Book Arts Guild of Vermont visit to UVM Special Collections
Last Wednesday I attended the monthly meeting of the Book Arts Guild of Vermont. Instead of meeting in our usual location, the Firehouse Gallery, we took a field trip to UVM Special Collections at the Bailey/Howe Library.
Special Collections at UVM is well-regarded among members of the College Art Association. According to an article in the Spring 2006 issue of Vermont Quarterly, The Illuminated Word: Special Collections Celebrates Artists’ Books, UVM’s book arts collection has grown to over 2,700 volumes. That number includes both fine press and artists’ books. Amazingly, you don’t need an appointment to view the collection. You can drop by any time during regular library hours and the staff will be happy to assist you.
The Guild visited Special Collections a couple of years ago and since then, the library has changed their policy on glove use. At our first visit, we were required to wear white cotton gloves when handling books. Visitors to Special Collections now no longer need to wear gloves. I asked Prudence Doherty, the Special Collections Librarian, why there was a change in policy and she remarked that there is an industry standard that is now against glove use.
Prudence gave us a wonderful tour of a selection of books with themes of “family” and/or “home”.
I really enjoyed Emily Martin‘s book More Slices of Pie. This piece is based upon an earlier work of Martin’s Eight Slices of Pie, with each slice containing family stories and recipes. I was particularly drawn to the work because it wasn’t complicated in its construction and yet it conveyed such a powerful message. It reminded me that sometimes less is more – you don’t need a lot to create a strong visual statement.
On the other end of the design spectrum is Julie Chen of Flying Fish Press. Her work is so layered and complex. I love love love her work. I was lucky enough to view one of her more recent pieces, Panorama.
I also got my hands on Evidence of Compression, a Chen work from 2001.
I look at Julie Chen’s work through different eyes now that I’ve taken a class with her. Before she was just awesome.
Now she is total awesomesauce.
I blogged during my weeklong class with Julie and you can read all about it in the posts listed below: