Pinhole Photo Meets Poet Laureate

Opening April 27, the exhibit Poetics of Light: Pinhole Photography took its name from the way light becomes an object of play when set between an object and a pinhole camera. The photos produced take what we think we know of the world and turn it upside-down, backward and more.

It seemed only natural to reach out to Santa Fe Poet Laureate Jon Davis to help us with events during the exhibition’s run. He agreed (see list of events at bottom), but went one better. Using Gregg D. Kemp‘s pinhole photograph, Jane Always Dreaded Flying Home, as his inspiration, Davis wrote a poem that the Palace Press is turning into a broadside.

Director Tom Leech decided to try a new technique, having Kemp’s photograph digitally printed on the paper, then applying Davis’ poem via traditional letterpress. “I’ve never seen this done before,” he said.

Here’s Leech feeding it into the press to apply the poem’s headline:


Studying the typography:


And holding the almost-finished product:


The broadside will be released on the exhibition’s opening day. Copies will sell for around $75.

For Leech, the project held a coincidental quirk: In 1974, he and Kemp owned Virginia Woodworks in Colorado Springs, where they made Appalachian dulcimers. The business didn’t last, but this photography (fittingly, a pinhole image) of the two of them way-back-when survived:


Poetics of Light: Pinhole Photography events with Santa Fe Poet Laureate Jon Davis:

Friday, May 30, 6 pm, “Santa Fe Poets 5,” the fifth of six group poetry readings Davis is organizing as part of his tenure. Joining him in the History Museum Auditorium will be Chee Brossy, Joan Logghe, Carol Moldaw, Henry Shukman, and Farren Stanley. Free.

Sunday, June 1, 1 – 4 pm, “The Poetry of Light,” a writing workshop building on inspiration from Poetics of Light images. Open to high schoolers and older, the event is free, but reservations are recommended. Call  476-5096.





Tom Leech of the Palace Press Wins a Mayor’s Arts Award


We already knew we had a winner in Tom Leech, curator, director of the Palace Press, marbled-paper artist, writer, and printer extraordinaire. Now all of Santa Fe knows he’s a winner, too.

On Oct. 10, Tom and other recipients of the 2013 Mayor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts will be honored at the Santa Fe Convention Center. We’ll have a table or two of our folks there to cheer him on (along with cheering on Charmay Allred, another recipient and a dear friend of the museum).

Join us in congratulating all of the fine people being recognized. From the city’s press release announcing the recipients:

Mayor David Coss and the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission are proud to announce the recipients of the 2013 Mayor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts. Each of this year’s recipients have made outstanding contributions to the arts in Santa Fe, demonstrated artistic excellence and exceptional achievement, and embrace an ongoing commitment to the arts in Santa Fe. …

Tom Leech

Tom Leech is the Director of the Press at the Palace of the Governors, and has more than 35 years of experience in printing, paper-making, and related book-arts. A curator at the New Mexico History Museum since 2001, Leech has organized a number of successful exhibits, including The Saint John’s Bible, Jack Kerouac and the Writer’s Life, and Album Amicorum: Gems of Friendship in a Frightened World. With Pamela Smith, he directed the exhibit Lasting Impressions: the Private Presses of New Mexico. An advocate for the Book Arts, Leech has drawn appreciative audiences to events at the museum for lectures, readings, demonstrations and workshops featuring artists, poets, printers, scholars and musicians of national and international renown. At the Palace Press he regularly demonstrates printing and discusses its history and importance with school groups and visitors of all ages. Books and broadsides that he has printed include Jack Thorp’s Songs of the Cowboys, O’Keeffe Stories, and Word Art Poetry Portfolio. Additionally, Leech collaborates with Santa Fe’s Poets Laureate on fine limited editions. He is a member of the Santa Fe Book Arts Group and the Eldorado Art and Craft Association. …