Levi’s Debuts Pop-Up ‘Workshop,’ Celebrates Craft of Printmaking

(Dan Connor).jpg
(Photo: Dan Connor)

Levi’s is putting its workwear roots to work with a new series of community-based pop-up spaces that act as functional workshops, event spaces, and retail storefronts. The first in a planned series of Levi’s Workshops opened this week in San Francisco’s Mission district, just down the street from one of the company’s original factories, and it’s all about printmaking: from classic letterpress and screenprinting to photocopying and good old-fashioned typesetting. Over the next eight weeks, the print shop will host classes (including Saturday’s denim papermaking session that will offer pointers on transforming your jeans into art supplies), book parties, and special events with local luminaries including Beautiful Losers director Aaron Rose, Alice “Farm-to-Table” Waters, and Craigslist founder Craig Newmark. Levi’s has invited these three “local pioneers” (again with the hardscrabble heritage) to execute printmaking-based collaborations. We hear that Waters is cooking up an educational poster for her Edible Schoolyard project, while Rose will lead a public screenprinting workshop with Sister Corita Kent, the California artist/activist who is the subject of his new documentary short, Become a Microscope. Levi’s will switch coasts (and crafts) later this fall with a New York City workshop focused on photography. In the meantime, here’s some luscious, percussive printmaking footage straight out of San Francisco: