June 5th – July 31st
Collins Memorial Library, University of Puget Sound
Mary Ashton’s Shrinkage II. Photo: courtesy of Mary Ashton.
The evening of June 5th, 2014 marked the opening reception for the 4th Annual Puget Sound Book Artists Members Exhibition, featuring 57 extraordinary handmade books created by 39 artists from Puget Sound and beyond. Held annually at Collins Memorial Library on the University of Puget Sound campus, the exhibition represents the growing diversity of ideas constantly challenging the question; what is a book? In this exhibition, using various media ranging from photography, printmaking, drawing, painting, calligraphy, and digital means, and employing a variety of materials including wood, handmade paper, fabric, and cordage, the members of the Puget Sound Book Artists strive to answer that question.
Lucia Harrison: Old Growth: Beneath the
Forest Floor. Photo: courtesy of Lucia Harrison.
The exhibition demonstrates that, like other artists, book artists are not limited to boundaries imposed on them by “rules.” This opens up endless possibilities in regards to the book form and even the materials used in making the book. The term “altered states” comes to mind. Keep in mind, while working together towards one goal, the artists whose work grace this exhibition are as diverse as the work they create. No two interpretations are alike, just as not two artists are alike. Remember, I said “endless possibilities?” From the complex layers of Mary Ashton’s Shrinkage II, to Lucia Harrison, recipient of the exhibition’s Award for Excellence for Old Growth: Beneath the Forest Floor, the exhibition tests our expectations of what a book is.
As you stroll through the exhibition, You may find yourself wishing you could reach through the glass to pick up the book. On the evening of June 19th, 5:30-7:30pm you may have your opportunity during the Conversation with the artists when the works are taken out from beneath the glass. You will have a first-hand opportunity to understand how these books came to be, and to hear from the artists themselves about their vision.
Lily Richmond: Go With The Flow. Photo: courtesy of Ross Mulhausen.
The Puget Sound Book Artists is a non-profit organization comprised of over 60 members from Puget Sound and beyond, with a growing membership from other states. Recipient of the 2013 AMOCAT Arts Award, the organization’s mission is to further the knowledge, practice and understanding of the art of the book by means of educational activities including but not limited to lectures, workshops, and exhibits.
For additional information about the exhibition, the award recipients, and the opening reception, visit the Puget Sound Book Artists’ blog. To inquire about membership or any other questions, you may contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This blog post was written by Mark Hoppmann, a 2011 Tacoma Artists Initiative Program funding recipient and current President of the Puget Sound Book Artists.