13th Annual Puget Sound Book Artists Exhibit Awards

The Puget Sound Book Artists exhibit team has chosen five award winners for its 13th annual 2024 members’ exhibit. The awards were in the following five categories: Thematic Excellence; Most Innovative Book Structure; First-Time Entry; Most Original Writing; and Overall Excellence.

Exhibit team chair, Ann Storey, explained that the following criteria were used to judge entries for these awards:

  • Is the book interesting?
  • Is it well-made?
  • Is it unique, original or surprising?
  • Does the structure integrate well with the imagery and/or writing?
  • Does the book express the Time Travel theme?

Thematic Excellence Award

Jan Ward’s book installation, Rosita’s Guide to Time Travel, was chosen for the Thematic Excellence award. It explored the Time Travel theme with originality and imagination. Rosita seemed to be an avatar of the artist who could guide her through a perilous present toward a more authentic future.

Image Credit: Jan Ward, Rosita’s Guide to Time Travel

Most Innovative Book Structure Award

Denise Stephenson’s entry, Steps Through Time, won in the Most Original Structure category. While traveling between California and New Zealand Stephenson badly injured her knee. She chose a book structure to record her harrowing personal experience that also succinctly expressed the compression and expansion of time when crossing the international dateline.

Image Credit: Denise Stephenson, Steps Through Time

First-Time Entry Award

Marlis Hanson’s fabric book titled, Without Words/91, won the First-Time Entry Award. This book, made out of the collected fragments of her life, records her personal and artistic journey as a 91 year old artist. As she wrote in her artist’s statement, she was “…bringing cohesion and meaning…” to her life by making this piece.

Image Credit: Marlis Hanson, Without Words/91

Most Original Writing Award

Abbie Birmingham won the Most Original Writing award for her beautiful poem “Raven” in her book, The Scablands – Stories from the High Desert. Her poem and book explore and celebrate in a very sensitive way the dramatic landscapes of eastern Washington, carved by ice age floods. She writes, “The sky calls as I fall into it,/My heart stripped clean./Mine is the raven’s eye,/One with the land,/Open, waiting for water.”

Image Credit: Abbie Birmingham, The Scablands – Stories from the High Desert

Overall Excellence Award

Susan Aurand won the Award of Overall Excellence for her assemblage titled, Time Travel. Her entry had a very original interpretation of the theme. Instead of being a personal exploration of time travel, Aurand chose to explore a more scientific understanding “…the continuous circulation of matter and energy moving through all living things” as she wrote in her artist’s statement. These abstract concepts were expressed visually with natural specimens of bones, shells, seeds, wings and leaves.

Image Credit: Susan Aurand, Time Travel

The exhibit team applauded all of the participating artists for their originality and artistic verve. It was challenging to choose the award winners from so many creative and interesting entries.

For more information contact Ann Storey, Exhibit Team Chair

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