The importance of lasting iconography in pop music cannot be overstated. Try to imagine David Bowie without a lightning bolt, the Who without a Royal Air Force roundel, or the Beatles without a drop-T logo. It's a fool’s errand. After all, this very design work helped elevate these figures to iconic status.
This intersection between sound and vision will be on display this Saturday at Studio Invcbl, which will host a celebration of the debut issue of the local zine Miami Palmist (and Advisor) and "The National Poster Retrospecticus" ("The NPR"). "The NPR" is a touring exhibition dedicated to showcasing the hand-printed works of North America’s most talented and prolific poster designers. Much of the subject matter is concerned with music. It also helps that the retrospective's curator and creative director, JP Boneyard, has an extensive history designing posters for shows he has organized.
“Before taking 'The NPR' on the road, friends and I hosted a few hundred DIY shows all over Massachusetts. One hundred of those shows took place in my mother's backyard shed in 2006,” Boneyard says. “A friend asked if we'd want to do a retrospective-type show with all of our flyers and posters. That felt way too self-important. We expanded upon the concept and celebrated over two decades’ worth of flyers from shows all over western Massachusetts.”
A few years after "The Western Massachusetts Flyer Retrospecticus," Boneyard revamped the show to take on a more national focus. Five years, dozens of cities, and hundreds of posters later, "The National Poster Retrospecticus" has proven to be “a total blessing,” Boneyard says.
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One of the artists featured in "The NPR," Brian Butler, will have reason to celebrate alongside Boneyard come Saturday. “JP had an 'NPR' date planned in Orlando and proposed touring the poster show through more of Florida, and I was lucky to secure a complementary date inside the spacious Studio Invcbl,” Butler says. “Both 'The NPR' and Miami Palmist celebrate the marriage of art and music, so it felt complementary to cross-promote.”
Like "The NPR," Miami Palmist began as an effort to blend the realities of a regional scene with the possibilities of the printed page.
“I noted how geographically handicapped we are with regards to touring bands... The zine became a tool to position local bands as guides to South Florida,” Butler says. “Inside the first issue, Peachfuzz legend DZA shares the best items on the Joe's Stone Crab menu, Psychic Mirrors takes us to Versailles, Other Body and Heavy Drag give their perspectives on Fort Lauderdale's Swap Shop, Ian Iachimoe dives deep into the Everglades, and Denzel Curry shares his sketchbook and gives a drawing lesson.”
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The first issue also includes a collection of Miami-based record label logos, local albums available for sale at Sweat Records, and a Miami-centric board game called Suspicion by local label Cosmic Chronic. According to Butler, it’s Suspicion that has most consistently excited Palmist readers. “Every time people reach that page, their eyes light up,” Butler notes. “It's exciting to see people get psyched with something tangible.”
Besides offering the joy of viewing the work of Boneyard, Butler, and more than 150 other artists, Saturday’s event will also serve drinks courtesy of Pabst Blue Ribbon, a sponsor befitting the event’s laid-back and decidedly unstuffy atmosphere. According to Boneyard, it’s this opportunity to socialize and fraternize that has him most excited not only for the Miami showing of "The NPR" but also for the project as a whole.
“It's about community," Boneyard says. "It's about facilitating a dialogue. It's about encouraging folks to make rad work for themselves. It's about celebrating printmaking and design. This stuff means the world to me.”
"The National Poster Retrospecticus"
Presented by Miami Palmist. 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday, January 14, at Studio Invcbl, 3408 NW Seventh Ave., Unit B, Miami; 305-768-0000; studioinvcbl.com. Admission is free.