Not Just for Wedding Invitations, the Art of Calligraphy Celebrated in New Exhibition


Opening May 14, 2022, KALLIGRAPHIA XVI: An Exhibition by Members of the Friends of Calligraphy showcases the diverse community that keeps this ancient artform contemporary and vital  

image of calligraphy artwork

San Francisco Public Library has partnered with The Friends of Calligraphy to present Kalligraphia XVI, its 16th membership exhibition. Kalligraphia, held every three years, is unjuried and open to all current members of the organization. The original works on display demonstrate a wide range of contemporary calligraphic practices, from the traditional to more experimental methods of using letterforms as a means for artistic expression. All levels of accomplishment, from student to amateur and professional works, are represented and reflect the inclusive nature of the organization and the vitality of the art and craft of calligraphy. 

"We’re excited to have works from members around the U.S. and around the world as well as our local artists. We have a wonderful variety of original pieces—from traditional calligraphy to more modern styles, to sculptural pieces, to artists’ books. Some works contain universal messages, while others are very personal. I think visitors to the exhibition will be amazed at the varied and innovative approaches to the art of calligraphy,” says Meredith Jane Klein, Exhibition Chair, Kalligraphia XVI.   

The exhibition’s title, a transliterated Greek word meaning ‘beautiful writing,’ was adopted by the Friends of Calligraphy for its first exhibition in 1976. It has provided a sense of continuity for the succeeding membership exhibitions, through the evolution of the organization over more than 40 years and the shifting landscape of current trends in the field of calligraphy. This exhibition honors Georgianna Greenwood, founding member and first President of the Friends of Calligraphy. Greenwood was involved in Kalligraphia from the start, even transporting the first exhibition to three different sites; and she has participated in an essential way in subsequent exhibitions. Her vision continues to be an important part of Kalligraphia

Image caption: Grendl Löfkvist, Throw the First Stone. 

Exhibition & Event Details 

Kalligraphia XVI, is on view at San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, Skylight Gallery, 6th Floor from May 14 to August 28, 2022. The Library will present a series of public programs to accompany the exhibition. Details follow:  

Gallery Walk & Talk 
Friends of Calligraphy members Judy Detrick, Thomas Ingmire, Carl Rohrs and Larry Thomas will walk through the exhibition and give an overview of the works on display.  
WHEN: June 18, 2-4 p.m. 
WHERE: San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, Skylight Gallery, 6th Floor 
COST: Free 

Saturday Afternoon Demonstrations  
Demonstrations of calligraphy, materials and methods by noted calligraphers.  
WHERE: Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, Latino/Hispanic Meeting Room, Lower Level 
WHEN: June 4 & 11; July 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 and August 6, 13 & 20, 2-4 p.m.  
COST:  Free 

Fun with Calligraphy Day  
Expert calligraphers share a range of tips and tricks throughout the day.  
WHERE: Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, Latino/Hispanic Meeting Room, Lower Level 
WHEN: August 20, 2-4 p.m.  
COST:  Free 

About Friends of Calligraphy, Inc 
The Friends of Calligraphy, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in 1974, in response to the renewed interest in calligraphy that took place in the 1970s. Its purpose is to promote the study and practice of calligraphy, to encourage individual excellence, to foster a wider appreciation and deeper understanding of calligraphy, its history and applications. The membership of more than 600 individuals is drawn primarily from the San Francisco Bay Area; the organization also attracts members from throughout the United States and from around the world. Open to all, membership benefits feature quarterly publications, including an illustrated journal called Alphabet and a newsletter, as well as workshops taught by renowned calligraphers, lectures and various other programs. A dedicated corps of volunteers sustains the organization’s activities. FOC also regularly offers beginning calligraphy classes which are open to the public, held at Fort Mason in San Francisco or via Zoom. For current information visit FOC's website: or visit its Facebook page:  



April 25, 2022