This month we held our Annual LELAND AWARDS LUNCHEON, recognizing our Docents of the Year for 2018. We recognized two of our outstanding docents, Jack Conway and Juan Vela who have done so much to support and advance the Printing Museum over the years.
Jack Conway, or “Captain Jack” as he is known during our events, has been connected to the Lindner Collection long before the Printing Museum began 31 years ago. Ernie Lindner and Jack were both part of the Columbian 415 Chapel, a group of active, young letterpress printers under the leadership of educator Richard Hoffman. Besides his love for printing, Jack has been a lifelong printing educator himself within LAUSD, and those combined passions of printing and learning Jack has used to enrich all of our public programs at the Museum. And he’s not bad on the Linotype as well!
And one of Jack’s students back in teaching days was none other than Juan Vela! Jack instilled a passion for printing in young Juan that rooted deeply. He never left printing, having established his own printing business. With Jack’s encouragement, Juan began volunteering at the Printing Museum about 10 years ago, particularly helping with running our offset presses and letterpresses in the lab. Juan is a master printer and a very good teacher himself; as a community at the museum, we have been very fortunate and blessed to have Juan at hand, teaching us the master skills of running the presses and machines to industry standards (well, we try at least!). Juan is always prodding and encouraging us to do our best and strive for a higher quality. With a working collection of machinery such as ours, we are dependent upon the craftsmen such as Juan to keep the presses working so that we can inspire another generation.
Jack and Juan have both put in extraordinary work and help at the Printing Museum, both during our events and behind the scenes.