Richard Reitz Smith is a letterpress and book artist who excels in marrying traditional techniques with technology. He is a co-owner of the Letterpress Studio at Steel House Collaborative and runs Design & Smith Creative Ventures in Camden, ME. In 2015, Richard was the the first Book Artist in Residence at Maine Media where he wrote, illustrated, printed and bound a limited-edition abecedary of alliterative haiku. Richard received a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in painting and illustration. After working for three years developing products for Crayola and Liquitex, he returned to school and earned an MFA in graphic design (Tyler School of Art- Temple University). Then started a five-year tour of universities as an art and design professor which led him to New York City, where he taught at Pratt Institute and School of Visual Arts. While doing this, he freelanced as an illustrator and graphic designer for companies like The GAP, Macy’s, American Craft Museum, Metlife, Pearson Education and Scholastic. Then he took positions at Clicquot, Inc. and Clinique Cosmetics consecutively. For Clinique Cosmetics, he managed multi-million-dollar, international, seasonal product and promotional launches as the director of package design-worldwide. For Clicquot, Inc. he was a one-person art department for the wine importer/promoter of Veuve Clicquot, Krug, Bouchard and many other ultra premium wines.It was in NYC, that he found and frequented The Center for Book Arts learning much about letterpress and the book as an art form. In 2002, Richard moved to Maine. He worked in-house at William Arthur Stationery and Briggs Advertising, then started Design& Smith Creative Ventures, a Camden-based art and design studio focused on creative custom solutions for visual problems. Richard’s work has won awards across a wide-ranging platform like logo and brand development, package design, print collateral, as well as book arts, painting and drawing. He is comfortable marrying traditional skills with technology and often incorporates handwork into Adobe Creative Suite.
This month long residency is designed to support a practicing book artist in the completion of any project that combines word and image in an innovative book form. The resident has unlimited access to our dedicated book arts studio and receives a weekly stipend of $350, materials support of up to $500, a travel stipend, meals on campus, and housing overlooking Rockport Harbor.