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Monday, 28 April 2014 14:31

The National Poster Retrospecticus comes to St. Louis on May 6

The National Poster Retrospecticus comes to St. Louis on May 6 Courtesy of the National Poster Retrospecticus
Written by Janet Noe

Fans of concert poster art are advised to mark their calendars in ink: An exhibition that is currently touring the nation will make a one-evening stop in St. Louis at Mad Art Gallery on May 6, 2014 from 6:30-11 p.m. with featured artist collective Cherokee Print League.

The National Poster Retrospecticus is a traveling show of more than 200 hand-printed event posters from over 90 of the most prominent poster designers in the United States.

The mission of the NPR is to "celebrate posters, the made-by-hand aesthetic and help spread that enthusiasm around the world." The tour includes heavy hitters like Daniel Danger, Aesthetic Apparatus and Aaron Draplin and posters for bands like Wilco, Modest Mouse, Phish and more will be on display. Admission is free but posters will be on sale at the event.

Last year the NPR also made a stop at The Mad Art Gallery with featured artist Firecracker Press. Producer John P. Boilard of JP Boneyard said of the experience, "St. Louis stood out as one of our favorite spots on tour in 2013. The crowd was incredibly friendly, inviting and inquisitive. The enthusiasm we were greeted with really made the stop worthwhile."

Although the show typically doesn't revisit the same city so soon because they want to focus on bringing the exhibit to new cities, Boilard explained, "The stars aligned and we had a narrow window of time open up right as we'd be headed to Omaha. We reached out to Mad Art Gallery and within 30 minutes we had the show booked. I'm pretty sure that set a new record for a show booking! We're stoked to come back to St. Louis and team up with Mad Art again. Ron [Buechele] and company run such an amazing space and are really on the level. We loved hanging out with Firecracker Press and some of the folks from the Cherokee Print League while we were in town."

The impressive work of these artists is beginning to receive the recognition it deserves. Creating a successful gig poster isn't just slapping a few images together. The best artists really consider how to take the sonic feel of a band or musician and turn it into a visual representation. They are working with the newest technology and/or bringing back printing methods that focus on character and quality rather than just mass production. I was so enamored of last year's show I had to make about five rounds through the room just to take everything in, and it was great fun to watch local artists show the crowd how letterpress printing is done.

The National Poster Retrospecticus takes place at Mad Art Gallery on May 6, 2014 from 6:30-11 p.m.

All images courtesy of the National Poster Retrospecticus.