A Conversation with Paper Maker Velma Bolyard, Tuesday, July 11, 6:30-8 p.m., Collins Library Rm. 020

CALLOUT_VelmaBolyardVelma Bolyard is a fiber, paper and book artist working with mostly locally gathered materials for textile, paper, and book making. She recently retired from 25 years of teaching special education in alternative public school settings. Her passion is to make art that explores environment and the connection to place, and teach others technique to inspire them to push their own work. Currently she is exploring the properties and personality of flax/linen and milkweed and is working on a larger project, Hortus Siccus about plants and place. She writes a blog, Wake Robin about her work and life. Velma will discuss her work as a papermaker and artist and share examples of her work.

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Puget Sound Book Artists Awards 2017

The evening of June 8, 2017 was a fine one at the Collins Library. Artists, friends, librarians, and other interested visitors came for the reception and awards announcements for the 7th annual Puget Sound Book Artists exhibition—Northwest Musings. There was delightful food, gentle harp music and, of course, the 47 beautiful handmade books. Three awards were presented this year: the Curators’ Award, the Collins Memorial Library Award, and the Award of Excellence. All of the jurors who selected the winners mentioned the difficulty of choosing a single work from so many excellent entries. The reasons for each award choice are detailed below. We congratulate the winners and, in fact, all who worked hard to make this exhibit a success.

Patricia Chupa – Thuja Plicata

Patricia Chupa – Thuja Plicata

Curators Award

Patricia Chupa – Thuja Plicata
Mache & painted paper on a cardboard armature; Woven paper; Feathers, beads, twig, lichen, duff, wasp paper, ceramic button; Wood board; Book boxes housing post-bound & leather/paper-bound journals
Created: 2017

The great diversity of materials, techniques and forms used in the works in this show truly impressed our team of curators. The artists thoughtfully explored the stated theme of the exhibit “Northwest Musings”, calling on their individual memories and their knowledge of history and sense of place to give form to their books.

As a team we struggled with choosing our single award winner because there was such a richness of presentations. Ultimately we decided on Patricia Chupa’s work “Thuja Plicata”. It is a complex piece that at first glance evokes the very nature of the Pacific Northwest with the two images of a strong tree and a traditional conical woven rain hat. Both of these images allude to protection, shelter, stability, and Pacific Northwest history. A closer look reveals that it is two small books that are “protected” by the tree and hat, and that each book is a journal containing drawings, personal observations and stories. One journal is actually placed within the tree; the other at a short distance from it. Immediately there is an implied dialogue between the two and a sense that the whole work is a tribute to a cherished relationship.

Thus, what is highly personal–the journals– and what is archetypal symbol–Thuja Plicata–merge into one unique book that provides us with a feeling of exploration and discovery.

Curators: Jan Ward, Dorothy McCuistion, Sally Alger, Bonnie Larson

 MalPina Chan - 46.79°N 121.74°W: Mapping the Glaciers of Mt. Rainier.

MalPina Chan – 46.79°N 121.74°W: Mapping the Glaciers of Mt. Rainier.

Collins Award

MalPina Chan – 46.79°N 121.74°W: Mapping the Glaciers of Mt. Rainier.
Structure/Medium/Materials: Turkish Map Binding, Arches Text Wove Japanese Kozo-shi, Archival inks
Created: 2017

Our judges had a hard time choosing, because there were so many beautiful works. The PSBA members are amazingly talented. Our final decision came down to which book was most applicable to classes on the University of Puget Sound campus, and we quickly thought of several specific classes that could use MalPina Chan’s 46.79°N 121.74°W: Mapping the Glaciers of Mt. RainierMapping the Glaciers engages the place and space of Mt. Rainier in the Pacific Northwest landscape and imagination. This book entices the viewer with a Turkish Map Fold construction that opens up to reveal a map and handwriting from Abby Williams Hill. The detail of adding maps to the back side of the folds completes the charm. Mapping the Glaciers is an evocative and inventive representation of one of Washington’s iconic natural features, recognizable by its persistently glaciated peak. Using an old map of the mountain’s glaciers, the artist forces us to address the centrality of the mountain. At the same time, the older map raises questions about climate change in the viewer’s mind:  where are the glaciers today? The map itself is framed on both sides with excerpts from the diary of Abby Williams Hill, an artist and progressive thinker who herself was deeply engaged with notions of place and the Mountain. The juxtaposition of map and words from the early twentieth century invites us to explore our own relationship to Mt. Rainier. This work situates its viewer in a variety of ways, through its mingling of topography with the personal writings of Abby Williams Hill, and invites questions about how our experiences with the natural world both shape and are shaped by it. We envision Mapping the Glaciers engaging students and researchers working with the Hill Collection, focusing on our local region, and in courses from multiple disciplines.

– Peggy Burge. Coordinator of Teaching, Learning and Digital Humanities
– Katy Curtis, Humanities Librarian
– Hilary Robbeloth, Systems and Discovery Librarian.

Suze Woolf Pine Beetle Book, Vol III: Bug Ruts

Suze Woolf, Pine Beetle Book, Vol III: Bug Ruts

Award of Excellence

Suze Woolf
Pine Beetle Book, Vol III: Bug Ruts
Structure/Medium/Materials: Pine-beetle-bored bark in epoxy resin, laser-cut iron-oxide-dyed felt pages, wire-edge-bound, wooden “worry” beads
Created: 2016

Juror’s Statement:

I have had the wonderful opportunity to view the PSBA juried members’ exhibition over the past seven years and have to say that each year the exhibition has gotten stronger. This year, fine bindings, evocative imagery and sculptural, organic qualities are prevalent in the artist books that are exhibited in the Collins Library. Imagery and meaning is tied in with craft through a variety of scales and diversity of themes related to the Pacific Northwest. Various structures include Turkish map folds, flag accordions, as well as stab–bound, cloth-bound, and piano–hinged books. Imagery is produced through wide means, including photography, stamps, screenprint, digital techniques, and dying.

It was very difficult to choose the award of excellence. However, I found myself continuing to go back to a work where the materials were an integrated whole, where form and meaning were united. Suze Woolf’s Pine Beetle Book, Vol III: Bug Ruts is part of her related series of books that reference bug trails in the woods. This shaped book is welcoming, the materials a combination of warm browns.

The exposed binding consists of brown threads that wrap around metal pins; threads are left to trail off, echoing the linear trails seen on the felt interior pages. Worry beads are attached to the ends of the threads, which add weight and keep the threads separated.

Bug Ruts feels good in the hands. The cover is a piece of organically shaped tree bark that has been bore into by beetles, then covered in clear resin. The uneven resin suggests water or tree sap. On the verso, the rough texture of bark acts as the endsheets, quite visually different than the energetic line veining on the cover. The organic edges of the cover and leafs allow one to wrap their fingers around them, as one might with a worry stone.

The shape of the front and back covers differ; in between there is a slow transformation of the shape of the pages, an echo­ of the exterior. Flexible felt pages are contained within the book. Rust dye is used on the soft pages to mark beetles’ tracks. Gestural in quality, these markings are evidence of the insect’s path. The thick pages add a sense of solidity that combines with the softness of the felt material. The pages turn easily.

Suze Woolf has preserved the beetle’s journey, capturing a part of the larger whole of our ecosystem. Time, nature, and movement are captured in this satisfying artist book.

Juror: Janet Marcavage, Printmaker and Professor at The University of Puget Sound


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Katharine Etsell: 2017 Senior Art Award Winner

Katherine Etsell and her father, in front of her award winning work

Katharine Etsell and her father, in front of her award winning work

Collins Library is pleased to bestow the 2017 Senior Art Award to Katharine Etsell for her screen-print series that highlights the Port of Tacoma.

The selection committee offers these remarks associated with her work:

We selected an artist whose work celebrates our local community and brings forth two central concepts:  local pride and global connections.  Katharine’s work focuses on a cornerstone of Tacoma that may often be overlooked and underappreciated by the modern community surrounding it.  The images highlight structures of industry surrounded by an unsurpassed natural beauty.  The prints evoke a sense of history and nostalgia reminding the viewer of the unique location and geography of Tacoma and the part it has played and continues to play in the global economy.  Katharine’s screen-print series invites us to look anew at this integral part of Tacoma’s history, landscape and present day economy.  Her decision to use screen print, a technique that requires careful attention to detail, planning and patience, persuasively reinforces the craft and expertise required to build and maintain an industrial infrastructure.

We are proud to have these prints grace the walls of the Collins Library and share the pride we all have in our local community.

Congratulations Katharine!

Containers II (screen print)  2017

Containers II (Screenprint) 2017

Artist Statement:
Katharine Etsell

This screenprint series highlights the Port of Tacoma, an area that represents a significant piece of both a local and global economy. Though vital, it often remains viewed at a distance by community members and passersby alike. The Port is a massive swath of concrete land; by focusing on its infrastructure up close, the series points out the repeated entities that bring life and movement to
a seemingly static area—large ships bearing containers of goods from faraway places, the waters of the Sound that they travel through, and the cranes that lift shipping containers up and onto land, to be distributed by car and rail.

Each color of the print was applied singularly. Layering the image methodically
and slowly embraces a relatively analog process in today’s digital age; my
process parallels the antiquated feelings of a bygone age that one finds at the
Port of Tacoma. The rusting truss bridges and miles of old railroad that intersect
the Port are reminiscent of a forgotten industrial age, and yet they are still part of
a relevant and vital economy. In building each layer, keen attention was given to
the choices of form and color. By working with a limited palette for each
respective image, a distinct mood is created to evoke a unique sense of Tacoma.
Each composition is a window into a small part of the Port, showing up close the
structures and waters normally seen only from far away, and giving a greater
sense of proximity to the global economy.

There is nostalgia in focusing solely on the Port as landmark of Tacoma. It
exudes a sense of place and time, geographically and historically. While today its
dominant neighbor to the north, Seattle, often overshadows Tacoma, originally it
was a true “city of destiny” for railroad activity and shipping, as it was chosen as
the western stopping point for the first Transcontinental Railroad in the 19th
Century. This particular part of Tacoma shapes both its economy and its
landscape, and has roots in both history and the present. By highlighting the
Port, I hope to engender a sense of pride and awe at an institution that will
celebrate its hundredth birthday in 2018, and will undoubtedly continue to play a
considerable role in this area in the future to come.

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Collins Library Welcomes Adriana Flores, Archivist & Special Collections Librarian

CALLOUT_AdrianaWe are excited to welcome back Adriana Flores as our new Archivist & Special Collections Librarian.  Adriana will join us in mid-July as soon as she wraps up her current work at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University, where she serves as an Assistant Archivist for Acquisitions.  In this role she is responsible for a wide range of services including working with donors, managing collections, assisting researchers and working with faculty to promote the use of primary source materials in their classes.  Adriana completed her M.S. in Library and Information Science from Simmons College in 2016 and is a 2013 graduate of Puget Sound.  She has her B.A. in English with a Writing, Rhetoric and Culture Concentration.  In 2014, Adriana was awarded a Mosaic Fellowship from the Association of Research Libraries and the Society of American Archivists. The Mosaic program promotes much-needed diversification of the archives and special collections professional workforce by providing financial support, practical work experience, mentoring, career placement assistance, and leadership development to emerging professionals from traditionally underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups. In addition, Adriana has worked on a variety of digital projects as well as developed programs at Boston University.  She is very engaged in professional development activities and currently holds a leadership position in the Students and New Archives Professionals Roundtable of the Society of American Archivists.  She is a frequent blog contributor and you can read her Year in the Life posts:
Year in the Life Part 1  and  Year in the Life Part 2.

She has also contributed to the series Archivists on the Issues with a blog post on mentoring. In addition, Adriana served as a digitization intern at Densho:  The Japanese American Legacy project as well as at the Port of Tacoma. Adriana brings a love of Puget Sound, enthusiasm for the Library and a commitment to engagement.

Learn more about Adriana in our interview below.

  1. What excites you about returning to Puget Sound?
    I’m so excited to be returning to the campus I love. I look forward to reconnecting with past professors and staff supervisors, as well as working with plenty of fellow alums who have also returned to Puget Sound. I’m also excited to reacquaint myself with the Archives & Special Collections materials and explore new ways to connect the collections with students, faculty, and staff.
  1. Tell us a bit about the work at the Gotlieb Archives and how that might translate to Puget Sound?
    I’ve developed many skills at the Howard Gotlieb Center that will translate to Puget Sound. In my position I do a little bit of everything: I accession new materials, process collections, supervise student employees and interns, work with researchers, as well as plan and execute education and outreach events. Most importantly, I love working with Boston University’s students and I know the same will be true at Puget Sound as well.
  1. In 2014 you were appointed an Association of Research Libraries and Society of American Archivist Mosaic Fellow – can you provide some insights into this program?  What did you learn?  Did you make connections in the profession?
    The Mosaic Program is a wonderful opportunity for archival students from diverse backgrounds to receive academic and professional support during graduate school. The program provides an academic scholarship, a paid internship (which I did at the Howard Gotlieb Center), and funding to attend SAA’s annual conference and ARL’s Leadership Institute. The program provided me with multiple mentors and has supported me through every stage of my early career. Additionally, I made many lasting professional relationships in my cohort as well as the cohorts before and after mine. It’s a great community to be a part of and I’m so grateful that I was selected for the program.
  1. Anything else you would like to share!
    In my free time, I love going to the movies, reading, playing tennis, and crafting. I’ve recently learned how to knit and I love exploring new ways to be creative and work with my hands.
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Events at Collins Library – Summer 2017


  • Thursday, June 8:  Puget Sound Book Artists 2017 – Exhibit Opening
    Northwest Musings – Celebrate Unique Books that capture the spirit of the Northwest.
    June 1 – July 28, 2017
    Opening Reception: 5:00–7:00 p.m., The Link, Collins Library.
  • Thursday, June 22:  Puget Sound Book Artists 2017 – Artist Conversation
    5:30-7:30 p.m., Collins Library Room 020.


  • Tuesday, July 11:  A conversation with Paper Maker Velma Bolyard
    Velma Bolyard is a fiber, paper and book artist working with mostly locally gathered materials for textile, paper, and book making. She recently retired from 25 years of teaching special education in alternative public school settings. Her passion is to make art that explores environment and the connection to place, and teach others technique to inspire them to push their own work. Currently she is exploring the properties and personality of flax/linen and milkweed and is working on a larger project, Hortus Siccus about plants and place.   She writes a blog, Wake Robin www.velmaboyard.com  about her work and life.  Velma will discuss her work as a papermaker and artist and share examples of her work. 6:30-8:00 p.m., Collins Library Room 020.
  • Wednesday, July 19:  Puget Sound Book Artists 2017 – Panel Discussion
    5:30-7:30 p.m., Collins Library Room 020.


  • Thursday, September 7:  David Wertheimer, Director of Community and Civic Engagement at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
    Join us for our monthly Behind the Archives Door lecture series! David Wertheimer is an avid book collector. He began collecting as an after school hobby while in the sixth grade, wandering the shops on Fourth Avenue in New York City. David will discuss his start as a book collector, some of his favorites pieces from his personal collection, and how he insures the long-term preservation of the books in his personal collection. All are welcome for light refreshments and an informal lecture. Archives & Special Collections Seminar room. 4:00–5:00 p.m.

(Please check back in the fall for more new events.)

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Shereen LaPlantz Collection of Artists’ Books Donated to Collins Memorial Library

LaPlantz_donationDonation made by Rochelle and Ken Monner of Tacoma

Books will be a teaching tool and public resource

Read the Oly Arts article!

TACOMA, Wash. – A collection of works by Shereen LaPlantz, internationally recognized artist, author, and teacher who helped bring handmade artists’ books to the attention of the public, is being donated to Collins Memorial Library at University of Puget Sound.

The more than 100 artists’ books, generously donated by Rochelle and Ken Monner of Tacoma, Wash., showcases the myriad of book structures developed by LaPlantz throughout her career.

LaPlantz’s recognition that book structures could be a combination of two- and three-dimensional formats and that they could tell their own story, as well as provide information, inspired her to write Cover To Cover: Creative Techniques for Making Beautiful Books, Journals & Albums in 1998. She also is known for her 2001 book, The Art and Craft of Handmade Books.

An art educator and personal friend of Rochelle Monner, LaPlantz taught hundreds of workshops on the art of the book and exhibited her work in galleries and museums throughout the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Europe, and Africa.

LaPlantz’s basketry and artists’ books are represented in numerous permanent collections, including the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. Until her death from cancer in 2003, the inventive and resilient artist worked from her studio in California. She was particularly inspired by the work of two other prominent book artists, Heidi Kyle and Kevin Smith.

The book techniques and structures made by LaPlantz and her students include pamphlet stitch, basic codex, stab binding, and fold books. The donated collection also includes examples of various forms of concertina and tunnel books. Many of these directly relate to examples depicted in LaPlantz’s instructive books about the art.

LaPlantz passed on the book collection to Rochelle Monner, who has used it as a foundation for many book art classes. Monner is one of the founding members of Puget Sound Book Artists, which won the City of Tacoma AMOCAT Art Award for community outreach by an organization. Monner is credited with establishing the organization’s first “play days,” which introduce book structures and formats to the community.

Collins Memorial Library Director Jane Carlin said the new collection greatly enhances the existing artists’ book collection and will serve as a tremendous teaching resource for Puget Sound students and the local community.

“Book structures are complicated, and these books will serve as models and inspire, as well as challenge, artists to engage in new ways to construct and design books,” she said.

Jessica Spring, a Tacoma educator and printer who owns Springtide Press, commented on the legacy of Shereen LaPlantz:

“So many book artists launched their careers through workshops and books offered by LaPlantz. It is fantastic to have this resource here in Tacoma, available for study and inspiration.”

The collection will be on display in Collins Memorial Library this fall. A reception is planned for October 2017.

For directions and a map of the University of Puget Sound campus: pugetsound.edu/directions

For accessibility information please contact accessibility@pugetsound.edu or 253.879.3931, or visit pugetsound.edu/accessibility.

Tweet: #artistsbooks by Shereen LaPlantz donated to @collinsunbound library @univpugetsound. On display Fall 2017 #Tacoma http://bit.ly/2qZwQqx

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99 Elephants Coffee & Conversation

Suzanne in her studio. Source: http://www.goggleworks.org/events/free-lecture-suzanne-fellows-art-activism/

Suzanne in her studio.  http://www.goggleworks.org/events/free-lecture-suzanne-fellows-art-activism/

January – March 20, 2017
Collins Library exhibit room

99 Elephants A Day
Check out the new front “gallery/study” space in Collins Library. Currently this space is featuring an exhibit titled 99 Elephants a Day. This exhibit features the work of Pennsylvania artist Suzanne Fellows. She made 99 elephants a day for 365 days to equal the number slain by ivory poachers in 2013: 36,000. Each one is a one of a kind mixed media print on paper with gouache and ink – 2 ½” x 3 ½”. She painted the backgrounds with a variety of water based paints and inks and printed the elephants with gouache. Some are also ‘embellished’ with markers before being stamped on the back and numbered. Collins has about 300 of the elephants on display. The exhibit also features the photographs and research of Professor Rachel DeMotts whose work focuses on aspects of conservation and wildlife. In addition, the exhibit showcases the pe99Elephants Logorsonal collection of elephant figurines of Ken McGill as well as one of Collins artists’ books by local artist Mari Gower which address the plight of the elephant.

This room has been reconfigured to include great lounge seating and is a wonderful space to study or just hang out!

On March 22nd, a presentation titled Chasing Elephants: Conservationists, Politician, Farmers and the Problem of Ivory by Professor Rachel DeMotts and Parakh Hoon, Professor of Political Science will be offered in conjunction with this exhibit.

Artist’s Links:

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