Wells College has appointed Richard Kegler as the new Director of the Wells Book Arts Center. Kegler is the founder of P22 type foundry and the Western New York Book Arts Center in Buffalo, New York. As a trustee for the American Printing History Association, Kegler's forays into contemporary book arts and the history of fine press and printing have been far reaching. Kegler is taking over for Nancy Gil, who is retiring from the position. Gil has taught French and English as a Second Language at Wells College since 1974, and she was appointed as Director of the Book Arts Center in 2007.
The Wells Book Arts Center has a long tradition of teaching traditional book arts, binding and letterpress printing methods to undergraduates and opening these classes to a broader audience each summer during the Wells Book Arts Summer Institute. The Book Arts Center traces its roots back to Wells College Press, founded in 1941 by Victor Hammer. Hammer fled Europe during the Second World War and moved to Aurora, New York, where he taught art and established the Wells College Press alongside his personal Hammer Press. During his time in Aurora, Hammer cut the Aurora and American Uncial typefaces.
Kegler looks forward to positioning the Center into a more prominent place in the current world of book arts. He says of the appointment: "I see great potential in this incredible collection of type and equipment... The student work produced at Wells has been outstanding, and I hope to increase the program's visibility and help guide the program to become one of the world's preeminent college book arts centers."