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.

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Molten II – Erotic Bookworks – in the Reading Room

Exhibit Dates: February 13 – March 28, 2009

An invitational exhibition featuring erotic book works that transcend the merely pornographic or
 explicit, that quietly arouse, that leave space in which imaginations can cavort and thus appeal
 to most adult viewers, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation or sexual identity.

 Curated by Alicia Bailey, whose erotic bookworks are held in numerous public and private collections worldwide this exhibit features several of her pieces. 
”As both artist and curator, I have kept in mind that erotic needn’t mean only explicit; needn’t only include realms of physical sensation; eros touches the spiritual, mental and emotional realms of experience as well.”

The exhibition also includes books by Brenda Gallagher, Warren Buss, Jenny Craig , Mia Semingson, MaryAnn Riker , Roberta Lavadour, Gregory Paul Santos, Jules Seigel and Stephanie Marinone as well as selections from gallery inventory.

Brenda Gallagher (Niwot, CO) exhibits 2 ‘bed books’ which, although similar in size, structure and intent use 2 different texts, one (Never in a Bed) written by Gallagher and the second (Come on Down) with lyrics by Colorado singer/songwriter Beth Amsel.


Statement:
 I like to think of myself as an emerging book artist. I fell in love with the book arts ten years ago when I took my first book binding class. On the surface it is the smell of the leather and wax and the feel of the paper that draws me to it. Deeper down I’m attracted to the combination of an unlimited medium that could take any shape, size, or use limitless choice of materials, paired with meticulous craft. I get to feel the free flow of unbounded creativity, no boundaries tempered by the discipline of fine craft. I look forward to the next opportunity to create something that has a message that is real, in a form that is inspiring.

Warren Buss (Beaverton, OR) exhibits Deshabille, an exquisite limited edition piece incorporates layers of fabric, thread, handwritten and laserprinted text to present ‘that long dialogue about love’


Statement: What is truly sensual is of-the-moment in which it is happening: it is before we have words to describe it, and has no component of memory, only direct experience.

So what happens when we make sensual objects? It seems paradoxical — clothing a transient experience in the guise of a physical object. And the book, more than many other art forms, comes as a fully dressed object: ideas expressed into words, words ordered onto pages, pages gathered into signatures, signatures sewn into bindings. But still the events about which a book speaks happen in a moments of undressed experience. Is it possible to work backward, undress the book, find again the original experience while still containing it in a book structure?

Or do we lose something by trying to distill experience into objects? Is creating an object to remember something akin to Orpheus looking back at Eurydice and losing her forever?

Jenny Craig (Seattle, WA) also exhibits a limited edition piece. Tail is elegant in simplicity with letterpress text on a gate-fold accordian. Each copy of the edition of 51 has one of Jenny’s long hairs running through the entire text block.

Statement: My hair is long, and this causes a fascination in others. It is a source of some perplexity to me, because the main reason my hair is long is that I ignore it entirely. I take pleasure in my hair – in the weight of the braid, in the color, in the soft cloak of it when I brush it out – but these feelings are only mildly erotic, and I don’t spend a great deal of time fussing with it. I am not a traditionally beautiful person, but there are people who desire my hair. I enjoy being desired, so I don’t quibble, and I may have fantasies involving it, but I will leave that to your imagination. It’s an odd, lively thing, my hair.
The idea behind this book is to articulate some of the things I am thinking about when people walk up and take liberties with my hair, which happens quite a lot. It’s incredibly satisfying to put it in print, but don’t take it too seriously, because I don’t. Each book includes one of my very longest hairs. I cull them periodically for the book, when I think I have a few that are long enough.

Mia Semingson (Lafayette, CO) also explores the use of hair and the contrast between thoughts of eros and the creepiness of hoarding hair for a decade. Her piece, Memorabilia, sandwiches hair collected over a decade in between plexiglass, cased into a book form.


Statement: Hair holds a fascination for all cultures. It is one of the only parts of the human body which at the same time is capable of painless amputation, infinite manipulation, and for the most part endless regeneration. Hair, by its physical properties, suggests a state of life in death (it can continue to grow after we die), and death in life (hair is composed of dead cells). It is different from the body because it is shed throughout life and in a sense it is capable of living a life of its own. Attached it visually belongs to the person, but it is not integral to his or her corporeal substance. Once detached, it has the ability to refer back to that person like a fetish.
I am utterly fascinated with hair, mine and other people’s. It is luscious and radiant, decorative and dangling, yielding and soft.  I am interested in what form hair is beautiful or acceptable and what form we find it grotesque.  In the Victorian era, before the invention of photography, people collected hair and made hair wreaths, necklaces, earrings, and watch chains as a tangible remembrance of their loved ones. In 1839 the daguerreotype, the first photographic process was invented. Soon photographic images of loved ones began appearing in jewelry along with hair. But the coming of this new technology was the demise of hair objects due to the detail and “life like” representation of the person, and over time replaced it completely. Memorabilia revisits this history of hair and its reference to a particular person. Life a photo album, this book holds and displays a piece of me collected over a period of 10 years.

Maryann Riker (Phillipsburg, NJ) exhibits two miniature button books from the Button series. Each one inch circular book is a an absolutely charming piece with buttons for front covers.


Statement: A presentation of Rococo masterpieces that focus on one area — (either the gluteus maximus or the belly button.) A small accordion format book with a real button for the cover unfolds to present this humorous display.

Roberta Lavadour (Pendleton, OR) has 2 pieces in the exhibit.


Statements: That’s the Way I Like it (Today), 2009
 This work was inspired by Jan Voss’ “Wartelist” (1984), which allowed the collector to purchase a variable number of additional sheets for the book, making the character’s wait at the bus stop as long or short as desired. In this work, the viewer can use post screws of different various lengths and printed pages to create a book as long or as short, as quiet or noisy, or as monotone or accelerated as desired. The book can be disassembled and pages used to recreate a different experience for each viewer.

Dangerous Chemistry, The original manifestation for this work was designed as a rebellion to the election of George W. Bush (“The ought to be limits to freedom”), but, with the dawn of a new era, I wanted to recontextualize it in a more humane and personal way.

Gregory Paul Santos (New York, NY) exhibits Pillow Book a piece originally bound to be the guestbook for a 2001 exhibit called The Erotic Works. Upon its completion the curator decided that the sensual texture of the covering material along with the direct sexual content of a vibrator being literally screwed through the front case were cause for the binding to become a part of the exhibit and to not be used as the guestbook.

The blank text block now serves as a catalyst for the viewer’s perverse lusts, sexual dreams, or taboo desires while also providing a platform to record and document any secret eroticism.

Jules Siegel (Cancun, Mexico) exhibits Memoir A handwritten illustrated novel
A digitally printed trade paperback it is available in two versions. One is straight from LuLu the other signed and personally endorsed, $100; unsigned $23.86

The private erotic diary of a mysterious artist, his beautiful wife, and her tempting sister, in a steamy tropical fishing village where there are no roads, no electricity, and no escape from each other or their memories.
Written in my own calligraphic hand, with many sketches and other illustrations, Memoir dissolves through reality, dreams, fantasies and visions of tender explicit sex and unrequited love. Unlike many “literary” novels, however, Memoir is a pleasure to read, as the text and the visual presentation combine to tell the story in vivid detail.
Originally published in 1975 an edition of 350 copies, this book established me as a book artist. It was exhibited at Franklin Furnace along with my other literary art works, and is now in the Artists Books Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Stephanie Morinone (Portland, OR) has 3 mixed media pieces in the exhibition. Two of the three, Woman’s Herbal Kit and Ritual Passage include tantalizing smells, the third,  Silent Treacle, has pages rich with beeswax.

Statement: The objects that I create are aphrodisiacs, seductive pieces that encourage you to read, smell and touch them, objects that excite your animalistic yearning for sensory understanding.

Often I ponder the ways we encourage or invade our desires within the solitude of our minds and through fabricated items and environments. One book I made titled Ritual Passage contains light brown, arm-length, leather pages each separately sewn into a leather cover and closed with a bone clasp. The text and symbols are burnt into the pages to give the book an otherworldly, ancient feel. The story is a myth about the transformation of a girl through a sacred yet abstract ritual based on a dream from my childhood.

I define desire as a yearning that is undeniably felt and to which one hopes to satisfy or repress. I have been exploring desire in my work and believe that it is not just sexual; it is a need that drives a person. I have a vital need for beauty, knowledge, strength, and healing.

More images and price details of all of these pieces can be found in the Flickr Album linked to this blog.

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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.

Statement
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.

Statement

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.

Statement

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.

Statement

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.

Statement

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.

Statement

 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.

Statement

 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.

Statement:

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.

Statement

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.

Statement:

 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.