Sunday, September 14, 2008

"Shakespeare Appears in a Florida Scriptorium": An Illustrated Talk by Calligrapher Ruth Pettis

The word “calligraphy” contains echoes of the Greek words for beauty (kallos) and for writing (graphe). For thousands of years before the invention of printing, calligraphy was the way of making books. In the centuries since Gutenberg, calligraphic letterforms and page arrangements have inspired type design and book design—and have continued to inspire the public with compelling fusions of the art of beautiful writing with beautiful and significant expressions in language.

St. Petersburg calligrapher Ruth Pettis has earned a national reputation as one of the distinguished calligraphers of our day. Her passion for calligraphy and penchant for experiential research have led her to travels in the Orient, Middle East, and Europe, and her knowledge and mastery of ancient writing as well as creative modern lettering are evident in her sensitive treatment of word as image.

Over the past few decades, Pettis has engaged in the regular practice of writing spontaneously in a studio setting together with other dedicated practitioners, bringing to a well-lit Florida sunroom the traditions and practice of the medieval scriptorium.

Pettis will share her insights and artistry at the University of Tampa’s Macdonald-Kelce Library in a free presentation on October 8, 2008, at 4 p.m. when she presents a talk entitled "Shakespeare Appears in a Florida Scriptorium." Pettis will discuss the scriptorium experience and illustrate her talk with samples from the sonnets of Shakespeare that she has completed during scriptorium work over the last few years.

The event, sponsored by the University of Tampa Book Arts Studio and its Friends, and the Friends of the Library at the University of Tampa, is free and open to the public.

For questions or to reserve a seat, contact the University of Tampa Press at 813-253-6266 or email