Emerging Artist Exhibition Series – January 2013

Since opening in 2007, Abecedarian Gallery has featured emerging artists work each January. Although the gallery’s ongoing commitment to working with emerging artists will continue, this is the last exhibit in the Emerging Artist exhibition series.

This January (January 4 through February 2) works of Andrea Crane, Janelle Anderson and Whitney Stephens will be on view. Although all three of the Denver area artists work with drawing, their works are stylistically and conceptually different. The exhibit overall is a rich and exciting presentation of contemporary drawing.

About the artists:

Andrea Crane received a teaching certificate in Art Education from Metropolitan State University in Denver and is now teaching at Graland Country Day School in Denver. She is a mixed media artist who uses a variety of techniques to create smaller scaled works of art that are typically inspired by personal events.

Scattered Photos is a series of mixed media collages Andrea began while thinking about the lifespan of old family photos. She finds that although some may find looking at photos redundant and boring, she never never tires of looking at a photo. The series is inspired by family photographs, but does not utilize photographic imagery. them new life. The images, that depict brothers and sisters as children, are re-worked and given new life.


Janelle W. Anderson earned her BFA in Painting from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2011. She is an associate member of Pirate: Contemporary Art and works at Studio 12 Gallery. Primarily drawn with graphite and colored pencil on mylar, Anderson’s work focuses on the human condition and the ephemeral. Her works are stark, yet often quiet and chilling, using mostly a monochromatic palate high in contrast.

Free/Fall is a series of drawings on mylar that combine images of multiple views of a subject layered on top of one another creating an abstracted, yet recognizable form. Placed against a backdrop of empty space, the figures hover in limbo amongst a haze of striations stretching to and from. The small scale of these works draws the viewer in close to reflect in a moment of stillness. Although there are no human figurative depictions in this series, Free/Fall references the ephemeral while drawing parallels to the human condition.


Whitney Stephens graduated from Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design in 2012 with a BFA in Illustration & Fine Art. Her flat, often decorative style draws from her interest in folk & primitive art, but lends itself to more contemporary imagery & themes ranging from biology to fashion.

In this series of work Stephens utilized methods often used by Surrealists and Dadaists such as collage, photomontage, automatism, and games including ‘exquisite corpse’ to focus on design. The resulting pieces are patterned, decorative works intended for printing on fabric.

Imagination Navigation

Seiler Dual Loyalties #6
The interplay between the physicality of an idea and the idea itself has long held fascination for visual artists and craftworkers. This is the primary starting point for the work in Imagination Navigation at Abecedarian Gallery.
Imagination Navigation takes its title from a monograph about and exhibition of Joseph Cornell’s work. It is a show of 22 works by United States and Canadian artists working in assemblage and collage. The works were selected by Denver artist and exhibitions preparator Dave Seiler (image left).

Francuz Paris_Papers_9

While far from definitive, the exhibition provides a good overview of current trends in small to medium scale mixed media artworks.

Included in the exhibition are paper works incorporating both cut and torn paper collages by Luis Frias Leal of Greensboro, North Carolina, Mara Rivet of Seattle, Washington, Marsha Balian of Oakland, California, Lili Francuz (image right) of Ft. Collins, Colorado and Robin Miller of Savannah, Georgia.

Szmagaj_Two Views

A more painterly approach and in this case less intimate approach to collage is represented by Ken Szmagaj of Harrisonburg, Virginia (image left) and Mercedez Nunez of.


Christine Drake (image above) of Lexington, Virginia uses a monotype as base for collage while Lori Reed of Galesburg, Illinois, Elizabeth Lasley of Asheville, North Carolina, Janice MacDonald of Denver, Colorado and Doug Stapleton of Chicago, Illinois build their collages up from rigid boards or canvas panels.

Rowswell_Rock show II_#3kflora1

The encaustic collage, a medium growing in popularity, is here represented by Kimberly Flora (image left) of Cincinnati, Ohio. While stitching appears as an element in several of the above mentioned works, only two of the artists in Imagination Navigation focus on fibers and thread, using them both as support and collage element: Nancy Turner from Ontario, Canada and Georgia Rowswell (image right) of Cheyenne, Wyoming.

onderdonk_0266_3While assemblage works are often sculptural for the most part the assemblage works in this show exhibit on the wall. These include pieces by Annie Onderonk (image left) of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Caroline Waite of Louisville, Kentucky, June Daskalakis of Davis, California, Diane Lou of Willamina, Oregon, Pamela Milld of Lakewood, Colorado and John Ferdico (image right) of Oakland, California.


Surprisingly, only two works in the exhibit are viewed ‘in the round’ that of D. M. Suchoki of Scottsdale, Arizona and that of juror Dave Seiler.

click here to link to an online catalog of the exhibition


Denver artist & creative thinker Katie Taft has curated an exhibition for Abecedarian Gallery that focuses on one of her primary interests: stories about people. Taft invited 20 artists fro throughout the US to select and interview a person of their choice, perhaps famous, locally famous o not at all famous, a person known beforehand or not. The style of interview and the questions aske were left entirely up to the invited artists. The artists have made a creative representation of the information learned about that person. The exhibition includes a rich variety of media, styles and experience. In addition to the exhibition a publication including the interviews themselves will be produced and available.


Katie Taft is an original Denver Mastermind, well known not only for her photographyand sculpture, but also for Self-Made, a salon-style interview series formerly held once a week in downtown Denver from 2004-2006. Self-Made has morphed into Action Figures which continues in the style of Self-Made but with less frequency. She has been described as the Terri Gross of Denver.

Abecedarian Gallery has an ongoing commitment to book arts and also exhibits mixed
media work that connects somehow to any aspect of the book arts genre.

Included in the exhibition are
Adrianna Santiago, Denver, CO
Alicia Bailey, Aurora, CO
Alicia Griswold, Atlanta, GA
Amy LeePard, Northport, AL
Dawn Roe. Winterpark, FL
Don Frank, Portland, OR
Hamidah Glasgow, Longmont, CO
Jerry Allen Gilmore, Denver, CO
Julianna Dreistadt, Denver, CO
Kara Duncan, Denver, CO
Kirsten Vermulen, Denver, CO
Nathan Abels, Denver, CO
Richard Alden Peterson, Indian Hills, CO
Stephanie Wood, Denver, CO
Steven Daniel Karpik, Denver, CO
Steven Gordon, Denver, CO

Crime and Romance

Abecedarian Gallery is pleased to be exhibiting the work of Iowa artist Emily Martin in the Reading Room this fall.
Martin’s work will be on display September 5 – October 24


Martin uses a variety
of printing methods with her books including inkjet printing, letterpress, Xerox, color Xerox and
offset. Her books are in public and private collections throughout the United States and internationally,
including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Tate Gallery, London; The Museum
of Contemporary Art of Chicago; The Victoria and Albert Museum, London; The Museum of Modern
Art, New York and others. 4.-It-Didn't-Just.jpg
She teaches at the University of Iowa Center for the Book and in workshops
around the country. This is her first solo exhibition in the Denver area.
At Abecedarian Martin is exhibiting work from an ongoing series begun in 1989. She
made a series of 26 image prints and 20 word panels loosely exploring the notions of crime and
romance. Some of the images were scenes of crimes and some were scenes of romance and some
what she calls the innocent bystander images.
5.-Cr&Ro-Diptych.jpgUsing the notion that adjacent word panels shade image
meanings, Martin has combined the images in various presentations including prints and artists
In 2007 Martin began a similar process, working this time with a set of images and words
as if she were casting a play. She came up with six separate figures, three pairs of figures and two
different versions each of four different room settings and one crime scene body outline. This series is called Clues but no Answers.
These characters and settings are layered on the prints in a variety of combinations.

Boxy Books

May 29 – July 3, 2009
In the reading room an exhibition of artists’ books that are either ‘boxy’ in demeaner or utilize the box as a conceptual and/or visual tool. Artists included are
Aimee Lee

The Walls Are No Longer a Defense

Alicia Bailey

Cosmeceutical Collection

Bonnie Thompson Norman

A Primer for Democracy

Carolyn Leigh

House of Cards

Ezma Hanschka

Famous Planes

Ginger Burrell


James Reid-Cunningham


Jana Sim

Hieroglyphic Characters

Jeanne Borofsky

Time and Space

Maryanne Riker

Leo's Working Dreams

Melissa Kaup-Augustine


Mia Semingson


Rhonda Miller

A box for Nick’s doodles

Roberta Lavadour

Lavadour That's the way I like it (today) a

Sabina Nies

Petal Fold Miniature Book

Stephanie Marinone

Stephanie Marinone - Woman's Herbal Kit

Sun Young Kang


Susan Collard

Book of Dreams

Susann Wilbur

Persistence of Myth #5

Tenille Shuster

Close To Tears

clicking on the image will take you to another site where you can peruse additional images of the books included in the exhibition with more details about the work.

Paper Narratives

Paper Narratives is a group invitational exhibition curated by Abecedarian Gallery director Alicia Bailey.

Although the work shares the common denominator of having paper as a primary material, the exhibition is intentionally diverse. Narrative indicates a story of some sort, and is generally used in the context of either a written or spoken account. Narrative as a conceptual device in visual work has as long a history as visual work itself, coming in and out of fashion as art ‘isms’ often do. As is Bailey’s curatorial preference is to include work by students/emerging artists, work by artists well established in their field and regions but under-exhibited in Denver and artists working in the Denver Metro area.

Abecedarian Gallery has a focus on book arts; this exhibition includes work by ten artists working in the book form.
Perhaps because of the intimacy and familiarity of the book form, book artists often present stories based on domestic life

Directionssuch as Andrew Huot‘s distillation of everyday situations into printed books bound using traditionally bound structures.

Black not BoiledKelly Nelson’s Black Not Boiled is a small tea-cup shaped book, printed on handmade and teabag paper based on her mother’s writings about tea.

How to Distinguish Scents

Alicia Griswold, a skilled writer works from the premise that everything, the whole universe, can be found in a garden.
or other artists in the exhibit the domestic realm includes exploration of relationships or stories about family such as


Becky Heimrun‘s handprinted books that include content about her husband and son and their environment,
Every Pot Has a Lid
Tom Virgin‘s “Every Pot Has A Lid” – a fable using household objects to express the complexity of relationships,

Zina Castanuela‘s oversize sculptural book Josephine uses the contrast of handmade paper from different plant fibers to tell a story about her grandmother.


Love SpellsHarold Lohner creates accordian books in which a series of related images, drawn from a collection of anonymous photos, are presented in a nonverbal narrative. As the narrative is not explicitly detailed, the bits of imagery and found text engage the viewer in assembling a story.

Story of Thousands of StarsSun Young Kang‘s books hint at universal experience through reflection of the personal, such as her Story of Thousands of Stars which tells a story combining the happiness and joy of meeting with the inevitable sorrow of farewell.


Reflections on the experiential is also fertile ground for book artists utilized by Lynn Sures‘ books Toscana, based on drawings done on site in rural Tuscany, and Variations based on Charles Mingus’s musical work, “Pithecanthropus erectus,”

Language BoundMary Ellen Long creates work that tells the story of the environments affect on materials. The stories are subtle and partially hidden inside rolled scrolls.

While personal narrative is often engaging and compelling, Bailey is here exercising her preference for work that transcends the personal yet stems from personal experience.

Grandma's Kansas JourneyLinking familiar tales to personal experience is one way this is achieved such as in the work of Brenda Jones, who creates aprons and garments from manipulated and stitched paper, using imagery familiar to all of us but chosen based on personal experiences. The pieces present generally familiar stories of a sort that remind viewers of stories in their own lives.

PuppeteersAnother artist very aware of the power of stories to link all that is personal to something more universal is Carrie Scanga, whose etchings invite viewers to engage both their memory and imaginations.

Brandon Sanderson bases his prints on the interaction of mechanical and organic parts within himself and in the world around him. He has created characters that are collages of personal symbolism, art historical imagery and mechanical metaphor.

Excursion II

Less invested in personal narrative are the works of Lauren Scanlon who retells stories found in common social narratives such as fairy tales and romance novels by piecing them together again in collages of paper, fabric and thread.

Blanket Line

A diaristic approach is one Karina Cutler-Lake employs as she organizes and packages everyday experiences into mixed-media paper panels.

Perimeter Study 4 Jen Urso is another artist dilineating minute by minute experiences, but she is using created experiences governed by pre-determined actions, such as walking a specific path in an area not perceived as particularly beautiful or noteworthy.

Andrea Peterson - Frog on PigSequencing and repitition are workable means of presenting narrative employed by artists creating wall works. Andrea Peterson‘s Pig series is a 51 pig installation of bright pink handmade paper pigs, each printed with a symbol that shows how almost everything can be traced back through the stomach of a pig. The installation is accompanied by wood-fired ceramic pics made by Andrea’s husband Jon Hook.

Thought Harbor

Working entirely outside the parameters of personal narrative are Lauren McCleary who uses the absence of humanity in her quietly elegant paper cutouts to tell tales of the world’s wonder.
WMFD'sAlso in the exhibit are woven paper pieces by M. Beneventi.
Continue reading

Denver Square

An exhibition featuring artists working in or near Denver who use the square format as a conceptual and visual tool. Denver Square is accompanied by Boxy Books in the Reading Room.

Artists included in the Denver Square are gallery director Alicia Bailey, here exhibiting mixed-media assemblage pieces from her Navigation Timeline series. Built in layers forward from figurative oil paintings, the pieces incorporate a blend of artifacts culled from Bailey’s collection of oddities, including items such as butterfly wings sandwiched between mica, snake skins, vials of pigment and ash, vintage and discarded maps, letters, prints, and glass lenses.

Anna Newell-Jones exhibits four small color photographs from the series Halfway Between Here and There. Newell-Jones is a Denver based photographer who quite often works in the square format, occasionally pairing square images for an overall rectangular shape based on square. For Newell, recording moments of interest is a form of study and examination. “I look for subtlety and a sort of quiet, says Newell of her compositional philosophy. I take pictures because I have a compulsive need to record. I photograph things that intuitively appeal to me… objects I want to look at longer, things I want to study. My photographs are a reaction to an exploratory process that investigates the interplay between colors and concepts, patterns and associations.”

Brianna Martray is a Denver painter who works with oil on wooden, boxlike forms. The cubes she has in Denver Square are free-standing and potentially functional as table bases. Brianna’s gestural swirls are applied by her gloved hands rather than brushes and have an energy that works particularly well ‘off the wall’. Of these pieces she says “On this particular project I was intrigued and ultimately satisfied by the tension and duality created between the swirls and circles of color vs. the perfect geometry inherent of the cube.” 

Daisy McConnell is a Colorado Springs artist trained as a printmaker who has moved into the painting realm by first mounting/collaging prints and drawings to wooden supports and painting over them with encaustic. Her subject matter ranges from organic body systems to feminine frippery, from domestic musings to animal mortality. Here she exhibits pieces from her Ornamental Organ series.

Gail Wagner is a Boulder based mixed media artist who has recently returned to painting. She states: “In my older fiber pieces (exhibited in the Interweavings show), I used forms inspired by plants and animals as a way of exploring contradictory views of nature coexisting in our culture. Another part of this exploration was through my construction process: crocheting, sewing, and weaving are activities that bring together separate components, in the act of creating a new whole. In my newer work, I continue the practice of linking seemingly disparate elements through painting. Flatness vs. space, spontaneity vs. control, whimsy vs. gloom, sophistication vs. naiveté—all these conflicting extremes are brought together in the new works. Though a different medium, hints of past materials persist: threads, yarns, and loops pervade the new work, linking past and present.”

Hamidah Glasgow – Richly beautiful, the photographs of Hamidah Glasgow in Denver Square are selections from her series Shadow World. Glasgow states “Shadow world is a body of work about what we leave behind. Even in the simplest landscape there is a human presence. Sometimes the traces are obvious and sometimes sometimes not. I am interested in traces of humanity that inhabit the seemingly empty landscape. . . Edgar Allan Poe’s Tell Tale Heart and Dante’s Inferno have in common an exploration of the inner workings of the mind. I am interested in exploring the emotions and thoughts that take hold of our imagination and begin to bend time as well as perception. How we experience the world on an experiential level as well as an emotional level is a theme that has captured my imagination and my creative need to explore.
Heather Doyle-Maier has pieces from her Wane series on display, along with brand new series. . . “As a form, I find the square to be irresistible and I am drawn to create square works again and again. Solid and uniform, squares provide for me a clearly-defined arena in which to explore line and texture, yet they are blessedly free from internal tension. Squares offer reliability and objectivity, not favoring one side or direction over another. Yet squares maintain a sense of themselves, not fading into the background but remaining present as a frame. In a square, I can create a visual language that has its own integrity, a world that is contained and held. The borders of a square are strong enough to contain anything that needs to happen within them. My love for squares and combinations of squares has grown out of admiring traditional quilts, in which geometric shapes are stitched together to form square blocks and the square blocks are then stitched together to make the quilt surface. The pattern of repeating squares that forms the quilt top serves to both comfort and organize, offering a respite from chaos and meaninglessness. In my work, repeating squares act to slow down sequences and to make visible small variations and slight shifts. Progressions of squares serve to regulate and, like the pages of a book, break down raw experience into uniform, manageable pieces.
Maura Gramzinski exhibits several handbags crafted from vintage slides, along with her brand new laptop bag. RedCamper handbags are built literally from memories. Comprised of authentic vintage travel and family images, permanently sealed in a sturdy vinyl with industrial modern touches of stainless steel and rubber, the handbag is both cutting edge and retro in a sweet fusion.  Its old school in a new way. RedCamper celebrates the human story, no matter your age, race, class or education.
American/human history has for too long been written by the TV networks, advertising blitzes and newspaper headlines. The real American history we all lived and loved is locked into mildewed boxes in attics, basements and closets seen only once, twice, maybe three times, and as time marches on these little relics often find themselves sitting on the curb waiting for the trash truck. The human story has become irrelevant in the face of history. It’s a tragedy to waste these decisive moments that were important enough to that person, in that time, to be worthy of encapsulation forever on film. These images are the authentic, pure, real, look into the life of a person living life and this average persons view of their world is as fascinating and telling as the most brilliant scholars thesis.

Mia Semingson is a photographer and artist living in Lafayette. She is exhibiting a piece created specifically for Denver Square. She also has two pieces in the Boxy Books show in the Reading Room.
gallagher_mars for blogTony Gallagher is exhibiting works from his series Anthropomorphize. With an SX-70 Polaroid SLR (single-lens reflex) camera in hand, Tony captured this series on Alterimage 600 pack film—now discontinued, but chosen for its color, grain and matte surface.

Words Works opens

Words Works / March 6  – April 18, 2009, at Abecedarian Gallery.

Denver area artists included in the exhibit are Gail Watson, Joan MacDonald, Katie Taft, Kirsten Vermulen, Kimberly MacArthur Graham, Lara Schenck, Mia Semingson and Rachel Hawthorn.
Also exhibiting are Evan Jensen (Annapolis, MD), Donna Price/Juliane Leitner (Asheville, NC/Altmuenster, Austria), Heidi Zednik, (Asheville, NC) Melissa Duckworth (Royal Oak, MI), Sue Anne Rische (Lubbock, TX) and Tate Foley (Athens, GA). Artists are listed here in first name alphabetical order. Images of all the works, as well as price details,  can be found at the Abecedarian Gallery Flickr site.

LifelinesDonna Price is an Asheville, NC based sculptor and Juliane Leitner is a ceramicist living and working in Altmünster, Austria. Price’s work was included in a three-person exhibit at Abecedarian Gallery last fall. Leitner has not previously exhibited in the US. They collaborated last month during Juliane’s month long visit to the States on Lifelines. About this piece they say: (Julia) In 2008 I started working with “Kluppen,” the Austrian dialect expression for wooden, hand-carved clothespins. The region I grew up in has a 450-year-old carving cottage industry; the “Kluppen” carvers were considered to be the lowest of the carvers, and so also the poorest.  In my 2008 installation, “Kluppenklang”, I elevated and honored “menial” employment, such as carving “Kluppen” (in the past) and assembly line work (in the present) to a higher level by recasting it in porcelain.

(Donna) ‘Lifeline’ rapidly evolved from the gift of 14 porcelain clothespins into collaboration with Julia Leitner.Our discussions resulted in images, ideas and associations of what a clothespin represents in society, past and present. Julia’s original project involving these porcelain clothespins had also explored similar phrases and associations from the Austrian perspective. An intensive German to English and English to German translating session resulted in the phrases on each ‘clothespin’.

The image of the clothespin, and how it relates to life-relationships, holds both negative and positive connotations. It literally becomes a lifeline of how we relate to one another as human beings…our needs, our desires, our fears and our exploitations.

evan jensenEvan Jensen is an illustrator, designer and printmaker living and working in Annapolis, MD. On exhibit are  intaglio prints incorporating both printed and handwritten text. This is the first Denver showing of his work.
Gail WatsonGail Watson is a letterpress printer and book artist. She maintains a studio and residence on the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway near Rollinsville, CO. Her work is frequently included in group shows in the Denver Metro area. Last fall, during a residency at Platte Forum, Gail began a project casting letterpress wordforms in earthenware. Exhibited in Words Works are a continuation of that project.
zednikHeidi Zednik is an Asheville, NC based visual artist and writer. She is currently represented by Abecedarian Gallery and was the focus of a 3-person exhibit last year. Zednik has become increasingly interested in the actual process of each piece –  how to hold the essence of thought, line or color at its moment of creation. These pieces of pigment and thread on used chemex coffee filters heavily impregnated with beeswax initially appear minimal or fragile, yet in time reveal the strength of poetic practice. Her pieces in this exhibit are a continuation of a reoccuring theme – the tensions of growing up in two countries and were begun during 2005 visits to her home town of Altmuenster, Austria then finished this year.
macdonaldJoan MacDonald is a mixed media artist and long-time member of Edge Gallery in Denver. She lives and works in Pine, CO. Her work was included in Interweavings at Abecedarian Gallery last year. On exhibit are selections from First Draft: A life deconstructed through writing in the genre of the William Burroughs, Anais Nin and Andy Warhol diaries. “First Draft” was begun in September 1999 as an outlet for the thoughts that are continually flowing through one’s conscious and unconscious mind. Similar to Jonathan Borofsky’s “Thought Books” and his counting works, the words and thoughts that unceasingly flow are acknowledged and recorded. MacDonald has chosen to track the subconscious coming into consciousness onto paper. Thoughts, partial thoughts, memories, observations, reflections, dreams, events and automatic writing; the prosaic to the profound, are all woven together into over eighty word pictures. The words are written on Rives BFK paper in pen and India ink with an ink wash background.

Katie Taft is a Denver artist (currently a member of Sliding Door Gallery) best known for the sculptures she creates and places in a variety of circumstance and then photographs. For Words Works she has crocheted more words – her first crocheted words were exhibited in the Interweavings exhibit). Guilt, gilt, guild, geld and guile crotcheted from a linen rayon blend are gold in color and exhibited on a paper-cut backdrop. About words Katie says I used to be afraid to put words in my work, fearing that the visuals wouldn’t stand on their own, that if it needed explanation I hadn’t done it right. But these days words come much easier to me they not only convey information, literally, but also visually and materially. In this work the word is the art both in body and in spirit.
Katie  was taught to crochet by her grandmother in 1980. Katie can be commissioned to crochet other words.

grahamKimberly MacArthur Graham is a Denver painter regularly shown at both commercial galleries and art centers across the Western US. In 2004 she began a year-long collaboration with writer Kathryn T. S. Bass on the Within/Without series. "For a year, every few weeks I met with poet Kathryn T.S. Bass to exchange paintings and poems, reflect upon our experiences as artists and women, and share tea. I painted panels that responded to her poetry, and she wrote poems that responded to my paintings. Within/Without is the intertwined result of our conversation, which centered on issues of creativity, fertility, and feminism. Over the course of the project, we grew as artists and as friends." The four remaining panels available from this series are on exhibit.  Copies of the Within/Without catalog are also available.

Kirsten Vermulen is a Denver area musician and visual artist, currently working with Itchy-O. Her work was included in Transparent/Opaque at Abecedarian Gallery last spring. For Words Works she created a bird does not resemble an egg. Developed in response to a poem by the 13th century Persian poet, Rumi, the panels reflect an indefinite middle, between beginning and end, idea and outcome, egg and bird and the relief found in soft deliberation.

schenckLara Schenck is a printmaking student at University of Colorado, Boulder. Her work has been shown locally at Inklounge and at Core. A triptych of drawings and wall mounted tri-fold book from her No Do I series.

Melissa Duckworth is an MFA candidate at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. Her installation Love in Four Pieces was exhibited last year in the Denver metro area at both East End Applied Arts and Abecedarian’s Interweavings show. More selections from that series are included in Words Works.  The ability for readers to interact with a book in a meaningful way, and through that interaction to be engaged viscerally with the text is the main thrust of my work in the book arts. "Love in Four Pieces", explores the voyeurism and exhibitionism that has become so prevalent in youth culture today, as well as the exploitation which exists within even exclusive relationships. The work as a whole is nuanced in its redundancy, a reflection of the confessionalist poetry which was the inspiration for the book and installation.

semingsonMia Semingson teaches photography and book arts at University of Colorado, Boulder.. She shows regularly at Abecedarian Gallery, including the Sculptural Book show last year and most recently in Molten II –  Erotic Bookworks. Exhibited in Words Works is Self-Conscious My newest piece titled Self-Conscious consists of three identical looking books each approximately the size of an “A Format” paperback novel (4.33" x 7.01"). Inside the books house folded pages from one discarded mass-market romance novel.

hawthornRachel Hawthorn
is a Denver mixed media artist and is currently a member of Sliding Door Gallery. This will be her first time exhibiting at Abecedarian. On display are selections from the Family Secrets portfolio. Although photographically produced, the pieces are word rather than image based. 

These images represent a collection of family photographs as they might be displayed on a wall in the living room or hallway of a home, with generations of the family joining together in the display. Unlike the happy moments that are captured and displayed on a wall, however, these text based pieces represent the unspoken issues, thoughts, struggles and negative interactions of the family, the dirt secrets, hidden dramas and other things in the past that aren’t so picture perfect.

rischeSue Ann Rische of Lubbock, Texas teaches at Texas Tech University. Her studio work is primarily in metalsmithing and drawing. Her work was included in Transparent/Opaque at Abecedarian Gallery. in Words Works are exhibited sand-blasted teacups based on tea-reading ritual and a grouping of open-weave, crotcheted pillows stuffed with various religious texts.

Tate Foley is an MFA candidate in printmaking at University of Georgia in Athens. His work is numerous private collections and widely exhibited. This is the first showing of his work in Denver. Here are exhibited screenprints paired with found print in a series of diptychs. Text is ubiquitous. It is misspelled, perverted, and reused to reflect subliminal messages, hidden meanings, and subconscious thoughts. Read as headlines and advertisements, text works to sell not simply ideas, but new thoughts about ideas, beliefs, and modern concerns.

My work aims to thrust the viewer into divergent thinking and nostalgic recollection, while keeping the work lighthearted. I am interested in the use of narrative to convey memories about a person, and the play on narrative to create blithe situations for the viewer to relate and react to.

Student Works

Student WorksJanuary 15 – February 28, 2009

an invitational exhibition of printworks created by students in Colorado and bookworks created by students throughout the United States.

This exhibition, curated by gallery director Alicia Bailey, showcases printmaking students from Colorado College in Colorado Springs (Brynn MacLeod and Natasha Blitz), Colorado Institute of Art (Elena Zadouri, Ronnie B. Johnson and Tai Bickham) and Metropolitan State College of Denver (Haylee Ebersole and Tymla Welch).

 The exhibition includes examples of a wide range of imagery and technique. In addition to single process techniques such as Haylee Ebersole’s intaglio & lithograph prints, Natasha Blitz’s photopolymer prints, Brynn MacLeod’s woodcuts  and Tai Bickham’s salt prints, the exhibition includes mixed-technique prints such as Tymla Welch’s mixed-process intaglio, screen-printing and flocking prints, Ronnie B. Johnson’s platinum/palladium prints that are crafted by combining both film and digital negatives and Elena Zadouri’s cyanotype dresses.

 There are very few institutions that offer degrees in bookarts degrees in the United States. This exhibition includes representative works from those that do  such as the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA (Andrew Huot and Asa Yoshi) and Columbia College Chicago, IL (Areujana Sim). Most of the students in the exhibition are in programs that offer occasional book arts classes in the printmaking, graphic arts or writing programs. Hannah Penny Nichols and Agnieszka Michalska, are both in the Masters of Creative Writing Program at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Anita Redmond is working towards a BFA in painting at Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights, Beth Lee is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Art in Graphic Design at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Lindsey Yankey is working towards a  BFA in Illustration at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Ginger Burrell is pursuing a BFA in Photography at San Jose State University, San Jose, CA. The following students are all in different disciplines at Metropolitan State College of Denver, CO:  Jacintha Clark (painting), Matt Nelson (sculpture) and Cassandra Stampadoes (metelsmithing).

Art Institute of Colorado Students Ronnie Johnson, Elena Zadourit and Tai Bickham

Included in the Student Works show at Abecedarian Gallery are seven Platinum/Palladium prints by Ronnie Johnson, a BFA candidate at Denver’s Art Institute of Colorado. Johnson’s love is working with film but he understands and implements well the qualities of working digitally. The end result are prints with tonal subtleties that suit both subject matter (natural and urban landscapes) and technique well. Framed prints are $450 each. Unframed $350 each.

Statement:  My two portfolios, Landscapes and Cityscapes, are a study in contrasts. Though they are opposite subject matter, I am producing images about the same thing: light and darkness, stillness and motion, time and space. I study how these contrasts exist in the wilderness and in the urban environment. When the moment is right, they can overwhelm the viewer with beauty and emotion, and that is the moment I intend to capture with my images.

 I use a hybrid workflow by capturing my images with 4×5 black and white film as well as a high-end digital camera. I scan my negatives to produce a digital negative. This gives me a consistent negative to produce my images, as well as the ability to print various sizes, and use images created with a digital camera. The platinum process has been in use since the 1870’s and has been used by such photographers as Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, and Edward Weston among many others. Platinum prints are prized for the extended tonal range and archival abilities, both of which are unmatched by any other photographic printing process. The image will last as long as the paper lasts, without fading or degradation.

Elena Zadouris also a BFA student at AIC. She is working on a series of 5 dresses of which 2 are featured in this exhibition. The fabric is painstakingly printed, one panel at a time, the dress designed and created by Elena. The final color of the fabric is challenging to achieve with  non-silver processes, particularly with the toned cyanotype (brown tone).The more elaborate of the two consists of 98 panels. Each piece is $8000

Statement I come from a place where I have seen wars, starvation, and earthquakes which destroyed not only the country, but the people’s goals and dreams with it. Looking back, I have learned that what we gain in life can be worth far more than what we could possibly lose. I come from Armenia, which is also the place where one of the greatest photographers, Yousuf Karsh, comes from. Yousuf Karsh said, “I have found that great people do have in common an immense belief in themselves and in their mission. They also have great determination as well as an ability to work hard. At the crucial moment of decision, they draw on their accumulated wisdom. Above all, they have integrity.” I strongly agree with Yousuf Karsh, in that every person is full of goals, dreams, and beliefs. We, each, have our own hopes and dreams for a better life for ourselves, our families, and our friends. With all the honesty and integrity in me, I can truly say that I am one of those people with big dreams and goals that I want to accomplish in my lifetime. I have always achieved the goals that I have set for myself. One of the most important goals in my life is to become the very best photographer that I can possibly be. My love in photography is my number one passion and it is what keeps me going. I truly don’t know what I would do if I had never picked up a camera. Photography is what helped me understand the beauty in the world and all that it means to me. Lately, I have been working on putting together cyanotype dresses. This project conveys my interests and love for love fine art and fashion. These cyanotype dresses consist of a few dozen prints that are made into different style of dresses from the 1800’s. Also, I have been working on my powerful women series that was inspiration to me from my past. That project depicts the idea of women being as powerful and as equal in strength and voice as men are. For the future, when affordable, I am determined to do a lot of nonprofit work in helping everyone in need because everyone deserves a chance in life to be happy and successful. I believe that “We all need to dream big, look deeper, take a bigger step, and while thinking bigger, dream much more bigger.”

Tai Bickham is also pursuing a degree at AIC, an associates degree in photography. She has also been interning at Abecedarian Gallery since spring 2007. Two kallitypes by Tai are on exhibit in this show. They are not for sale.

I use photography as a means of expressing my perception of my environment around me, and give an introduction to who I am and what captivates me.  My photographs represent thoughts, emotions and feelings that at times cannot be formulated or crowded with words. Often, it is through my lonesome adventures that a better understanding of what I find inspirational or beautiful comes through with my pictures and gives light to qualities of my character that may be unknown by others.  Often, what draws me to certain subjects is light, the emptiness of space, or just an internal pull towards certain landscapes or subjects that evoke a reaction in thought and emotion from me.
Within the past year, I had the opportunity to learn more in the development of alternative processes for photography. In my brief introduction to various processes like cyanotypes and van dykes, I really enjoyed the color variance and toning that Kallitypes could give to an image.  The images were toned with gold for archival purposes and to provided a cooler tone of blue and deep browns from the reddish brown’s that tend to come forth with this process. Water goddess and Tranquility, were two of the multiple images I captured digitally and then turned into digital negatives to take into the darkroom and develop on watercolor paper with the printing out process of the Kallitype.

Metropolitan State College of Denver Printmaking Students

Ebersole, Found Family.jpg

Haylee Ebersole is pursuing a BFA degree with an emphasis in printmaking from Metropolitan State College in Denver. Her mixed media pieces introduce an interactive element which is well suited to Abecedarian Gallery’s emphasis on book arts.


My work comments on the concept of traces and how abandoned pictures and objects can provide documentation of the people who once possessed them. Using found photos, I provide these traces of people with meaning, which is otherwise lost as a result of their (the pictures) abandonment.  Functioning as make-shift archives, my work conveys ideas about family, traces of people, and constructs of memory. 

Welch-2-Pink Yarn

Tymla Welch

Tymla Welch is also working at MSCD. Most of her individual works incorporate a wide range of media giving them a wonderful surface appeal.


My work is about juxtaposition, taking elements out of context and placing them together, with an underlying sense of humor. The interpretation of each piece is open to the viewer, creating a question of what is being portrayed. The combination of various printmaking techniques further supports this juxtaposition, conceptually and visually.

Colorado College students Brynn MacLeod and Natasha Blitz

Brynn MacLeod is an art student at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. In the StudentWorks exhibition she has 5 framed woodcuts, print size 15×20 from a series called Self Abstraction. Also on display is one photopolymer/chine colle print – Thought Process 1.


My love of art relates directly to its creation.  While the finished result of any art project is important, the process is where I find the most enjoyment.  My printmaking reflects my drawing style, in which I build up density and texture through line work.  Printmaking methods allow me to work with line, yet bring a level of spontaneity to my work.  For instance, a woodblock inevitably influences me to work with the grain of the wood and to include existing textures.  The resistant nature of wood rarely allows the lines that are cut to be repeated exactly.  I must constantly adjust to each new mark.  Running the block through the press also provides a measure of the unknown, as each print is subtly different from the one before.  Much of my current work is focused on an intimate look at the human body.  I aim to examine the figure and translate what I see into a medium that forces abstraction and a different method of visualization. The Self Abstraction prints are $600 each (framed), Thought Process 1 is $450 (framed)

Natasha Blitz is also a student at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. Here she exhibits 5 mixed media intaglio prints. They are $200-$250 framed.


Since starting college, I have spent nearly a year studying abroad. These experiences have made me increasingly more aware of the importance of staying present. I feel caught in a struggle to hold on to the transient experience of travel. I too often approach new places with my camera in front of my eyes, snapping photographs in an effort to hold on to what I have seen, instead of enjoying where I am.  I hope to avoid being this type of tourist, both when traveling and in my day-to-day life by making my experience of my environment personal to me.

            This group of prints was created with drawings and photos made last summer while living in Bologna, Italy. I used drawing as a way of becoming personally involved with my new city. The prints, created upon my return, reflect on the transformation of a place through the process of memory. The separate elements of each image were layered in Photoshop and with multiple polymer plates to evoke the multidimensional nature of memory. The drawing element is more prominent than the photographic to express that the greatest detail of my experience is retained where I took the time to draw.

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Metropolitan State College of Denver Book Art Students

MSCD does not have a book arts program but each fall semester MSCD students can study book arts under the tutelage of Barbara Hale. Three students from fall 2008 class are included in this exhibit.

 Matt Nelson –  a sculpture and installation student exhibits a ‘bookart object’

The piece, lit for exhibition by a custom built light box, emanates a satisfying glow that entices viewers in for a closer look. The piece is particularly stunning when it is the only light source but that experience is one that only a very few get to experience. About his work generally and this piece particularly Matt says: "In 1996 I began photographing objects and subjects of interest, honing my printing and photography skills.  In 2002 I developed the conceptual framework of “social perjury” where social issues are deconstructed and their flaws exposed covertly and with subdued humor implied.  It is up to the viewer to find the humor… it does not beat them over the head. The work usually starts with observation and research of current events and other social topics.  Once a topic is chosen, my work is then compelled to reference it in the perjorative… to put a negative spin on it.  This perjorative connotation creates the notion of frivolity and the fickle nature of humanity as we jump from concern to concern with the changing of the wind. This conceptual framework governs my work today which is manifested in multiple forms and media including digital photo montage, assemblage/found object sculpture of metals and other various found objects, as well as urethane and polyester castings of repeated forms. The digital photo montage works suggest the future of our planet as being a landscape created by man-made waste elements and the life forms that would adapt and evolve out of necessity. The assemblage of found objects references the “discarded” nature of trash and waste products.  These sculptures have taken form as fictional futuristic fossils where the bones and structures of creatures have fossilized within man-made strata of landfill trash, taking on the characteristics of the waste, as opposed to the bedrock of our fossils that we know of today. Finally, the urethane and polyester casting of objects references frivolous product developments and the exploitative nature of the free market economy, from mass-production to un-necessary and excessive impulse retail items." The price of this piece (sans lightbox) is $79.95

Cassandra Stampadoes’ primary focus is in jewelry and metalsmithing. Two of her bookworks are included in this exhibiton.

The ring is fabricated out of Sterling silver, Copper and Brass.

Statement: For the eccentric book lover in you, this ring will be a conversation starter where ever you go.  Though, you can also proudly display this piece next to your favorite books at home or in the office. SOLD

Jacintha Clark

is a painting student at MSCD. She has 2 books in this exhibition:

Statement: This it my first attempt at utilizing the book form as an outlet for my creativity. I have an interest in the artist’s book as a container of content but also as a way of pushing the boundaries of art. I enjoy the complexity that working with books offers, and the relationship I can create between the reader and the book.

History of Toys, edition of 10, $50 each copy

University of the Arts – Asa Yoshie and Andrew Huot

Andrew and Asa are both in the MFA program at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, one of the very few MFA programs that offers an emphasis in Book Arts.

Asa Yoshie sent three beautifully crafted and well conceptualized books for this exhibition.


 As a visual artist, I desire to transform intangible things, such as feeling, memory, imagination and experience, into the tangible. I hope to leave the traces of these intangibles as objects and convey a new experience to the viewer. Providing a sense of communication is an important aspect in my work. I am attracted to the book form because it is a container of knowledge, a teller of stories and an object for contemplation. The book form requires a viewer to physically handle the object in order to experience it as a whole. I consider that touching the actual object is a highly autonomous interaction. Once in a reader’s hand, a book provides its viewer a private, solitary and quiet encounter with thoughts hidden inside. Layers of meanings unfold as the reader goes through the pages. I am fascinated by the way that the book as a medium of communication also encompasses the process of communication itself. My experience of dealing with the different languages has been intense and interesting since I came to the United States from Japan in 2001.  I have become curious in observing how people perceive the unfamiliarity in sound and image, and how they compromise their feelings of uneasiness when encountering such strangeness. My House/Your House is a re-examination of our perception of matters of “differences.” In this book, I focus on the sound and the image conveyed by the different forms of language. I aim to construct the place of wonder and a bit of confusion, while also conveying the sense of fluidity in language. I want to investigate and be open to the complexity of communication.

Andrew Huot  has 4 pieces in the Student Works exhibition, ranging in price from $25-$45.


 My art is about my observations of the world’s small, passed-over details. Looking at everyday situations, I distill them down to their essence and then extend those situations outward to our collective experience. I want to make the viewer laugh or pause to consider the unnoticed details of the world. My goal is to make well-crafted artist books and prints that tell a story in a graphic and oblique way. My process starts with observing life around me; gathering details, making lists, drawing diagrams, and maps. I find the lines and shapes of patterns that I then use to begin the process of developing a complete experience, a path for the viewer to navigate. I work in traditional bookbinding structures and use methods of reproduction such as woodblock and letterpress printing for the tactile qualities they give to the final artwork. The history and form of the book appeals to me and I find ways to play with that history. Themes running through my work include commentary on everyday life and the unobserved humor of the day-to-day. The work I am doing now reflects my own experiences and life, from daily dog walks, trips to visit relatives, to interaction with my family. I observe my environment and pay attention to what I might miss while I am busily going about my day.

University of Colorado, Boulder, Writing Program – Agnieszka Michalska and Hannah (Penny) Nichols

 Agnieszka Michalska - Shadow Outline Behind/Behind Outline Shadow Two the students exhibiting books are in writing programs rather than visual art programs. Agnieszka Michalska is pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at University of Colorado, Boulder.


As a fine art photography and creative writer, I constantly look for engaging ways to integrate text and image.  Overall, it’s the tension in the space between them that motivates my fragmented understanding of both.  As forms of representation, both text and image are limited within their own reality.  I aim to push those limitations.  The artist book is one outlet for a life-long obsession.

Shadow Outline Behind/Behind Outline Shadow explores self-awareness within the fabrication of the photograph and the narrative.  In other words, it reduces both to vulnerable and self-conscious forms of representation. The obviously manipulated photograph, which is layered, faded, distorted and fragmented, compliments a text that contemplates remembrance, representation and narration.  The size attempts to provide an intimate experience for the reader-viewer.  On the other hand, its textile materiality, which proposes tangibility, contradicts the content within the piece.  Of course, there are many layers to the work in an attempt to offer an open rather than closed interpretation for the reader-viewer. One copy $100

Hannah Penny Nichols is also  pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at University of Colorado, Boulder.


The process of recycling has been influential in my work because it is intrinsic to the writing and thinking process. As humans we inherit language that has been handed down for thousands of years. We use it, manipulate it, lose it. It molds and changes along with society. I am influenced by many poets and writers; Emily Dickinson, Pablo Neruda, Gertrude Stein, Lyn Hejinian, Tomas Rivera, Brenda Coultas to name a few. Their work helps me to shape my own writing. Recycling is also important to my work because I have lately become obsessively aware of how humans have amassed stuff. Our society revolves around this industrial process where we turn raw materials into products which are purchased, used and worn. This material breaks, or out goes of fashion and then becomes waste. In Puzzled Poem I integrate both recycled goods and recycled words into the writing and artwork. They blend to create something new that may be kept until it loses value and disintegrates. I began with the poem by Brenda Coultas, “Some Might Say That All I’ve Done is Stack Up A Heap of Objects,” from her book Handmade Museum . The poem is displayed on the inside of the Puzzled Poem box. I took the words of Coultas’ poem and formed my own poem from the same words. I painted my poem over an old 100+ piece puzzle found at Savers thrift store. On the puzzle box I crated a collage of images, colors and fabrics to reflect the nature of the piece. I fastened Puzzled Poem to a frame base (also found at Savers) and the whole thing may be mounted on the wall as an art piece. One copy $300

Other Book Art Students – Lindsay Yankey, Areujana Sim, Beth Lee, Ginger Burrell, and Anita Redmond

Lindsey Yankey is a BFA student in illustration at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. Every page of this lovely book is a full spread illustration with only enough text to tell the story.  Often when students in other areas are required to make a book for a design or writing class the level of craft is distractingly low. This is not the case with A Breath of Sun. Linsdey states: My illustrations begin with a simple idea, a one sentence thought.  I begin to develop my concept for the story and illustrations through research and questions. My illustrations are inspired by the story. I work primarily work with a combination of oil paint, colored pencil, and collage. I recycle materials for a work surface by using scraps of wood, papers, and discarded book covers. I keep my materials open ended so that I am not limited. If it needs red crayon, it will have red crayon.  Several themes run through my work, primarily revolving around a concern for today’s modern society. I address my concerns through the lens of imagination, individualism, and transformation. My most recent work has been focused on developing a way to combine painting and drawing. I have been exploring story and character development. I, as many other picture book illustrators, am drawn to the idea that children’s books are not only just for children. They are a great tool of teaching and expressing ideas through all ages. I have stories to tell, color to share, and picture books are my choice of communication. One copy of two – $400

Arejuana Sim is a first semester of Columbia College Chicago in MFA Book & Paper.  The 3 books she has in this exhibition are beautifully crafted examples of form supporting content.

Beth Lee is pursuing a BFA in Graphic Design at Florida State University. Her two books in this exhibition make clear her self-proclaimed love of words.

Statement: The act of writing connects the unseen world with the physical world. It crystallizes
thoughts and allows them to be turned over and examined, tasted and built upon.
And for me, calligraphy is the physical revelation of the metaphysical structure of the
ideas; a reflection of the shape, texture and color of the phrases; and the integration of
the words’ texture and color with their meanings.

Ginger Burrell is a student at San Jose State University. The 3 books mixed-media pieces she has in this exhibition are craftily realized explorations of sculptural construct dictating content. Her piece Love/Chocolate  presents in a heart shaped candy box the connection between love, chocolate and romance in a whimsical way. ($350). Tree is a bi-directional piece crafted from a small tree stump ($350 ). Pockets is another example of using the material (jeans pockets) to refer to itself and presenting a time capsule of what people are carrying in their pockets right now ($250).

Anita Redmond has 2 mixed media books in this exhibition. She is an art student at Northern Kentucky University.


 As a book artist and a painter, I am inspired by the mysteries of imagery and words. I feel you can’t have one without the other. The interesting play on words with imagery is very important to me, as it keeps the interest of the reader along with my own. When making books I ask the question, what imagery comes to mind when reading the text and how can I make it unique? My idea of a “book” is always changing and my books are always a surprise to me. I try to choose unusual materials for my book making, such as coconut husk and yarn. I find that when I think of out of the ordinary techniques and materials, the more exciting the project becomes. Exploring materials such as yarn gives me a better understating of how I can weave actual words together.