Special Collections, Skillman Library, Lafayette College in Easton, PA has curated an exhibit around four New Jersey book artists. All of the book artists have either taken, taught workshops at Lafayette or are/were artists in residence for book arts projects under the direction of Curlee Holton at the Experimental Printimaking Institute or EPI as it is locally known. The exhibit curated by Diane Shaw, Director of Special Collections and Pamela Murray, Rare Book Cataloger/Project Archivist is entitled "Crossing the Delaware: Miller, Mitchell, Pisano and Riker" runs from February 1st through the end of May. One of the artists, Mary Ann Miller has a diverse background and brings to her book arts, a painterly approach along with her wonderful poetry. Trained as a painter, Mary Ann has had many exhibits of her outstanding paintings and came to book arts in 2000 at EPI. Along with her book arts she also has worked there assisting and eventually printing her own works. I have had the privilege to view many of Mary Ann's earlier works and can see the processes and philosophies that have informed her book arts practice. Her poetry has been published by PS Books of Philadelphia and is entitled "Locus Mentis" and continues to work at EPI as their artist in residence. In her own words: "MaryAnn L. Miller has been the Resident Book Artist at the Experimental Printmaking Institute, Lafayette College since 2001. Her work is in the National Museum of Women in the Arts and other special collections. Miller has curated book arts exhibitions and given accompanying workshops at SUNY Geneseo , Universidad Autonomia Metropolitano, Mexico City, University of Costa Rica, and the Noyes Museum of Stockton College, NJ. Miller has been a presenter and exhibitor at the NJ Book Arts Symposium, Rutgers, Newark, NJ. Her work encompasses the rudiments of human existence, our biological identities, who we are genetically and culturally. Also a poet, Miller is published in print and online journals, as well as her full-length book of poems: Locus Mentis. She publishes hand-bound artist’s books through www.luciapress.com." A very talented lady,artist and poet, indeed.
With winter bearing down on us, it never fails that trips and weekend plans for New York City can be changed on a moment's notice. But, this weekend, we did make it in and despite the chill, New York City warmed us up with some great exhibits, particularly book arts related! First up, is the wonderful Louise Nevelson exhibit at the Pace Gallery on 26th Street. Instead of her wonderful assemblages, this show highlighted collage work from the mid-50's to the 80's. Marvelous in their starkness, her use of materials predated Rauschenberg's use of cardboard, wood and tar paper. These collages sparkle with their earthy grittiness--definitely worth a look. On 27th Street, check out FIT's new exhibits featuring knock-offs and copies in "Faking It" in the first floor exhibit hall and the influence of Halston and Yves St. Laurent in "Fashioning the 70's" in their lower level space. The Museum at FIT is one of my favorites! Always exquisite shows and free! Take a stroll over to 6th Avenue and 27th Street to view the new exhibits at the Center for Book Arts. The main exhibit curated by Maddy Rosenburg highlights the Center's collection; the artist's spotlight showcases Collette Fu, whose popup books are amazing! Collette Fu will be teaching a popup-with-lights workshop at the Center in March and is worth checking out. Another great exhibit that is book arts-related and worth a look-see is at Skillman Library at Lafayette College, Easton, PA. Entitled "Crossing the Delaware: Mary Ann Miller, Liz Mitchell, Maria Pisano and Maryann Riker", this exhibit curated by Diane Shaw, Director of Special Collections and Pam Murray, showcases the work of four New Jersey book artists whose works are not only part of Lafayette's Special Collections, but have taken workshops, taught workshops or worked with Curlee Holton at the Experimental Print Institute at Lafayette on book arts projects. The works which are currently on display in the Simon Room show the diversity of styles and perspectivies. More work will be on display from late March to June in the main lobby of the library. A panel discussion with Karen Guancione will take place on Wednesday, March 25th at 4:15 p.m. in the Gendebein Room with a reception to follow. This blog will highlight three of the book artists in the coming weeks! With more snow in the forecast, stay warm and safe and keep creating!
It’s only January 7, 2015 but Valentine’s Day is approximately five weeks away! Another great time to give your loved one, a special little gift. What’s more fun than an artist’s book and Vamp and Tramp has some new offerings for your bibliophilic honey. Check out their online catalog for January which is entitled “Around the Kitchen”. It offers lovely little goodies (these have no calories) about things from the kitchen such as books on pickles, herbs, great cooks, “3 Cooks in the Kitchen” and the history of the spatula, “Whip it Good” (shameless self-promotion here). They also have a great selection of artist’s books to select from that were produced in 2014. Check it out as an alternative to the traditional box of chocolates and flowers! Another great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, is to give a gift of love to the Center for Book Arts. They have just released their new schedule of workshops for winter and they all look wonderful. A membership as a gift provides discounts to their workshops, their online store or any other merchandise that they offer for the book and letterpress lover! If you have the urge to help your loved one with their creative endeavors in the bookmaking arena, Vamp and Tramp and the Center for Book Arts offer great books on bookmaking and letterpress. Also books by Esther K. Smith, Alisa Golden, Gabrielle Fox and Gwen Diehn make great gifts and provide hours of creativity in book arts! So, enjoy this cold weather and remember, Valentine’s Day is less than 5 weeks away and give a gift that will be special and lasting without any calories!
With the holiday season upon us, I am fretting about Christmas gifts this year. A hectic schedule and life's challenges threw me for a loop and my normally organized Christmas shopping has been put off until now. So, off I went to my computer and started shopping, buying and printing! Okay, and what did I get! I purchased three different museum memberships as gifts. One to Metropolitan Museum of Art for my friend who loves Byzantine art, one to the Museum of Modern Art who loves Matisse and one to the Museum of Design and Craft for my friend who is a fabulous jeweler! They will be gifts that keep on giving. I made some handmade popup cards, and will enclose their membership certificates. No mall shopping for me! Then I was onto the friends who love book arts! Ah ha...easy! First off a membership to the Center for Book Arts and you can locate them at www.centerforbookarts.org; then a subscription to Maddy Rosenberg's magazine publication that accompanies her exhibits at Central Booking which can be found at www.centralbookingnyc.com; and finally, a few purchases from catalogs at Vamp and Tramp for those who love artist's books at www.vampandtramp.com. Some more handmade popup cards and in go the subscriptions and book works! Vamp and Tramp has some great buys for $50. and under. Some other great gift ideas for those book lovers can be found at www.barnesandnoble.com or www.amazon.com. Great book artists have published some phenomenal books on how to create their lovely little works. Check for books by such favorites of mine as Esther Smith, Helen Hiebert, Gwen Diehn and Gabrielle Fox. Order the book, print out the sheet and enclose it in a card and mail it to them via bill to ship to selection on these sites. They bill you and ship to the recipient! All of my shopping done without leaving the house and using my car! Here's to a stressfree and happy holiday season!
After an absence that included an ill-filled September and a mechanically car-challeneged October, there is a lot to cheer about especially book arts exhibits! As always, check websites of the organizations mentioned to make sure of hours and exhibit venues! There are a few days left to catch a great book arts exhibit in upstate New York in Ithaca at The Ink Shop Printmaking Center entitled "In and Out: Sculptural Books" curated by Kumi Korf. This exhibit is a showcase of the structures that she has taught at her classes and workshops throughout the U.S. and her structures are architectural, sculptural and wonderful! While in upstate New York, shoot over to Rochester, NY for the annual "Art of the Book" at the Rochester Public Library. This is another one of those great book art exhibits that provides tons of artists books and altered books to ooh and aah over. And, of course, the writer is promoting them as she has artists' books in both! Stay in the wonderful state of New York and trek on down to New York City for Central Booking's "Buildings" exhibit curated by Maddy Rosenberg. This is another exhibit sure not to disappoint since Maddy includes not only artists' books, but performance, video and sculpture in her exhibits. The fabulous Center for Book Arts also has a great book arts exhibit entitled "Behind the Personal Library" and Richard Minsky, who founded the Center is their special artist exhibit. Scoot on over to the wonderful Fashion Institute of Technology for their FREE museum exhibits. One on the top floor showcases how lingerie influenced fashion and the other exhibit housed in the basement, showcases how dance influenced fashion. Both are superb for inspiration and a nice way to break up trekking around the city! Check out Chelsea while you are in the area as they always have great exhibits and it's nice to see cutting edge or what the galleries term up and coming artists. One of these to catch is David Hockney at Pace which is his new drawings done on his Applie IPad and enlarged to 6 x 8 foot drawings. Quite spectacular to say the least! That's it for now and get out and enjoy this warm autumnal weather the East Coast is enjoying.
After returning from Denver, Colorado, I had scheduled several workshops at the CREATE Mixed-Media Retreat. I am a huge advocator for taking workshops to up your creativity and learning new techniques and the CREATE Mixed Media retreat caught my eye when viewing various arts retreats. First of all, they have several locations that offer some wonderful workshops so I had my choice of where and when. Secondly, they offered a plethora of workshops from bookmaking to gelli plates and more! It gave me the opportunity to kind of do a mix and match of workshops during the day as well as shorter evening workshops that were less involved but just as fun. The other thing is that one of these conferences was within driving distance for me...another big plus! So, I signed up for one workshop, then another, then another, then another and finally ended up with about 5 workshops! So, I took a fantastic metal vintage journal workshop with Erin Keck which I loved! I learned, hinging, metal stamping and some neat new beading techniques and it included a book. Always a plus in my book, figuratively! In the evening, I took a workshop with Kecia Devaney on using resin which I was always hesitant about and walked out with a great piece that I will definitely wear plus I've worked with resin since and really love the medium! Another great workshop was with Laura Mica, queen and expert artisan of polymer clay. Her small reliquary pins were wonderful to make and I have since purchased stamps to make similar sized works to house small miniature books about women saints! It was great and that will probably be my holiday vacation project to keep me busy! Another great workshop was with Erin Keck who taught a small heart pin that covered cold connections, metal etching, and more things that I loved learning! Take a look at what they offer! Some of the bookmaking classes are amazing and although I did take the Tin Angel workshop with Thomas Ashman I was more impressed with his metal books and journals. I was very pleased and am looking forward to next year's offering that if I don't give in and sign up for one of their mixed-media retreat weekends! Keep learning is my motto and this is a great selection of workshops to jumpstart the creativity if you need it. Plus it's always held in a hotel with a restaurant and lots of facilities for people traveling distances. Most workshops range in price from $89 for the evening classes to $152 for the day classes. Workshops may have kits that the teacher provides and are reasonably priced! Have fun and keep creating!
It's been a few weeks since this writer has returned from Denver, CO and has had the chance to write a blog post about being there! Always on the list, for a place to visit, we finally made the trip there to warm, dry, sunny weather! And, let me repeat, dry, dry, dry weather! Denver offers so much to the visitor that one post cannot cover it all, but some of the highlights that were definitely worth viewing are the city center with the exquisite Denver Art Museum that is connected to the downtown. And, of course the museum has a wonderful contemporary art exhibit as well as it's other wonderful collections ranging from byzantine to renaissance and impressionist works. In the same area, is the Clyfford Still museum which is well worth the visit to see his wonderful works and the conservation involved in restoration and maintaining a collection of works. We enjoyed the interactive gallery that allowed the visitor to decide how the restoration of one of his works would proceed! In the same area is the delightful Denver Public Library that had some delightful exhibits of local Denver artists as well as influential figures in establishing Denver as an arts community! In the same day, we also managed to walk over to the Santa Fe Arts District with about 30 galleries that opened at noon and offered a wide array of traditional southwest art as well as contemporary and of course, the Abecedarian Gallery with its wonderful exhibit of artist's books! Getting to meet Alicia Bailey was well worth the trip! On another day, we visited the Kirkwood Museum of Arts and Crafts. This is a private collection of art, furniture and everyday objects assembled and exhibited in a home-like environment. Similar to the Barnes Foundation in concept, this delightful museum showcased the artist as artist and artist as collector and it was a delightful way to spend a hot afternoon! Many fine examples of Frank Lloyd Wright furniture, drawings as well as William and Morris works were on display. We also visited the Museum of Contemporary Art which is small but delightful. Located in the LoDo district that reminds one of Chelsea with low industrial buildings of brick and glass, it was great to walk around and visit the shops and restaurants. Being the more upscale area of Denver, the visitor can find boutiques, galleries and other famous stores such as Nieman Marcus, Abercrombie and Fitch, etc. The Denver Convention Center is not far away and also offers a great walk and way to see the city! Another day we spent at the beautiful Denver Botanical Gardens with their installation of Dale Chihuly's glass sculptures and installations. Well worth spending the day there! Well, that's it for Denver and if you have the chance, it is a beautiful city with wonderful surrounding areas for day trips as well! Enjoy the summer and here's to great vacations and getaways!
As we move into the middle of summer, it's always fun to view some fun artists books incorporating popups and Vamp and Tramp Booksellers has done just that! They are offering two online catalogs for your enjoyment: one dealing with some lovely books to keep one's mind off the heat and the other their online summer catalog of popups! Here's the link: http://www.vampandtramp.com/html/home.html. As always, Vamp and Tramp takes all major credit cards, foreign exchange, checks and good old cash! Take a look and see what pops up to please your fancy!
If you are in the mood to learn how to make some of these great popups that they have featured, the next few months offers some great workshops with some great popup artists. Starting the first weekend of August, Shawn Sheehy will be teaching his great popup techniques at the Center for Book Arts on August 2nd and 3rd! Check their website for registration info and it's not too late! In November, he will also be at the Denver Botanical Gardens with a weekend workshop that is filled! But, if you live in the area, they may have some last minute openings, so get on their waiting list! Starting in September, Paul Johnson, whose books are also featured in the online pop-up catalog, will be heading stateside and offering workshops on the East Coast starting Sept. 23rd in upstate New York. Contact Ed Hutchins for more information on that and then Paul comes to the Print Council of NJ in Branchburg, NJ for a two-day workshop on how to use prints in creating popups. He will also be doing workshops in Baltimore at The Walters Museum of Art and perhaps some other venues along the way!
Another great resource for those who like the self-paced style, check out Helen Hiebert's new book release on popups. Entitled "Playing with Popups", it is a fun, simple and easy-to-understand book with great examples and easy directions!
Stay cool and here's to pop-ups!
In a recent trip into the city, we came upon a wonderful surprise. An area east of Soho is filled with small galleries and has a bohemian feel similar to the East Village gallery scene in the 80's. Called the Lower East Village, the first mainstream museum (well, maybe not so mainstream) is The New Museum. Keeping its pulse on the cutting edge of art, its exhibitions include performance, installation, video and more! Four floors of pure fun! It's location on Bowery Street is a great first stop when exploring the Lower Eastside. http://www.newmuseum.org/ Two more galleries are right near by. Head on over to Orchard Street and start at East Houston Street and meander in an out of the new galleries while heading towards Canal Street. One of my favorites is the Muriel Guepin Gallery http://www.murielguepingallery.com/ with a show of Emerson Cooper's collage work which is marvelous. We spent an hour in this great space and the Director and Staff are very warm and welcoming. Keep on going and round the corner to Ludlow Street and make sure you check out Central Booking with its new partner, Art and Science. The space at 79 Ludlow Street is wonderful and although Central Booking is closed for the summer, check out the exhibits that Art and Science are presenting. Really wonderful! Again, just keep going down Ludlow Street til you hit East Houston and you'll come across other great little galleries and spaces. Off of Orchard and Ludlow you will find other spaces as well along with great cafes and restaurants and boutiques. The marvelous thing that we were thrilled about is that most galleries in this area are open on Sunday which makes for a great way to spend a summer Sunday afternoon in the city! Like the galleries in Chelsea and uptown, most have exhibits extending through July and early August! And, they all have a great gallery map available at all locations! So, grab that iced coffee and head on downtown to another great arts destination with a wonderful bohemian, but edgy vibe! Have a great summer!
The official start of summer is upon us! Memorial Day weekend is the official start of the summer season...or maybe unofficial! Whichever way one looks at it, there are some great shows to see this weekend and over the summer!
Check out the last few days of the Whitney Biennial! With 3 curators who created the vision and the exhibit, it is always a visual fun feast! Closing May 25th, one still has a few days left to catch this show which determines the current trends in the visual arts making some artists megastars overnight! And, most people either love it or hate it! If you see it, feel free to comment on it here on my blog! Let's start a conversation!
MOMA has some hot, hot, hot exhibits over the summer! Check out Sigmar Polke and Gaugin: Metamorphosis and as always there permanent collection cannot be equaled in this writer's estimation for select works highlighting modern art, sculpture, etc. My favorite galleries at MOMA include the photography galleries and the print and drawing galleries which always showcase their extensive collections of prints and artist's books! Check out their sculpture garden for a break in the day at the museum. I always advise people to purchase tickets online, but if you can't, get there early as the crowds tend to start around noon! On Friday evenings the museum is free...but, beware, also very crowded!
Another hot spot this summer is the MET! With its rooftop sculpture garden that is open late Friday and Saturday evenings, the MET has become a place to hang while getting some culture on a summer evening! On my list of must-see exhibits is Lucas Samaras: Offerings from a Restless Soul, The Pre-Raphaelite Legacy: British Art and Design; and Charles James: Beyond Fashion. Also, the MET has the exquisite Temple of Dendur in the Egyptian wings which is totally filled with skylights as well as their sculpture galleries. I could spend several days at the NY bastion of culture!
There is nothing more refreshing as well as Central Park on a hot, summer day! Stop for an hour or so and check out the Central Park Zoo and buy a hot dog and ice cream and enjoy summer in the city!
Maryann J. Riker, owner of JUSTARIP Press is a mixed-media artist who delights in designing and creating artist's books and creating collaborative book art projects as well as viewing other book artists' work. She definitely enjoys the process!