Printer/Publisher, Roger Bailey
Roger Bailey was born in Hampton, Iowa in 1940. He received his BA degree in 1963 from the University of Northern Iowa, in Cedar Falls, Iowa, where he was a student of printmaker John Page and was first introduced to the art of lithography. In 1969 he received his MFA degree from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, where he focused on both intaglio and lithography printmaking working with Thomas Coleman.
In the fall of 1969 Bailey was hired to teach studio art classes, including intaglio and lithographic printmaking, in the Fine Arts Department at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY.
It was during the summer of 1973 that Bailey first met the artists Jack Beal and Sondra Freckelton, and invited them to participate as guest artists in a lithography workshop at the University. Over the following nearly thirty years, Beal and Freckelton were invited by Bailey to return to the University on several occasions to collaborate on print projects, to offer workshops and lectures, and to present an exhibition in 1993.
Bailey retired from the University in 2002, and the printing collaborations centered around Bailey's studio on the Boyden Road, south of Canton, NY. That print studio became known as The Senefelder Club of the North Country. Roger Bailey and his wife Bobbi Haldane have lived on the property for the past 34 years.
On His First Encounter With Jack and Sondra
I first met Jack Beal and his wife Sondra Freckelton by accident, in July, 1973, at a household auction in Ogdensburg, NY. Jack had bought some furniture, and I offered to give him a hand loading his pick-up truck. He appreciated my help, and we talked a bit.
Jack told me he was an artist, living and working for the summer on Black Lake near Rossie, NY, with his wife Sondra Freckelton, also an artist. I mentioned I taught printmaking at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, and was about to begin to teach a summer course in lithography. I boldly said Jack and Sondra would be very welcome to participate as guest artists, and though I wouldn't be able to offer an honorarium, I would be happy to serve as printer if they were interested in collaborating on some lithograph print projects. To my great surprise and delight they liked the idea and Jack said "Let's do it."
We collaborated on five different stones that July and August, 1973, working relatively small, mostly in black ink on white paper and printing two of the stones in white ink on black paper. Both Jack and Sondra later hand-colored an edition of their prints. All of us, certainly including my students, had a great experience that summer.
From that beginning in the Fall of 1973, we collaborated on fifteen other lithograph editions, and in 2004 and 2005 I helped Jack resurrect an etching project he had begun in the early 1980s but had suspended for more than twenty years. More about that later.