In 1978 there existed in Atlanta no special organization of persons interested in the letter arts. In that year the calligraphy club was conceived in the minds of Roy Rice, Jr., letterpress printer, typefounder, and calligrapher, and Steve Skaggs, calligrapher. An exhibit was organized at St. Martin’s-in-the-Field Episcopal Church in which the other then-known calligraphers were invited to participate. Exhibitors, friends, and visitors were subsequently contacted and encouraged to attend an initial meeting to explore the possibility of organizing a society to support and further the letter arts in Atlanta.

More than twenty persons appeared at this first, unofficial meeting, and the new society was born, with Steve and Laura Skaggs as the first co-presidents. Those who joined before 1979 were designated as charter members.

From the beginning it was clear that interest in the letter arts was not limited to calligraphers, and so the society was named The Atlanta Friends of the Alphabet by John McKenzie. Membership has included bookbinders, calligraphers, graphic artists, designers, offset printers, and letterpress printers. Some members are professional lettering artists, others happy amateurs, still others content simply to admire; but all are equally Friends of the Alphabet.

Presidents of FOTA have been Steve and Laura Skaggs, Roy and Hazle Rice, John McKenzie, Julie Cashin, Rene Hicks, Dena Bellows, Charles and Jean Dukes, Carol Gray, Ruby McKinney, Bill Allen, Teresa Whatley, Cindy Corliss, Michael Smith, and Diana Robinson.

We are interested in meeting those who share our love for letters and elegant handwriting. IF YOU WISH TO JOIN, see our membership page, or if you wish to speak with someone about our guild please call Emily, 404.389.0991, or Carol, 404-288-8749, or Bill, 770-851-9943.

FOTA workshops instructors:

Sheila Waters
Thomas Ingumire
Julian Waters
Mark Van Stone
Peter Thornton
Dick Beasley
Reggie Ezell
Denys Taipale
Ken Williams
Michael Harvay
Tim Botts
Ieuan Rees
Coats Brown
Randy Schum
Marsha Brady
Diana Von Arx
Elisa Shulte
James Hayes
Mark Drogin
Paul Maurer
Dolores Kennedy
Anne Lane
Michael Sull
Iris Lee
Carol Hicks
Alan Farber
Jerry Trasser
Annie Cicale
Ward Dunham
John Stevens
Nancy Feinman
Fran Strom
Carl Rohrs
Sharon Margolies
Margaret Rigg
Mike Keeseg
Nancy Culpiones
Alan Blackman
Victoria Pittman
Bill Lilly
Betty Locke
Eleanor Winter
Buddy Blackwell, Barry Morentz
Leana Fay
Sheryl Hirsch Kramer
Valerie Weilmuenster
Rob Leusdike
Carol Pallesen
Louise Baum