Category : Exhibit

The Book as Art exhibit

I’m so excited to have work on display as part of The Book as Art exhibit at Axel’s Gallery & Frame Shop in Waterbury, VT. The exhibit was co-curated by Axel’s owner Whitney Aldrich and visual artist Marilyn Gillis and is open now through April 8, 2017.

Window display of altered books

Here’s what the gallery has to say about the exhibit:

In the exhibit Book as Art, nine women artists explore the limitless artistic possibilities of the book. Each work challenges our ideas of what a book can be with innovative structures, content, materials and creativity. Artist books will delight and fascinate as they move you beyond the page.

I have several pieces in the show and I’m thrilled to be joined by the fine company of other Book Arts Guild of Vermont members – Marilyn Gillis, Dorsey Hogg, Penne Tompkins, Ann Joppe-Mercure, Rebecca Boardman, Vera Ryersbach, Judy Sgantas, and Marcia Vogler.

Note: I apologize in advance for the quality of my photos – boo to funky lighting.

You can find one of my favorite Improv books in the exhibit, DOs and DON’Ts for Not Being a Dumbass… 

Handmade artist book by Elissa Campbell - DOs and DON'Ts for Not Being a Dumbass

…as well as one of my most recent pieces, Peace Kannon.

Handmade artist book by Elissa Campbell - Peace Kannon

Rounding out my contributions to the show are Godzilla, Extreme Couponer and a batch of small leather journals with varied stitching.

Handmade books by Elissa Campbell

So enough about my work – I’d like to show you some pieces by my co-exhibitors. First off are two pieces by Marcia Vogler. I have long been envious of her illustrative style. She’s just.so.good.

By the way, check out how Whitney displayed Marcia’s panel book on the wall. She created a backing support and clipped the book to it. I have to admit that I was bad and peeked behind the magic curtain:

Next up is Rebecca Boardman. In America’s Transparent Dichotomy, she cleverly used slide mounts in a Jacob’s Ladder to create a piece in response to our current political climate.

Cochleate utilizes some amazing folding that makes my brain hurt (in a good way). Rebecca created the stand specifically for displaying this piece.

And lastly, here are two pieces by Dorsey Hogg, Vermont’s master of altered books. I can describe her skill as nothing other than insanity death folding.

There are so many wonderful pieces in this show – it’s totally worth a visit if you’re in the area.

Here’s the scoop on gallery hours:

  • Tuesday – Friday: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Axel’s is located at 5 Stowe Street.

Bookworks: Artists’ Books from the Book Arts Guild of Vermont

I recently visited the Book Arts Guild of Vermont‘s annual exhibit, Bookworks: Artists’ Books from the Book Arts Guild of Vermont. The show is at the Living/Learning Center gallery at the University of Vermont and runs until March 18, 2016. 

The gallery is a cozy little space, with books displayed out in the open (no glass cases). Signs by each book indicated whether or not they could be handled and gloves were available for this purpose.

Book Arts Guild of Vermont exhibit at UVM

There’s a lot to love about this show. I’m sure I’m biased because the participating artists are my friends, but the work is really quite nice. The exhibit includes a wonderful variety of work, ranging from altered books to calligraphy, letterpressed editions to wall pieces.

One of my favorite pieces in the show was created by Jane Ploughman – 26 Reasons: why my garden will not be featured in Martha Stewart Living. The book included letterpress prints, linoleum cuts, and collographs – and it made me laugh so hard.

Jane’s alphabetic reasons for garden failure are hilarious – Q: I quit, Z: time for a snooZe, O: those were onions NOT weeds!!!

Another piece I enjoyed was The Echo in My Soul by Ann Joppe-Mercure. The text of the book included lyrics from musicians, including Arlo Guthrie and Julie Gold. The printed box lining cleverly incorporated the colophon – it was subtle. As part of the experience, Ann offered origami cranes to her readers, in a way making them part of the book.

Dorsey Hogg is our guild’s altered book master and her piece Expanding Borders was fantastic. She carved a niche out of an atlas, which was a cozy nook for housing two semicircular books.

Did I mention that I have three pieces in the show? Two of the books are historical models – a girdle book and an Islamic binding.

I also included one of my Improv books – Fabruary. I figured that the content was appropriate considering that the exhibit started in February. Here’s a shot of the book with my head:

Elissa Campbell with an artists' book

Get thyself over to UVM and check out the exhibit – you won’t be disappointed. And if you happen to be far, far away – don’t fret! You can see all of the pieces on the Book Arts Guild of Vermont’s website.

Book Works exhibit

The most recent meeting of the Book Arts Guild of Vermont took place at the SEABA Gallery – it was the setting for our current group show, Book Works. I’m always impressed by the quality and variety of work that is created by members of our Guild.

Here’s a description of the show:

The artists redefine the normal concept of the book, using various mediums and techniques to construct or reconstruct pieces that tell a story, and can be ‘read’ in some way by the viewer. A group of books altered by folding and manipulating pages represents the outcome of the guild’s monthly meeting program where members share skills and encourage creative work. Other works represent the broad definition of the book as explored by painters, textile artists, and paper lovers.

My entry for the show was Superhero Handbook, a book I created during the 2014 Book Arts Improv. It was so nice to see it on display…

Artists' book - Superhero Handbook by Elissa Campbell

…and even nicer to see that it had sold!

Exhibit wall sign

Here are some of my favorite pieces from the show:

The show is fabulous and well worth a visit. You can check out the work up close, now through April 24th. If you can’t make it, you can view the exhibit on the Book Arts Guild of Vermont website.

Book Works – Book Arts Guild of Vermont exhibit

BAG 2015 exhibit postcard

The Spring 2015 exhibit from the Book Arts Guild of Vermont is entitled Book Works, and includes work from members and friends interested in the structure and format of books. The artists redefine the normal concept of the book, using various mediums and techniques to construct or reconstruct pieces that tell a story, and can be ‘read’ in some way by the viewer. Other works represent the broad definition of the book as explored by painters, textile artists, and paper lovers.

The exhibit is taking place at the SEABA Center Gallery at 404 Pine Street in Burlington, VT during the month of April. The opening is tonight, on April 3rd, from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., during First Friday Art Walk.

I have one piece in the show, Superhero Handbook – this is one of my books created during the 2014 Book Arts Improv.

If you’re interested in hearing me talk about the book, come to the gallery on April 8th from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Members of the Book Arts Guild of Vermont will present to discuss their work. I think it’s fascinating to hear about artists’ creative process and inspirations, especially in person – it’s so much better than just reading a sign on the wall.

I hope to see you at the gallery!

Hello Hedi

Hello Hedi logoThe 23 Sandy Gallery currently has a call for entries for HELLO HEDI, a juried exhibition of book art inspired by the work of Hedi Kyle. The exhibition will be on view at the gallery from June 5 – July 25, 2015.

One of the cool things about the show is that it coincides with the Focus on Book Arts conference. The artists’ reception is on June 26th, the Friday of the conference.

Laura Russell will be jurying the exhibit, while Hedi will be choosing the awards. Here’s a blurb from the 23 Sandy website about the exhibition:

…this is more than just a structure show. No blank books, please. We are looking for works that honor Hedi’s paper transformations with smart stories, strong concepts, focused contexts and excellent craftsmanship. We are open to works that adapt her structures, or works that expand her ideas and continue that sense of discovery that has long inspired us all. This international juried exhibition will also feature books by Hedi herself.

I am hoping that Hedi will attend the reception – she’ll be presenting at FOBA the night before, so she’ll be in the area. I don’t have anything in particular to talk to her about, it would mostly just be me being a total fan geek.

If you’re interested in submitting work for the exhibition, you have until March 28, 2015 to enter. Visit the 23 Sandy Gallery website for more details.

NEGBW Geographies exhibit

The most recent meeting of the Book Arts Guild of Vermont took place at the University of Vermont. We had a dual purpose for the visit – our annual trip to Special Collections and the viewing of the New England Guild of Book Workers‘ exhibit Geographies.

I really enjoyed the NEGBW exhibit. Here’s how the curators summed it up:

With the only restraint that the work must relate to the theme of New England or the individual New England states, the 26 exhibitors were free to explore and express their creativity in a finished product of their choice, ranging from fine leather bindings to artist books and calligraphic productions.

Stephanie Wolff (NEGBW Exhibitions Coordinator) and Deborah Howe came up from Dartmouth to show us the pieces up close. They removed several books from the glass cases and gave us background on the work or the creator of the pieces. It makes such a difference to see work out of the display.

My favorite piece was Stones by Vermont artist Susan Bonthron. The work is based on a poem that Susan wrote about her daily walk up the hill behind her house. In addition to the illustrated book, there’s a stone wall landscape (with a wire-edge binding) that opens up to surround the piece when on display. The stones in the wall were collaged from an assortment of assorted paste and marbled papers.

A design binding by Patty Bruce also caught my eye. I loved the variety of patterns and textures used. Here’s what she had to say about her piece:

Life along the river’s edge is conjured up by this interpretation of the river painted on fabric using this primitive style, the symbolism of grass rooted in textured leather representing the river embankment and combined with a variegated leather that creates imagery of the horizon during a seasonal snowy mix.

The design binding of Little Women by Elizabeth Curran was insane (in a good way). The Orchard House is embroidered on the cover with amazing attention to detail.

Plant Corridors by Nancy Leavitt had an interesting focus – the evolution of plant life as it spreads via hitching rides with vehicles. In particular, Nancy’s book looked at vegetation along the Maine Interstate-95 corridor.

The miniature books by Todd Pattison, My Maine, had lovely textures. I just wanted to pop them in my mouth.

The five books are Maine products, as the text blocks are comprised of paper made by Katie MacGregor and the covering materials were all gathered from our land in Maine. The books combine the two things that make Maine special to me, the beauty of the natural environment and the wonderful people.

I think it would be fun to create a Vermont series of books in response to Todd’s work.

Grahem Patten’s book Call Me Trimtab is a fantastic sculptural piece and watching it being opened was fascinating. The way the book panels balance with the tension of the linen thread is mind boggling. The piece was inspired by R. Buckminster Fuller, an architect and inventor who grew up in New England.

There are many more pieces that are equally wonderful and I highly recommend checking out the exhibit if you can. You can read a post about the exhibit on the New England Guild of Book Workers blog – it lists upcoming exhibition dates throughout New England. You can also download the exhibition catalog for your reading pleasure.

The exhibit will be at the Bailey/Howe Library at the University of Vermont, Burlington, VT through December 12, 2014.

Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here

I recently saw the traveling exhibit Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here at Goddard College in Plainfield, VT. The exhibit commemorates the 2007 bombing that resulted in the loss of a vibrant cultural and literary community in Baghdad. The exhibit has been traveling the world since 2012 and includes artists’ books and broadsides by artists from 26 countries.

The exhibit at Goddard included a small selection of the total works collected for the exhibit, which numbers at approximately 260 artists’ books.

Upon entering the exhibit space, I was immediately taken by the piece My Poem Becomes Theirs by Helga Butzer Felleiseh. It consisted of long hand cut vellum panels that gracefully cascaded down the wall. Her hand work is amazing.

The next piece that caught my eye was a collaborative book created by students at the School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan. Witness Al-Mutanabbi contained prints that focused on a variety of themes, including freedom of expression and violence as a method of censorship. The book showed the wide variety of responses to the bombing.

In general, I found myself attracted to the letterpress broadsides, which usually don’t draw my attention as much as artists’ books do. It’s probably due to my use of the Dartmouth letterpress studio – I have an increasing respect for the art form.

Overall, it was a powerful exhibit and I’m glad that I had the opportunity to see it in person. If you’d like to see the exhibit, check out the exhibition schedule and if you’re lucky, maybe it’s coming your way. They have dates set into 2016.

If they’re not going to be in your neck of the woods, you can view pieces from the exhibit online.

Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here exhibit

Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here exhibit

Book Arts Guild of VT Spring Exhibit

I recently visited the Book Arts Guild of Vermont‘s spring exhibit, Nature: Beasts and Botanicals, at the Rae Harrell Gallery in Hinesburg, VT. I’m always amazed by the wonderful variety of work created by B.A.G. members and I’m proud to have my work exhibited alongside them.

I have two pieces in the show – A Dog’s Diary

DSCF9392-001

…and Rabbit Glue.

DSCF9394-001

One piece in the show that I enjoyed was Bestiary, uncommon creatures A-I, by Marcia Vogler. It contained nine fabulous, imagined creatures that I wish really existed. Marcia has a great sense of humor, which shines through in this piece.

Artists' book by Marcia Vogler

I also liked Maryann Riker’s A Pop-Up Field Guide to Flowers of North America. She’s got some mad pop-up skills. Seriously.

Pop-up book by Maryann Riker

The show is open now through June 16, 2014. If you can’t make it, you can check out images of the featured pieces on the B.A.G. website.

Ken Leslie’s Gold Dome Cycle

Last week I attended the opening for Ken Leslie‘s Gold Dome Cycle at the Vermont Supreme Court. I was particularly interested in seeing the exhibit because I’m taking a workshop with Ken at the Paper and Book Intensive in May – he’ll be teaching how to make his toroidal (a.k.a. doughnut-shaped) book structures.

For Gold Dome Cycle, Ken painted the view from the top of the Vermont State House every two weeks over the course of one year. One of the cool things about the shape of his books is that it allows him to depict things in a panoramic view. As a resident of Montpelier, I loved seeing his rendering of buildings I pass every day and take for granted (the DMV!).

The piece is really stunning. The person who created the frame is a genius.

In addition to Gold Dome Cycle, there were more than a dozen pieces on display – all stunning.

The exhibit runs now through March 28th at the Vermont Supreme Court in Montpelier, Vermont. If you’d like to learn more about Ken’s work, check out the wonderful video below, produced by Stuck in Vermont.

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