Justine Nagan, "Typeface"

Justine Nagan, "Typeface"

Premiere date: May 20, 2010

In rural Wisconsin, a lone employee waits in a cavernous old museum for visitors to come. A few individuals straggle in every few days and then, come Friday, the museum fills with life. Machines hum, presses print, artists buzz about. One weekend each month, the quiet of Two Rivers, Wis., is interrupted as carloads of artisans drive in from across the Midwest. The place comes alive as printmaking workshops led by, and filled with, some of the nation's top design talent descend on the sleepy enclave.

In a time when people can carry computers in their pockets and watch TV while walking down the street, "Typeface" dares to explore the twilight of an analog craft that is freshly inspiring artists in a digital age. The Hamilton Wood Type Museum in Two Rivers personifies cultural preservation, rural re-birth and the lineage of American graphic design. At Hamilton, international artisans meet retired craftsmen, and together navigate the convergence of modern design and traditional technique. But the museum's days are numbered. What is the responsibility of artists and historians to preserve a dying craft? How can rural towns survive in a shifting industrial marketplace where big box retailers are king?


Justine Nagan | Director

Justine is Kartemquin Films' executive director. With Kartemquin, she recently directed "Typeface," a documentary on American typography and graphic design. Formerly she worked as the organization's director of communications & distribution and as the associatepProducer on Kartemquin's Peabody Award-winning stem cell documentary "Mapping Stem Cell Research: Terra Incognita," which was broadcast nationally on PBS' Independent Lens in early 2008. Prior to these projects, she helped Kartemquin to develop the series "The Learning Chronicles" while earning her master's in the humanities with an emphasis on cinema and media studies from the University of Chicago. Other Chicago experience includes teaching at the Hyde Park Art Center as well as working as a theater manager at the Cadillac Palace and Thorne Auditorium for the Chicago International Film Festival, and as a summer fellow for The HistoryMakers, an African-American video oral history archive.

Before moving to Chicago, she produced promotional spots for public television, directed the post-production department for a small media firm and worked for various other companies ranging from M&C Saatchi in Sydney, Australia to Michael Feldman's "Whad'Ya Know?" on National Public Radio. Justine received her bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2000 in film and journalism. She is an active volunteer in the community for such organizations as The Glass Slipper Project, the Hyde Park Art Center and WTTW. She is currently on the Advisory Board for Midwest Independent Film Festival, has served as the staff representative on Kartemquin's Board of Directors, as an elected member of the Badger Herald Newspaper's Board in 1999-2000, and has acted on several other civic and community committees.

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