Monday, May 5, 2014

Star Book Binding Workshop

Last month I had the pleasure of teaching a workshop at Art & History Museums - Maitland on my favorite type of binding: the star book. I've been looking forward to this for so long and I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous about it. Luckily, I had a fantastic group of students that were full of creativity (as always)! Star books are so versatile so it was a joy to see everyone's ideas blossom and start to push the structure to its full potential.

A star book has multiple layers that almost turns each section into it's own tunnel book. For this reason it can be a little intimidating, but aside from it's unwieldy nature during binding it is actually very simple to make. Unlike my previous workshops, it's not a book that can really be bound blank. Well... I suppose you could make a blank star book, but it kind of defeats the purpose of the structure. So, this is the first time I've incorporated content production into my workshop and I definitely did not divvy out enough time for it! We all stayed about two hours after the workshop ended, but I think everyone had fun and I know everyone got to finish their books. Next time around, this will be an all day event! In the meantime, enjoy all of these star books made by the students:

Monday, April 14, 2014

Artists' Book Cornucopia V at the Abecedarian Gallery

Abecedarian Gallery in Denver, Colorado opens its fifth juried Artists' Book Cornucopia exhibit this Friday (April 18th), and I'm pleased to announce that "To Whom it May Concern" will be in it! This is especially exciting and validating since it was not accepted into Unfolding Images in September. This book really is stunning, and I can say that because it is owed heavily to Sandra Varry's photographs that make up the content. Finding a book cloth that matched so beautifully didn't hurt either.

If you are looking at these photos and thinking "Gosh darn those look nice, I don't think I've seen these before," that's because they are and you haven't! A big thanks to Jon Findell at UCF's Faculty Multi-Media Center who allowed me the use of his camera and photo studio as well as helped me set up and guide me through the photo shoot. I would not consider my self a photographer by any stretch of the imagination, but Sandra has moved away to bigger and better things so I had to stumble through it. These photos would look much worse if it weren't for Jon and for years of helping Sandra photograph our collection material.

Abecedarian Gallery already has the entries up in their online store. Click here to check it out and get a sneak peek at the other entries as well as first dibs on buying a copy!

Bonus fact nugget: Do you think Abecedarian Gallery sounds strangely like the beginning of the alphabet? It's no coincidence: Merriam-Webster defines the adjective form as "of or relating to the alphabet". Quite fitting for a gallery specializing in contemporary book arts.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Classes at Art & History Museums - Maitland

It's finally happening. Not Your Mama's Print Class, that Molly Chism and I envisioned in 2011, is finally running as a bonafide nine week class at Art & History Museums - Maitland. Unfortunately, Molly moved away to bigger and better things in California, so she is not here to see this momentous occasion. But her spirit lives on in our class!

We meet on Sunday's 2pm-4pm starting April 13th for nine weeks (with the exception of Easter). We will delve much further into relief printmaking than previous workshops would allow. I plan on getting into techniques such as registration with multiple colors, Chine-colle, and printing an edition. Students will also be given the freedom to choose the relief material they would like to work in. I can't wait to see what images will be created- and what kind of knarly dumpster wood people find to carve on! If you would like to be one of those students, you can sign up here.

I am also teaching The Book As Art as another nine week course. I can't make up my mind which class I am more excited about. This class will meet every Wednesday 7pm-9pm starting April 9th. We'll be discussing the history of Book Arts and taking a critical eye to the medium as a whole. The end of the nine weeks will culminate in the production of an Artists' Book inspired by the Artist's Book Ideation Cards by Barbara Tetenbaum and Julie Chen. These cards are not only terribly fun, but are also extremely helpful in building parameters for a book project and enabling creativity to spark. You are running out of time to sign up for this class, but you can register on the website here.

I can't wait to meet all my students and start posting more updates about their work!

UPDATE 4/13/14: Sadly, I may have jinxed the Not Your Mama's Print Class with my earlier enthusiasm. Several students had to drop out leaving us with not enough to run the class. However, it will return! By Grabthar's Hammer, you shall be avenged!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Twitter Art Exhibit: Orlando

The Twitter Art Exhibit comes to Orlando and the Grand Opening tonight, Thursday, March 20th, at 6:00pm at CityArts Factory. This international event was founded in 2010 by David Sandum in Norway and the proceeds from every year are given to a selected charity. This year the Twitter Art Exhibit is benefiting the Special Needs Classes at the Center for Contemporary Dance.

My entry will be hanging up there along with over 600 other postcard sized works of original art from around the world. All the artwork will be for sale at $35 a piece and that money is going straight into the hands of the charity because everyone who is making this event happen is volunteering- like me! Not only do I have art in the show, but I am also working like mad to create an exhibition catalog that will be available on blurb containing everyone's art. EVERYONE'S ART! That's over 600 images I'm plugging into InDesign! Another great philosophy behind this exhibit is that everyone is equal; no one is getting special treatment because they are famous, everyone's art is the same price, and brand new artists have a change to exhibit next to seasoned professionals.

I've been working with the fantastic Robin Maria Pedrero who is curating the exhibit, and I can't wait to see how she has handled the presentation of such a massive amount of art.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Art 31: Steamroller Prints and Upcycled Sculptures 31 kept me busy this weekend to say the least. Friday was our big Steamroller Print event for Culture Pop: Roll Repeat. I had a ton (8 tons to be exact) of fun with fellow printers Cat Snapp and Chris Ware. I was on clean hand duty, so I spent the night laying paper and carpet padding, directing our awesome steamroller driver Rick, and pulling prints to be hung. At the end of the night we managed to print a medley of all our woodblocks in one three foot square, including a woodcut from Curator Rebecca Sexton-Larson. I can't think of a better way to have ended the night!

The next day it was back to Art & History Museums - Maitland to lead the Garden Sculpture activity for Family Days at the Museum. I helped the kids cut used water bottles into flowers (or fireworks as the boys preferred to call them) and spirals for them to paint. I was really impressed with how much some of the kids already knew about color mixing. They made some especially beautiful shades of orange and purple. When they were done, I tied them onto our hanging form with pipe cleaners. By the end of the day, we had a full and colorful sculpture that will live in the garden for the rest of Art 31. Or for as long as it can survive!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Student Book Arts Competition

 The 8th Annual UCF Student Book Arts Competition is drawing to a close. The entries have been received and judged, the winners announced, and the exhibit that will run for the month of February is up. This is the third year I’ve coordinated and judged the competition and I am pleased to say it is getting better and better. We’ve gone from four entries my first year to nine and in general the quality has risen as well. This year had so many quality entries that we opened up a second place position.

Matthew Gregor’s The Trap House Rules was awarded a well-deserved first place. Using woodcuts and screenprints, this book illustrates the experience of a drug addict visiting the trap house. The poem inside is well written and full of dark humor, and the grungy style throughout the book adds to the reader’s experience.

Second place was awarded to Second Skin by Alesha Hassard. This book’s fine craftsmanship, tasteful reproductions of the artist’s original delicate drawings and marbled paper, and insightful poems concerning mortality would not allow this work to go unrecognized. Alesha is now a two-time winner of the Student Book Arts Competition.

None of this would have been possible without the help of our fantastic judges. Joining me were Jean Gould, Dawn Rosendahl, and EllenKnudson. This was the first time I’ve worked with Ellen Knudson, and I sincerely hope she’s willing to continue her involvement with this competition. I found her judging to be extremely well thought out and her judge’s comments to be insightful and eloquently written. I was also excited to include Dawn Rosendahl as a judge since we were both Artists-in-Action at the Maitland Art Center.

To see all the entries, please visit the facebook album.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Removing Tape from a Dust Jacket

Another sad story of a well meaning collector trying to protect their books... with scotch tape. For the love of all that is good in this world, never "fix" your books with tape!
There are many books in our collection of Archimedes Patti's research materials. Many of those books have dust jackets and most of those dust jackets have been taped onto their respective books. This book especially won (lost?) the tape lottery. Every fold or scuff or scrape has been taped over. Even the back of the jacket had extra paper taped to it.
It took my microspatula, alcohol, a tacking iron, and all the patience I could muster to lift all of this tape, but in the end the tape was beat and the dust jacket got a new archival form of protection.

A whole new layer of terror

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Grady Kimsey at the Crealdé School of Art

Last week I wrapped up the catalog design for the next installment at the Crealdé School of Art titled Grady Kimsey: The Mind's Eye. The catalog is now in hands of Lawton printers, who always do an excellent job.

The opening reception is Jan 17th, 7pm-9pm and I encourage everyone who can to go. Grady's work is truly a joy to look at and I can't wait to experience his pieces in person. In this series, he incorporates sculpture and painting together in a way that makes them inseparable. The paintings sitting behind the sculptures are more than just a backdrop; they are an integral part of the design. Neither sculpture nor painting is complete without the other.

Grady's whimsical art plus the fantastic photographs by Randall Smith made this catalog a dream to work on. Not to mention the laid back pow-wows at Grady's house with curator Henry Sinn and art dealer Kim Sumner where it all came together. This has definitely been the most enjoyable design job I've worked on to date.