Category Archives: book arts

Dark Arts Gallery

I was asked to include my work in an online-only exhibition–which is my first show done in a digital, rather than physical, space. There are some other great pieces in there, and the gallery owners are encouraging visitors to vote for their favorites. You can check out the gallery here!

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Handy Books Exhibition

If you’re at the Center for the Book in Iowa this fall, make sure to check out the Handy Books exhibition, including this upcoming symposium and opening reception. I’m really excited to be a part of this exhibition, because it uses historic examples as the basis for artists’ responses (BUT those responses have to consider movable components of the book beyond the usual function of a codex). I created a piece that moves well beyond the codex form, using three egg shapes with movable components to tell a story (you can see a video of it in action here).

I used two examples from the Bentley Museum’s collection: A dissolving picture book, and a fragment of a microfiche Lunar Bible housed in a Faberge egg. The good folks at UICB posted a few photos as teasers before the opening, and I am *so excited* to see all the great works that my piece was put in conversation with. As always, they have done an amazing job, and I can’t wait to see the rest of the exhibit once it opens!

 

 

One last note: I’m especially happy about this exhibit because it’s one of four (!) I’ve been in so far this year (if you know me IRL you know that I historically was pretty shy about sharing my art, so that’s a big deal). I don’t see that train stopping, so expect to see more of my art in public spaces moving forward!

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Bringing rare books to a prison classroom

Just like I did for my recent rare book and beer pairing event, I wanted to share a few quick thoughts about the work I’ve been doing with incarcerated scholars in the hopes that it’s helpful for other rare books/museums folks who want to include prisons in their outreach iniatives. I have a million other thoughts about how amazing and challenging it is, but this post is just for quick outreach take-aways.

Why do this?

By now it’s no secret that my goal in life is to bring rare books (and museum artifacts in general) to people who want to learn from them but have never been given the opportunity (serving underserved populations, if you want to use field lingo). When I think about a population that is underserved in pretty much every possible way, I think of people who are incarcerated. Many current and former prisoners can’t vote, have limited access to educational resources in prison, and have trouble finding work or funding for an education once they are released. This is in addition to the fact that few prisons offer meaningful programming that discourages recidivism, even though such programs (like Common Good, or like this rehabilitation work) are effective and badly wanted by prisoners.

Capture

One of the books I used in my presentation. Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning Two Chief World Systems, 1641.

 

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Center for the Book reception

On Saturday, myself and three other students (Lee Marchalonis, Zach Stensen and Jill Kambs) had a reception to showcase our final projects for the Center for the Book. We had an amazing turnout, and I enjoyed spending time chatting both with folks from the Center and from the wider community about the Modernizing Markham project. Not surprisingly, people were most interested in the book history component (i.e. my use of historically accurate materials) and in how I played with modernizing recipes in a historic book (and with historic materials in a digital environment). I also created ductus for a calligraphic hand that I used to write the book, and that was a lot of fun to talk about. Some folks were also interested in the recipes themselves, but for the most part interest was centered around the book arts! I also took some photos of the event for those who want to take a look!

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Studies in Letter Arts Portfolio

Just a quick note to share with everyone the photos from my calligraphy class. If you’re interested in seeing the work I’ve been doing this semester, I’ve compiled photos in an online portfolio. Enjoy!

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Center for the Book Final Project

Today I am finishing up the tangible portion of my Center for the Book final project. I have created a set of photos on Flickr that show the completed pamphlet book and the ductus for the calligraphy I used. I would like to invite anyone who does calligraphy or is interested in calligraphy to use the ductus I created and modify it as you see fit. I created the ductus by examining a number of Elizabethan-era documents and picking out both commonalities in how different letters were constructed and how they were fit together.

I would also like to invite all my readers to attend the UICB Final Project Reception, featuring the work of myself, Lee Marchalonis, Jill Kambs, and Zach Stensen. Musical entertainment will be provided by Peter Balestrieri, and refreshments will be served. The reception is from 4:30-6:30 PM on this Saturday (May 7, 2011) in the Times Club (upstairs at Prairie Lights bookstore.) I look forward to seeing you there, and want to thank everyone for your support and feedback while I’ve been working on this project!

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>What Makes an Artist’s Book?

>I recently had a discussion with a friend (the wonderful Amanda Langdon) about artists’ books when she was trying to describe them for a paper. Talking with her gave me the opportunity to think about how I define an artist’s book (especially since the published literature and the content of library collections gives such broad, and sometimes conflicting, definitions.)

The big thing that I think separates an artist’s book from a commercially-produced book is the interplay between form and content. Broadly defined they’re books created primarily to be ‘art’ rather than to be a book in the traditional sense. They are still functional (ie you should be able to interact with them as books) but they were not created by a publishing house with the sole purpose of showcasing an author’s content-they were created by an artist to showcase both their binding work and the interaction between content and form.

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