We all know what a book is, right? But if you want to have your understanding of that familiar form not only confirmed, but extended, challenged, and, yes, celebrated, then join us in viewing 60 works by 38 regional artists at University of Puget Sound’s Collins Memorial Library. Opening on June 2 and showing through July 30, 2016, the Sixth Annual Member exhibition of Puget Sound Book Artists is free and open to all. Prepare to have your assumptions challenged.
The exhibit encompasses huge variations: from traditional codex-bound books, to those that can only be described as narrative sculptures. Within the artistic genre many subsets exist: collage and assemblage; folded origami pop-ups; hand-drawn, digital, letterpress and silk-screen printing; boxed and unboxed; multiples and one-of-a-kinds … and many more. An equally wide range of materials can be seen: machine and hand-made paper, of course, but also textile, ceramic, acrylic, wood, glass, found objects, salt, cultured biologic medium—even smashed electronics and broken crockery. Inspirations are as varied as the number of pieces—the book as culture, beauty, personal experience, social justice, the environment, and just plain fun.
Award of Excellence juror Ellen Zieger says, “The 2016 PSBA Show displays excellence in so many areas—originality, concept, execution, typography, use of a wide variety of traditional and invented forms—and without exception, deeply felt ideas, creativity, and hard work. Congratulations, all!”
According to PSBA president Mark Hoppmann, “What makes the PSBA unique that it is a member-driven organization committed to education. We view the exhibition as an opportunity for our members to learn the ropes of the curatorial process, so to speak, from inception to opening night. And, all members are invited to exhibit, which sets the PSBA apart from other organizations. What is so great is that we have nationally recognized artists alongside artists just beginning their career. This type of mentoring has helped foster artistic growth and creativity.
Artists whose work is included: Mary Ashton, Victoria Bjorklund, Susan Brown, MalPina Chan, Pat Chupa, Debbi Commodore, Gabrielle Cooksey, Taylor Cox, Kathy Dickerson, Jan Dove, Becky Frehse, An Gates, Pam Gazale, Mari Eckstein Gower, Deborah Greenwood, Lucia Harrison, Mark Hoppmann, Kim Izenman, Bonnie Julien, Lynne Knopp, Bonnie Larson, Cora Li-Leger Judy Lynn, Dorothy McCuistion, Catherine-Alice Michaelis, Peter Newland, Bonnie Thompson Norman, Chandler O’Leary, Lynne Olson, Lily Richmond, Laura Russell, Lynn Skordal, Peggy Smith-Venturi, Jessica Spring, Laurie Strong, Jan Ward, Carletta Carrington Wilson, and Suze Woolf.
Jane Carlin, director of Collins Memorial Library and vice president of the organization, echoes Mark’s comments, “Many PSBA artists have formed artistic partnerships as a result of our organization, have had their work published and reviewed, and have been invited to exhibit in juried shows. We are proud of the organization’s commitment to education and strengthening the book arts community.”
An exciting offshoot of the PSBA annual exhibition is a summer exhibition of selected PSBA member works to be held at the prestigious Centre for Fine Print Research, University of the West of England, in Bristol, England. The exhibition, Bridging the Water, will be on display at the centre later this summer. As Carlin 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!
The University of Puget Sound will host several public programs in conjunction with the exhibition. In brief:
June 9, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m., Collins Memorial Library: Recipients of the Collins Library Awards, the Curator’s Choice Award, and the Recognition of Excellence Award to be announced at 6:30 p.m.
The Artist’s Vision: From Idea to Completion
July 13, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Collins Memorial Library, Room 020
A moderated panel of invited PSBA artists in a discussion
The sixth anniversary exhibition catalogue will be available for purchase. Information about ordering a catalogue will be available during the exhibition and on the PSBA blog site.