Photo Book Works at Abecedarian

Louise Levergneux 1a

Photo Book Works is an international exhibition of artists’ books incorporating photographic imagery and/or processes as a primary element.

This is the third Photo Book Works exhibition Abecedarian has hosted and, although the exhibition’s parameters remain the same, the works in this show are more varied in approach and content than in exhibitions past.

Click here to view the online catalog of the exhibition.

The works in this exhibition do much to support the viewpoint that the physical, printed book is most emphatically not on its way out, as some loudly proclaim, but rather that the book as physical object remains and will remain a constant.
Frans Baake Aits and Ayots 1a

The exhibition is juried by Rupert Jenkins, a former letterpress compositor who is director of the Colorado Photographic Arts Center, and also combines works from the collection of Abecedarian gallery director Alicia Bailey with selections from the holdings of private collector Carol Keller. Photo Book Works represents artists from the United States, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Spain, Canada, Argentina and Australia.

Juror Rupert Jenkins remarks:

“It doesn’t need to be said that books – in this case books sourced in photography – now come in varieties and forms hitherto unimagined. They always have, of course – hand painted and inked by monks, mass produced by German inventors, scrunched into pockets for reading underground, hand made, machine made, made in the cloud and delivered to your door in three days. Like all the most vividly creative collections, these particular works interpret our countless ways of seeing and experiencing the world, and they make us better for recognizing how varied and creative those individual worlds – our universe, so to speak – is seen to be.”

Charlene Asato Uluhe Tangle 1a

As Jenkins notes, the books in this show have one commonality – their innovative use of images in book form. Most noticeable to the gallery visitor are the varying strategies employed by the artists, who weave visual stories not just through their imagery, but through the diverse materials and structures they have chosen.
Amanda Watson-Will Like Weather1a

Some of these structures are comfortably familiar to the lay-person more used to a traditionally bound, linear approach to photography books. Others incorporate pop-ups, woven imagery, concertina folds, metallic surfaces, or loose objects to fully exploit the potential of marrying single images with the book form.
Francesca Phillips White Monks 1

Artists: Alex Appella, San Antonio de Arredondo, Cardoba, Argentina;
Amanda Watson-Will, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia;
Amandine Nabarra-Piomelli, Irvine, California;
Anne Lovett, New Paltz, New York;
Beth Uzwiak, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;
Bill Westheimer, West Orange New Jersey;
Charlene Asato, Mountain View, Hawaii
Elsi Vassdal Ellis, Bellingham, Washington;
Emily Artinien, Chicago, Illinois;
Ewa Monika, Montreal, Quebec, Canada;
Francesca Phillips, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain;
Frans Baake, Enschede, The Netherlands;
Geirmundur Klein, Rotterdam, the Netherlands;
Hanne Niederhausen, Boca Raton, Florida;
Jane Simon, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia;
Joan MacDonald, Pine, Colorado;
Kevin Laubacher, Portland, Oregon,
Kristin Flanagan, Houston, Texas;
Laura Russell, Portland, Oregon;
Leah Oates, Brooklyn, New York;
Lila Pickus, Colorado Springs, CO;
Linda Morrow, Long Beach, California;
Lise Melhorn-Boe, Kingston, Ontario, Canada;
Louise Levergneux, South Jordan, Utah;
Michael Clements, Herefordshire, England, UK;
Michael Peven, Fayatteville, Arkansas;
Mirabelle Jones, San Francisco, California;
Paula Gillen, Boulder, Colorado;
Philip Zimmermann, Tucson, Arizona;
Shu-Ju Wang, Portland, Oregon;
Susan Brown, Anacortes, Washington;
Tara O’Brien, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;
Thomas Finke & Jean Buescher Bartlett, Denver, Colorado & Ann Arbor, Michigan

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Photo Book Works

in the Reading Room October 1 – 30, 2010

Merck’s Manual 2


Photo Book Works is an international exhibition of artists’ books incorporating photography as a primary element. Photo Book Works was juried by Mia Semingson whose exhibition 39+ is on view in the main gallery. For this exhibition, Semingson selected the work of 31 artists from the United States, Great Britian, Switzerland and Australia.
Images of the works in the exhibit can be viewed here

Included in Mia’s statement are the following remarks:

“The artists included in this exhibition bring their images back to the tangible realm and weave visual stories not just with images, but with the materials they have chosen and the structure that houses their work. All of these ingredients deliver the artist’s concept to the viewer.
As technology changes and upgrades, as we reach deep into our pockets to purchase the next version of Photoshop, one thing remains and will remain a constant – the book. And I will defend books to my death – they are a technology that is here to stay, a wonderful constant presence in a rapidly changing world.”

Oneiro 2


Photo Book Works includes work by the following artists:

Adam Milner, Boulder, Colorado;
Aileen Bassis, Jersey City, New Jersey;
Al Rodríguez, San Diego, California;
Anna Mavromatis, Houston, Texas;
Bessie Smith Moulton, Falmouth, Maine;
Charles Hobson, San Francisco, California;
Cristina de Almeida, Bellingham, Washington;
Elizabeth M. Claffey, Denton, Texas;
Elsi Vassdal Ellis, Bellingham, Washington;
Ginger Burrell, San Jose, California;
Jill Timm, Wenatchee, Washington;
John Watson, Springfield. Oregon;
Judith Hoffman, San Mateo, California;
Kelly O’Brien, Alexandria, Virginia;
Laura Russell, Portland, Oregon;
Lauren Henkin, Portland, Oregon;
Lee Steiner, Pearland, Texas;
Louise Levergneux, Salt Lake City, Utah;
Mary Jane Henley, Tucson, Arizona;
Mary L. Taylor, Marshfield, Massachusetts;
Megan Adie, Basel, Switzerland;
Monica Oppen, Sydney, Australia;
Paula Jull, Pocatello, Idaho;
Philip Zimmermann, Tucson, Arizona;
Sabina U. Nies, Ashland, Oregon;
Sally Waterman, London, United Kingdom;
Scott K. Murphy, St. Joseph, Minnesota;
Steve Kostell, Chapaign, Illinois;
Thomas Finke & Jean Buescher Bartlett, Denver, Colorado & Ann Arbor, Michigan;
Victoria Bjorklund, Tacoma, Washington

39+ What Comes Around Goes Around

October 1 – 30, 2010

Days into years, Day 39



an exhibition by Mia Semingson
39+ presents 366 images from a year-long photographic project.

“I turned thirty-nine on May 7, 2009 and I documented my 40th year of life by photographing every day. I used a “point-and-shoot” style digital camera to collect a series of snapshots to visually document and communicate the progression of this year of my life. As part of my project each day’s image references the previous day, either visually or conceptually. The project ended on my 40th birthday, May 7, 2010. The entire project can be viewed here.

Prior to my 39th birthday I had confronted myself many times with the concept of living in the present moment instead of looking to the past or the future as the present moment ticked by. I have since decided to change my thought process, to slow time down with the aid of a digital camera, and become sensitive to the present moment by literally seeing and photographing what is in front of me.

This old house, Day 145

The idea of the snapshot aesthetic is often considered to be amateurish or imperfect since snapshots tend to be shot quickly or spontaneously, formally lacking artistic or journalistic intent. Eastman Kodak first introduced the concept of the snapshot in the 1900’s by putting the Brownie Box Camera into the hands of common people. Kodak marketed the camera by encouraging users to capture moments in time without being overly concerned with producing perfect imagery. “You press the button and we do the rest” is their familiar slogan.

The new digital snapshot camera continues this democratic idea of easy photography for the average consumer. According to a recent study from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), 77% of American households now own at least one digital camera.

Losing, Day 36

The other aspect of this project that I am exploring is the idea of the “third effect.” A visual dialog occurs when one photograph is visually paired with another. Although the meanings of the individual images are preserved, a third meaning that is highly subjective shifting and enigmatic is produced. It can be compared to the relationship between mise-en-scene and montage in film. Gestalt psychologists have labeled this cognitive experience to seeing isolated parts connected to a larger whole as “closure.” I am pushing this idea by exploring what happens when the viewer is confronted with 366 “paired” images. I see this visual connection as a metaphor for life itself- a build-up of experiences over the course of a year represented by the relationship of the images I have chosen each day”.


Not a girl, Day 21common object, common site, Day 6

The resulting series of images, particularly when presented in book form as they are in this installation, successfully walk the line between presenting Semingson’s personal vision and images that have universal appeal with their evocation of sensations both comfortable and familiar. Also on display is a selection of framed digital inkjet prints.

Mia Semingson works in a variety of media including photography, video, performance, sculpture, and artists’ books. She received her MFA in photography and electronic media from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She was an instructor in the department for 11 years. Currently she is the new owner of Two Hands Paperie in Boulder, Colorado. Her work has been exhibited throughout the US and in Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, and France.