the gallery from displayed prints to monthly postcards, even finding a new spot to perching in the vinyl of the latest show.”

This exhibition showcases the letterpress prints and postcards that feature the familiar silhouette of a bird or birds created at PRESS by Mowinski, as well as bird images by C. Ryder Cooley and PRESS interns.

“My bird imagery relates to ideas of nesting and rebirth,” Mowinski said. “I imagine the womb as a nest and an incubator for creative ideas, not just babies. I also see it as a gestation place for learning, gaining strength and life. The nest/bird/baby/idea that grows there then must come out somehow–through song, creation, and birth.~The bird inside and outside of the body outline tries to express this.

“I then weave tree imagery with the bird to suggest other relationships,” she continued. “Sometimes it’s fear and darkness, which the forest often is. Sometimes it’s comfort and peace, which the forest also is.”

Cooley, who will perform during DownStreet Art, will exhibit her passenger pigeon prints that she printed at PRESS on found papers and fabric. Also on view will be “Mockingbird,” a poem by MCLA professor Mark Miller, and printed by PRESS intern Jason Peabody.

Birds can be seen in the new poster: “Fly By: The bird at PRESS,” which follows a new tradition of designing and printing posters at PRESS. The poster features bird images by Mowinski that were printed by PRESS intern Adriana Alexatos.

During the opening reception, visitors can create a special edition postcard with one of the PRESS team members and take home a PRESS bird postcard their own.

PRESS is supported by a grant from the Martha Boschen Porter  Fund, a Fund of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

PRESS is located 105 Main Street in North Adams. For more information, go to, find us on Facebook or contact

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