7th Annual Member’s Exhibition

Puget Sound Book Artists 7th Annual Members’ Exhibition

Puget Sound Book Artists Logo

Exhibition dates:  June 1 – July 28, 2017
Featuring 31 artists with 47 unique and original books.

The public is invited to attend special, free events that will run alongside the exhibit.
All events will be held in Collins Memorial Library.

Opening Reception:
Thursday, June 8, 2017, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

Artist Conversation:
Thursday, June 22, 2017, 5:30 – 7:30 pm, Collins Library Room 020

Panel Discussion:
Wednesday, July 19, 2017, 5:30 – 7:30 pm, Collins Library Room 020

 Puget Sound Book Artists Chart

What images, words and ideas occur to you when you hear the phrase Pacific Northwest?

PSBA came up with a few:  Trees, ferns, slugs, smog, eagles, clams, blackberries, tulips, sea glass, herons, mountains, fog, rain, crows, berries, beaches, arsenic, pho, seals, tankers, whales, sand, beach glass, boats, ships, containers, paper mills, logging, clear cutting, planes, traffic, grunge, coffee, tattoos, salmon, diverse communities and traditions, methanol, ferries, independent thinkers, technology, green, grey and blue, climbing, kayaking, markets, crabs, sun, water.

Artwork by Pat ChupaAll this and more is our community, an inspiring and often mystical and magical place.  The  chosen theme for the 7th Annual Members’ Exhibition for the Puget Sound Book Artists is Northwest Musings.  This year’s show marks a departure from previous exhibitions.  Books in the show run the gamut of celebrating the beauty and grandeur of the Northwest, to providing commentary on social issues that affect our communities. (Left artwork image: “Thuja Plicata” by Patricia Chupa)

Jane Carlin, a member of the PSBA Board and Collins Library Director, is excited about this new approach to the exhibition.  “A goal of the PSBA is to make the book arts more accessible and we thought a themed show would resonate with the Tacoma and Puget Sound community.  We want to celebrate our location and give back to Tacoma for all the support that our organization has received.  We hope the community will be excited to see the area reflected in the book form.”

“Themed exhibitions are always a challenge and  “Northwest Musings” is no exception,” said Mark Hoppmann, current President of the Puget Sound Book Artists.  What better way to test our imaginations than by celebrating the Pacific Northwest and sharing our visions in this exhibition, Northwest Musings.

Jan Ward, Lead Curator for this year’s exhibit says, “The artists this year have challenged our thinking from the serious and disturbing memories depicted in Lynn Skordal’s work, “The Bomb” to the delight of exploring our area celebrated in Peter Newland’s “Travel Musings”;  from Suze Woolf’s careful use of native woods to create unique books that can be “read” as stories to Laura Russell’s “Hit the Road” Highway 99 pop-up books.  The diversity of skills and forms used to depict each artist’s musings makes this a must see exhibit.”


Curators for the 2017 exhibition include:

Jan Ward is a book artist from Edgewood, WA. Her unbridled exploration and use of all manner of materials, techniques and methods often leads her work to the edge.  Her current interests are in uncovering, exposing, and disentangling the chaos of life so things can be reexamined and appreciated.

Dorothy McCuistion is a printmaker and book artist living in Tacoma, WA.  Her work focuses on monotype prints and she often combines these prints to create unique art books.  She strives to make universal connections and statements that begin from a personal perspective.

Bonnie Larson, who lives in Federal Way, Washington, expresses the beauty of nature and color through handmade books, watercolor paintings, sewing projects, and calligraphy pieces.

Sally Alger is a papermaker from Tacoma, WA.  She studied art and art history at the University of North Dakota and for the last few years has had a special interest in the challenge of transforming scraps of computer paper and plant material into works of art-collages, books, and even a unique sort of jewelry.

Puget Sound Book Artists is a nonprofit organization comprised of professionals and amateurs from all quarters of the book, paper, and printing arts—including bookbinders, papermakers, printers, book artists, archivists, and conservators.  The group aims to provide educational opportunities and to foster excellence through exhibitions, workshops, lectures, and publications dealing with various aspects of the art of the book.

In 2013 the PSBA was awarded the City of Tacoma AMOCAT Arts Award for Community Outreach by an Organization.  The group sponsors a variety of workshops, lectures and special event designed to be learning opportunities for beginning and experienced book artists.

For further information contact:  psba@gmail.com

Collins Memorial Library Website

Hours: www.pugetsound.edu/libraryhours | Information: libref@pugetsound.edu
Puget Sound is committed to being accessible to all people. If you have questions about event accessibility, please contact 253.879.3236, accessibility@pugetsound.edu, or pugetsound.edu/accessibility.

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Freedom of the Press

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Northwest Musings: A Call To Artists 2017 PSBA Exhibition Page



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Puget Sound Book Artists 7th Annual Meeting


January 14th, 2017

Collins Library, the University of Puget Sound

Shu Ju speaking regarding her inspirations for and development of her books.

Shu Ju Wang speaking regarding inspirations for and development of her books. 

With 108 active members, (and counting) the Puget Sound Book Artists Annual Meeting is always an anticipated event. Known not only an opportunity to learn but also to share, book artists from all across Puget Sound and beyond, arrive at Collins Memorial Library on the University of Puget Sound campus in Tacoma Washington, to learn not only what the Puget Sound Book Artists is doing for them, but also what they can do to support this thriving organization. Even before the doors opened on Saturday morning, we knew this year’s event was special. Jane Carlin, Director of Collins Library and Vice President of the Puget Sound Book Artists along with Jamie Spaine, Administrative Coordinator, had spent the week preparing the library.   An almost overwhelming array of items had seemingly appeared from nowhere for the silent auction, which each year raises funds for this non-profit organization.   Just some of the items included the donated inventory of late book artist Joyce David, handmade journals, paper, book making paraphernalia, ephemera, and of course, books.

Gorgeous paper available at the silent auction.

Gorgeous paper available at the silent auction. 


An astounding array of items available at the silent auction.

An astounding array of items available at the silent auction. 

Another fabulous breakfast buffet at the PSBA Annual Meeting.

Another fabulous breakfast buffet at the PSBA Annual Meeting. 

Once members and guests entered the library to greet fellow artists or to meet someone new, there were important decisions to be made. Should they visit the Continental breakfast buffet that had been prepared, or first visit the tables where the silent auction items were laid out on display, waiting for the highest bidder to appear, or stop to look at the array of books on display that had been created in Puget Sound Book Artist sponsored workshops? Amidst all of this was the eager anticipation for the opportunity to listen to guest artist, Shu Ju Wang speak about her work.

Featured speaker, Shu Ju Wang talking about her works. 

“Multiple voices and viewpoints are the cornerstones of my work, a reflection of my personal history of migration and background in technology, science and art. It is a balancing act of the analytical vs. meditative modes of creating, of re-imagining traditional motifs in a contemporary context, and of understanding our stories as a relationship between narration vs. interpretation.

In a culture of bigger-is-better and faster-is-better, I create small & intimate work, slowly. Influenced by Chinese gongbi style paintings, illuminated manuscripts, and Islamic miniatures, my work combines abstract & representational forms in lush and jewel-like colors, and I invite viewers to interpret, to draw conclusions about this world that we live in.” http://www.fingerstothebone.com/

PSBA members listening to the featured speaker, Shu JuWang. 

Footnote: This year, over $1700 was raised for the PSBA in our silent auction. A very special thank you to Frank David for the generous donation of his late wife’s paper inventory for the silent auction!

Photos and blog by Mark Hoppmann
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An Interview with Susan Lowdermilk

An Interview With Susan Lowdermilk

Susan Lowdermilk presenting examples of tunnel books during her PSBA Workshop

Susan Lowdermilk presenting examples of tunnel books during her PSBA Tunnel Book Workshop

Susan  is a book artist and printmaker working in traditional processes such as woodcut, wood engraving and intaglio etching as well as in digital media. Her recent artist’s book projects involve movable parts, pop-ups and LED circuitry. Her books are included in many university library collections and public collections such as the Getty Museum, the University of Washington and the New York Public Library. Her work is represented in galleries throughout the United States. She is a professor at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon where she has been teaching courses in printmaking, artist books and graphic design for two decades. Susan earned her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Oregon and her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.

We recently had a chance to talk with Susan about her work and approach to teaching:

  1. What inspires you about the tunnel book?

Tunnel books intrigue me with the compelling visual illusions of depth and perspective that can be achieved with this simple and transparent design form. Tunnel books (or peep show books) were originally created as Victorian optical toys. They were usually a literal picture in three dimensions of popular scenes or commemorative events. As an artist, movable books offer me rewarding design challenges. They also offer visual rewards for the viewer as the closed book goes from a flat object, then comes to life as a three dimensional kinetic form. As our relationship to the traditional codex book changes and our experience shifts to reading more and more on digital devices, I become more interested in the retrograde analog, tactile, simple, technology of movable and pop-up books. 

  1. Are there challenges to teaching book arts?

In teaching book arts some typical challenges that I manage with my students are: following an appropriate design process and time frame, keeping projects to a manageable scope for the time allotted, and not putting too many ideas into one project. These are challenges that I face with my own projects as well. I find that since the book is such a familiar object, students are typically eager to create them with own narratives. My class at Lane Community College is called “Artist Books and Pop-up.” Our student body is made up of all ages and backgrounds. I teach Art and Design majors as well as students from other disciplines. This makes for a rich and interesting atmosphere in the classroom where students share ideas, and often help each other problem solve conceptually as well as technically using the knowledge unique to their own life experiences. 

Students working on projects during the PSBA Tunnel Book Workshop run by Susan Lowdermilk

Students working on projects during the PSBA Tunnel Book Workshop run by Susan Lowdermilk

  1. Anything you want to say about your philosophy and approach to teaching and or the book arts?

I believe that every design choice in an artist book project should be in service to support the book’s content. The text (or the concept if no text is present) should inform all choices like color, font choice, type treatment, size, materials etc. An artist’s book is well realized when it communicates the artist’s vision, at the same time that it functions as a kinetic, tactile object able to be explored.

PSBA Tunnel Book Workshop participant's first book ever

PSBA Tunnel Book Workshop participant’s first book ever

PSBA Tunnel Book Workshop participant's classwork

PSBA Tunnel Book Workshop participant’s classwork

 Blog by Jane Carlin and MalPina Chan
Photos by MalPina Chan
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Artist Presentation by Susan Lowdermilk

Puget Sound Book Artists, in collaboration with the Collins Memorial Library is pleased to announce a presentation by artist

Susan Lowdermilk

Friday, September 16, 2016, 5:30-7pm,

Collins Library, University of Puget Sound,

Library Rm. 020


lowdermik_2imagesSusan is a Professor at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon where she has been teaching courses in printmaking, artist books and graphic design for two decades. As a book artist and printmaker, Susan works in traditional processes such as woodcut, wood engraving and etching as well as digital media. To learn more about this accomplished artist, visit her website: Susan Lowdermilk|Book Artist, Printmaker

Click here for a map of the UPS campus.


Photos by Susan Lowdermilk
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2016 Cincinnati Book Arts Exhibition

CBSA Sculpture


Every year the Cincinnati Book Arts Society has a display of their work at the downtown Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Ohio. It was by shear luck that while we were visiting my sister Elaine who lives in Cincinnati, that we got to enjoy this extensive exhibit, BOOKWORKS XVII, as well as quite a few items from the library’s book arts’ permanent collection, Keith Kuhn Memorial Exhibit. Very inspiring and amazing. Attached here is a link to the library’s publication that covers this CBAS exhibit: Bookworks XVII
The photo above is a wonderful bronze sculpture in front of the library. Conceived and executed by former Cincinnati sculptor Michael Frasca, this ornamental fountain was made possible by a bequest from Mrs. Weinberg and was dedicated in 1990. Affectionately known as the “book fountain,” the sculpture features water cascading over a stack of ceramic tile books, representing the free flow of information and ideas through the printed word.

Photos from the CBAS Exhibition

Post and Photos by Elizabeth Walsh
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The Arts and Crafts Press: A Tacoma Treasure

The William Morris Society in America and The Book Club of Washington recently joined together to visit this wonderful press in Tacoma, Washington.  As a result of this collaboration,  several Puget Sound Book Artists members were fortunate to join both the William Morris Society and The Book Club of Washington during this visit to the Arts & Crafts Press. Learn more about the Press by visiting their website:

Entrance to Arts & Crafts Press Photo by Jane Carlin

Entrance to Arts & Crafts Press
Photo by Jane Carlin

Travel down South Tacoma Way, in Tacoma, Washington, and the last thing you would expect to find is a bustling Arts & Crafts Press. But find, you do!   Nestled between warehouses and industrial buildings is the castle like building with a bright red door that beckons you to open it up and discover the wonder inside.

This wonderful building is home to the Arts & Crafts Press, founded by Yoshiko Yamamoto and Bruce Smith in 1996.  The building, originally built for the Tillicum Toy Company in 1929 on Route 99, was once the largest wooden toy manufacturer in the Pacific Northwest. The original 1920’s castle like structure is the perfect setting for this press.

Arts & Crafts Press  Photo Arts & Crafts Press

Arts & Crafts Press
Photo Arts & Crafts Press

Originally established as a publishing house which focused on the Arts & Crafts movement, the Press has expanded to include limited-edition prints and greeting cards, all printed from hand cut blocks inspired by the movement. Yoshiko and Bruce started out in California and were inspired by many printers from the Bay Area, but the beauty and grandeur of the Pacific Northwest drew them to Tacoma.   The landscape of this region is the inspiration behind many of the beautiful and colorful designed developed by Yoshiko.   On December 11, 2015 The Arts & Crafts Press was featured on the Celebration episode of PBS’s national show Craft in America. Some of the earliest publications of the Press were inspired by the little magazine movement such as The Tabby: A Chronicle of the Arts & Crafts Movement


The Tabby: photo by Jane Carlin

   This small publication exemplifies the principals of the Arts & Crafts movement and resonates with the mission of the press.  To paraphrase Bruce, “the work and craft we do is as important at the art we do.”  Both Bruce and Yoshiko draw inspiration from the work of William Morris, but also from Elbert Hubbard and the Roycrofters, Dard Hunter, Will Bradley and Frederic Goudy.  Their personal collection of Arts & Crafts publications and ephemera, including a printer’s scrapbook, serve as a foundation for much of their work.



A small part of Bruce Smiths collection of work from the Arts & Crafts Movement. Photo by Jane Carlin

A small part of Bruce Smiths collection of work from the Arts & Crafts Movement.
Photo by Jane Carlin


Clearly, Bruce Smith, as a long time author and collector in the fields of both William Morris and Arts & Crafts printing history  has a deep love, understanding and admiration for the influence of  Morris.  The many examples he showed the group of books printed shortly after Morris’s death, as well as those printed well into the early 20th century, helped us all understand how their own The Arts & Crafts Press came into existence.  Yoshiko Yamamoto, the artist/printer has clearly learned a great deal from the study of the works of Morris, Dard Hunter and others of the Arts & Crafts movement.  But her early life in Japan, her study of their wonderful wood block art form have resulted in her own true unique style.  Her colors are bold and bright and totally pleasing to the eye.  Her printing, be it on note cards, pictures or broadsides are always of the highest quality.


Poppies in Bloom Photo Courtesy of Arts & Crafts Press

Poppies in Bloom Photo Courtesy of Arts & Crafts Press

Both Bruce and Yoshiko are also committed to social justice and sustainability.  The Press seeks to embrace environmentally sustainable materials and ways of printing.  Recycling all their paper and metal and using many soy based inks and vegetable oil for cleaning are just some of the ways they care for our environment. The Press serves as a model for responsible printing and as shared from their web site:  We print, because we care and love our friends, family, and environs. So why not take it one step further and print kinder to ourselves and our earth?

Lantern Floating Photo Courtesy of Arts & Craft Press

Lantern Floating
Photo Courtesy of Arts & Craft Press


Recently, Bruce and Yoshiko participated in the annual From Hiroshima to Hope: Lantern Ceremony in Seattle.  An annual event to promote peace event in memory of victims of Hiroshima/Nagasaki and all victims of violence and war. The block print Lantern Floating commemorates this event.  Yoshiko Yamamoto designed, carved and printed this linoleum block print with the help of another Tacoma based artist Taylor Cox.


Jack Waldorf shows off his keepsake Photo courtesy of Jane Carlin

Jack Waldorf shows off his keepsake
Photo courtesy of Jane Carlin

One of the true highlights of visiting The Arts and Crafts Press was being able to print a keepsake, designed by Yoshiko , using the Morris quotation; “We are only Trustees for those who come after us.  William Morris (1889). This keepsake holds special meaning as Yoshiko has just returned from a visit to the UK where she visited many of the Morris landmarks; including Kelmscott Manor. She is working on a new project to illustrate News from Nowhere, which will no doubt be a most impressive artistic endeavor.

Yoshiko and Bruce inspire a new generation of printers, artists, and lovers of Morris and the Arts & Crafts movement.  They work hard to maintain work that is affordable and accessible to all but of the highest quality.  Mark Hoppmann, a well-known Tacoma artist, and President of the Puget Sound Book Artists has this to say about their work: Thoreau once said “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”  Not so, with Yoshiko Yamamoto and Bruce Smith.  Surrounded by both vintage and modern letterpress equipment, both Bruce and Yoshiko are leaving a legacy in their own right, to the arts and crafts movement begun in the late 19th century.

It will be through the writing and collecting efforts of people  like Bruce Smith and the art and printing of Yoshiko Yamamoto, that collectors and lovers of fine books and prints will be able to afford what William Morris wanted throughout his life, art for the people.


Bruce Smith shows Gabby Cooksey work from the Arts & Crafts Movement Photo : Jane Carlin

Yoshiko Yamamoto

Yoshiko Yamamoto demonstrates printing on one of her many presses at the Arts & Craft Press Photo: Jane Carlin

Blog by Jane A. Carlin, Director, Collins Memorial Library, University of Puget Sound
Photos courtesy of Jane Carlin and Arts & Crafts Press

For additional information about this fine press, be sure to visit the Arts & Crafts website!

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Bridging The Water

An exciting offshoot of the PSBA annual exhibition is a summer exhibition of selected PSBA member works to be held at Bower Ashton Library in collaboration with the prestigious Centre for Fine Print Research at the University of the West of England, in Bristol, England. The exhibition, Bridging the Water, will be on display at the library later this summer. As Jane Carlin, Vice President of PSBA reflects,” this connection is a result of the increasing recognition of the work produced by PSBA artists. It is great to think of how artists from our community will be discovered in a gallery almost 5,000 miles away!”

MalPina Chan, Knock on Wood, 2015. Photo: MalPina Chan Patricia Chupa, AOE, 2010. Photo: Patricia Chupa Debbi Commodore, Neighborhood No. 3, 2014. Photo: Ross Mulhausen Gabrielle Cooksey, Monsters and Beasts, 2014. Photo: Danielle Williams

The Centre for Fine Print Research is recognised as of the UK’s leading Centre’s in support of art and design. PSBA has been fortunate to work with Sarah Bodman, Senior Research Fellow for Artists’ Books, where she runs projects investigating and promoting contemporary book arts. We are delighted that Sarah supports Bridging the Water.

PSBA was drawn to the metaphor of Bridging the Water as the title of the exhibit and are intrigued by the connections artists might make together in the future. Tacoma is located on Commencement Bay, part of the Puget Sound, surrounded by the Cascade and Olympic Mountain ranges with magnificent views of Mt. Rainier. Tacoma and the surrounding area is a community that supports the arts. Like Bristol, Tacoma is defined by its’ connection to water and the Narrows Bridge, like the suspension bridge in Bristol, connects communities and people. PSBA Artists are intrigued by the connections we might make together in the future. This collection of artists’ books on display reflects contributions from our members from past exhibits and work which reflects the diversity of our book arts community.

Mari Eckstein Gower, Soldier's Heart, 2014. Photo: Mari Eckstein Gower Deborah Greenwood, Sewing Seeds, 2014. Photo: Lucia Harrison and Deborah Greenwood Lucia Harrison, The Wall, 2008. Photo: Ross Mulhausen Mark Hoppmann, The Water’s Edge, 2015. Photo: Mark Hoppmann

Participating artists include:
MalPina Chan, Debbi Commodore, Gabrielle Cooksey, Patricia Chupa, Mari Eckstein Gower, Deborah Greenwood, Lucia Harrison, Mark Hoppmann, Carol Inderieden, Kim Izenman, Bonnie Larson, Dorothy McCuistion, Chandler O’Leary, Gina Pisello, Laura Russell, Lynn Skordal, Jessica Spring, and Jan Ward

Puget Sound Book Artists (PSBA) is a nonprofit organization with the purpose of creating a spirit of community amongst books artists and those who love books. Now celebrating its’ 7th year, PSBA is based in Tacoma, Washington, USA. PSBA received the city’s AMOCAT award (that’s Tacoma spelled backward) for Community Outreach by an Organisation. PSBA strives to increase educational opportunities for individuals as well as organisations, fostering excellence through exhibitions, workshops, lectures and publications. PSBA sponsors a yearly members’ exhibition, lectures and mini-workshops where individuals can explore, create and share with others. The annual members’ exhibition is a highlight of the year. The exhibit invites all members to participate and a dedicated curatorial team selects and designs the exhibit and prepares the printed catalogue.

Kim Izenman, Bridge.2, 2015. Photo: Kim Izenman Bonnie Larson, The Art of the Card, 2015. Dorothy McCuistion, Backyard, 2015. Photo: Chris Tumbusch Chandler O'Leary & Carol Inderieden, Empire Builder, 2015. Photo: Chandler O'Leary

Each year the exhibition features a variety of artists that challenge and inspire book artists. PSBA is delighted to have the work of eighteen member artists on display at UWE from July 4 – August 31, 2016.

How to find the library is here: It is City Campus, Bower Ashton: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/comingtouwe/howtofindus/howtofindcitycampus.aspx

Library opening hours are here: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/library/visitingthelibrary/openingtimes.aspx

PSBA Web site: http://blogs.pugetsound.edu/pugetsoundbookartists

Gina Pisello, Small Migrations, 2015. Photo: Gina Pisello Laura Russell, Anything Helps, 2013. Photo: Laura Russell Lynn Skordal, The Clearing, 2012. Photo: Lynn Skordal Jessica Spring, Fathoming, 2015. Photo: Jessica Spring Jan Ward, Rusted, 2012. Photo: Ross Mulhausen
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Blog: Sarah Bodman & Jane Carlin
Photo Credits: Sarah Bodman & Jane Carlin
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Northwest Musings: A Call To Artists

Northwest Musings: A Call To Artists

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