The few, the elite, the Bruno Press Interns.
Alright, so trying to think of something clever to write about myself after reading Nick’s giant masterpiece is a little challenging… Whatever, let’s just start with the basics and see if anything remotely funny comes of this. Here we go!
My name is Katherine Hildebrand… No, not Katie, Kate, and for the love of God, NOT KATHY. It’s been debated whether ‘Katherine’ consists of two or three syllables… And to be completely honest, I don’t give a shit. Katherine it is! Nice to meet you!
Anyway, I heard Mary was looking for an intern while I was in one of my Junior year art classes at the College of St. Benedict… I didn’t know a thing about her, her work, or letterpress in general, for that matter, but I figured I’d give it a shot. I stepped into the shop for the first time to find Mary drinkin’ a beer as she carved away on a linoleum block. I was a little timid at first, but it didn’t take long for me to warm up to Mary... She has a knack for that; making people feel completely at ease. Once we started talking more, we realized how freakishly-alike we were. I started interning at Bruno Press, along with Nick (as I mentioned earlier), Nikki, and Meghan. I learned the basics and built from the ground up. Mary taught me literally everything I know about letterpress. I can’t even count how many times she had to tell me I set the type backwards or upside-down… I’d like to think I’ve come a long way since then!
I am now a Senior, back for my second year of interning at Bruno Press. In between that first meeting and now has been a whole lot of knowledge-gaining, letterpress-printing, beer-drinking, laugh-attacking, karaoke-singing, booty-shaking, and memory-making. Mary has met my entire family, and whenever I leave for a visit back home, she always says, “Tell the fam hello! Give Barb a hug for me!” Mary has really become a great mentor and friend. I can’t imagine a better interning experience than this. After my first full day working at the shop, I called my mom and told her that being at Bruno Press is literally the best part of my day… That was a year ago, and it’s still the honest-to-God truth.
I interned with Mary for about a year and had a great experience. It was
really cool to see her go from working full-time outside of the studio
to working full-time at her own business--which is inspiring to young
artists unsure if they can turn their passion into a living. Anyhow, I
started a blog which has some of the work I have done as well as some
letterpress equipment I've collected: wernerbarnpress.
The colorful world of Bruno Press, (colorful in a sense of ink, paper and of course language) stays with you like last night's garlic bread. Sure, I learned to run a C&P press with fitness and cut paper like a champ, but more than anything Mary's boldness rubbed off on me. Months in the studio gave me the final push to silence my "you can't do this" thoughts and create my own solo exhibit titled "Musings of a Tumbleweed". If it isn't too cocky to say, the show was quite a success and it was a delight to have Mary there. Now this tumbleweed is headed to the big Minneapolis to spend time with more paper geniuses and see what happens next.
What’s up, what’s up, what is up?! I am Nicholas R. Streine and here is my Bruno Press story:
First a little background to this madness, I was a senior when I first met Mary and the only problem with that is that it should have started sooner. So I met Mary when she was rolling through the Art Center at CSB. Once she started talking she caught herself cursing in front of some students and professors… done lets start the internship now. Originally, her friend and my advisor Rachel Melis had proposed me the idea of interning with Mary. Due to my interest in graphic design and the lack of graphic design course at CSB|SJU it was a perfect fit. I was soon to find out how perfect it really was.
The first day at Bruno Press I walk through the not so Nick sized shop (I’m 6’3” 225) and Mary says verbatim “What’s up buddy ready to fuck shit up?”…. SOLD! Honestly the rest is history I could write a novel with all Bruno Press stories.
Did you learn anything at Bruno Press or was it just a fun place to go? BOTH, every day I had something to look forward to after classes. Don’t get me wrong we did a lot, truly A LOT of work but it wasn’t like work at all because I loved everything about it. It was the perfect place for me to learn all about graphic design because that’s where it all started on the press. At the same time, we still used modern technology to set up the prints for design and layout.
I finished my internship in May of 2012 when I graduated from CSB|SJU. With a little “A class” schmoozing from Mary I earned a job at Northland College in Ashland Wisconsin. My title at Northland it Graphic Design & Communication Specialist, I am responsible for a combination of promotional material design, online advertising, website & portal management, and social networking. I love my job I am doing what I love to do and I really do believe I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for my internship for real. During my interview I bribed my now co-workers with print I made during my internship. Needless to say I walked into my first day of work to find my Bruno Press poster up on the wall! BOOM! Success it’s nice to meet you looking forward to our future together!
I had to save the best for last, it wouldn’t be a Nick Streine bio without a shout out to Mary Ann, Mary’s mom (my mom away from home) and Callie the dog aka Lil Disser, aka The Barrel. Also, a shout out to my fellow interns that kicked some ass wit me Katherine, Nikki and Meghan.
I worked with Mary as an intern through the College of St. Benedict for two years. I became very interested in letterpress and she was a great teacher, mentor, and eventually a great friend. I learned so much from her about the art of letterpress and running a small business. It was a blast to work in her studio; it was a lot of work at times, but we always managed to have a good laugh.
I graduated with a degree in Liberal Studies: Emphasis in Writing and Illustration, with letterpress linoleum prints as my independent study. Mary was a huge influence on my artwork my senior year. I learned a great deal about carving and printing linoleum blocks from her. I am currently living in St. Joseph, working at Schuler Shoes, and renting out a studio to create my artwork at That's it Graphics. I'm painting with oils and watercolors, and I am also working on the illustrations for a graphic novel with two close friends. I hope to eventually purchase and operate a letterpress of my own.