Professor’s art incorporates 5 centuriesR...

Professor’s art incorporates 5 centuries’ worth of printing tradition on ‘MTSU On the Record’

A not-so-lost art that has survived the advent of digital technology was the subject of a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Kathleen O’Connell

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Kathleen O’Connell, an assistant professor in MTSU‘s Department of Art, first aired Oct. 3 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and You can listen to their conversation above.

O’Connell teaches classes in letterpress printing, a technique that employs the same basic method used by Johann Gutenberg, the father of mass-produced printing with moveable type.

WMOT Roots Radio-new logo-2017 web Several printers in the Nashville area still use this technique, which is culturally associated with country music, jazz and blues concert posters. Today, letterpress is more commonly used for such items as wedding invitations.

“It reminded me so much of … really funny things like playing with Legos … and building blocks because of the way you construct all of the words and lay things out in the printing press,” said O’Connell. “It uses some of that same brain space.”

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at

For more information about “MTSU On the Record,” contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.

“Untitled (Best Wishes)” is an example of letterpress printing by MTSU assistant professor Kathleen O’Connell. (Photo submitted)