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Gaylord Schanilec (born 15 April 1955) is an American wood engraver, printer, designer and illustrator. He is the proprietor of the press Midnight Paper Sales, located in Stockholm, Wisconsin. Schanilec uses traditional wood engraving processes to create illustrations for hundreds of works.
Schanilec has set the standard for contemporary artist’s books over the last 30 years. His highly collected and unique fine press books explore his interests and experiences as well as his hometown landscape and community. From farming culture and the rivers of the Mississippi to an exhaustive inventory of the 24 species of trees surrounding his home and studio in Stockholm, Wisconsin, Schanilec’s wood engravings illustrate local landscapes, historical anecdotes and natural science investigations. He has also explored subjects far from home, including two books about New York City. His most recent project, Lac des Pleurs, is a study of the 22-mile length of the upper Mississippi River known as Lake Pepin (the linked description is used with permission from Groveland Gallery).
Schanilec is a frequent lecturer and leads workshops at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts and the University of Iowa. His works can be found in the collections of major academic institutions, libraries and museums.
Schanilec completed the book Lac des Pleurs, a study of the natural widening in the upper Mississippi River known as Lake Pepin, in 2015.
In 2007, Schanilec published Sylvæ, with assistance from Ben Verhoeven, documenting every species of tree in the 20 acres of woods surrounding Midnight Paper Sales to create a work not only about these trees but of them; 24 species are catalogued through image, historical anecdotes, and notes taken during the cutting, milling, engraving and printing. The 53 images consist primarily of long-grain and end-grain specimens taken from this property.
Schanilec created the award-winning Mayflies of the Driftless Region (published 2005), offering detailed close-up engravings of mayflies and lengthy descriptions of them. The book won a Judges Choice Award at the 2005 Oxford Fine Press Bookfair and the Carl Hertzog Award for "excellence in book design."
In 2006, Schanilec provided illustrations for Old Swayback.
- Schanilec, Gaylord (2008). Sylvae: An Adventure in Fine Printmaking. Parenthesis 15 (Autumn 2008), pp. 26–30. Edited reprint of an article published in The Bonefolder: An e-Journal ... 4:1 (Fall 2007).
- Esslemont, David; Schanilec, Gaylord; Armacost, J. Andrew; Chambers, David (2003), Ink on the Elbow: Conversations Between David Esslemont & Gaylord Schanilec, Solmentes Press, ISBN 978-0-907014-20-1
- Johnson, Annysa. "Artist's Books Leave Impression." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. September 18, 2007.
- Abbe, Mary. "A Bookmaker, Unbound." Star Tribune, Minneapolis. February 3, 2012.
- Genzlinger, Neil. "Coping with 9/11, Riding on Two Wheels". New York Times. Retrieved August 28, 2011.