Schedule of Panels

Friday, January 3, 2020

Panel Presentations A
9:00–10:30 a.m.
Ace Hotel, New Orleans

Zines in the World of Book Arts

Amanda D'Amico, Senior Lecturer, The University of the Arts

Amanda D'Amico is a book artist in Philadelphia. She is Master Printer at the Borowsky Center for Publication Arts, and teaches at the University of the Arts and Tyler School of Art. She serves on the boards of the Philadelphia Center for the Book and The Soapbox: Community Print Shop.

Consider the zine: a historically low-budget, immediate codex with an urgent message for the masses. Zines have found a place amongst book artists as a way to experiment, educate, and collaborate. This presentation examines collaborative zine projects by contemporary book artists, and why they chose this medium for their work.

Mining the Archives: Ethics of Republishing Radicalism
Emily Larned, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design, University of Connecticut

Emily Larned has been publishing as an artistic practice since 1993, when she made her first zine. She is co-founder of Impractical Labor (ILSSA). She earned her MFA from Yale School of Art and is Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Connecticut.

A number of contemporary art-book publishers republish obscure historic political material from archives without the consent of the original authors. What ethical responsibilities do art-book publishers have: to remarkable material, to a public, to a deceased author, to a copyright holder, to a politically charged present, to the future?

Private Pages Made Public: The Rise in Sketchbook and Notebook Facsimile Publications
Megan Liberty, Art Books Section Editor, The Brooklyn Rail

Megan N. Liberty is the Art Books section editor at the Brooklyn Rail. Her writing also appears in, Art in Print, ArtReview, Frieze, LA Review of Books, NY Review of Books Daily, Hyperallergic, and elsewhere. She has an MA in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London.

The rise in facsimile artist's notebook and sketchbook publications, increasingly published by galleries, suggests a desire for physical archival objects. But are they just nostalgic? Or a resistance to the digital? At the intersection of artist book and research object, they represent the nexus of artwork and tactile thing-for-use.

The Cloistered Book
Alexandra Janezic, Book Artist

Alexandra Janezic is a book artist and letterpress printer living in Iowa City, Iowa. She received her MFA in Book Arts from the University of Iowa Center for the Book.

Historically, books have been known to be clasped as a part of their structure, or sealed with a lock to keep their contents contained to specific audience. Who is being kept in or out of these books? What type of contents are deemed secret enough to be hidden? The delicate balance of privacy and the democratic sharing of information can coalesce in complicated ways within the structure of the book. Contemporary book artists such as David Stairs and Sam Winston have conceived of books along similar principals, yet each has ensured in different ways that no one will ever be able to reveal the contents of the books they have made. This presentation seeks to explore how the sealing of a book can create a world equally as stimulating and confounding as what can be found in a book’s interior.

The Social Life of Objects: Bookbinding as Networking in the Life of Mary Louise Reynolds during the Surrealist Movement
April Sheridan, Special Collections Manager, Joan Flasch Artists' Book Collection/School of the Art Institute of Chicago

During the cultural shift between the two world wars in France, Mary Louise Reynolds, an American expatriate bohemian widow, became an important anchor in the surrealist art movement. Her elaborate but often overlooked bindings of works by her artist friends helped prime an understanding of artist books. She is frequently described as a “modest” person, but her role in the underground network of the resistance and in creating safe spaces for artists during troubling times shows her fortitude. Using archival material and primary sources, I sought out a clearer portrait of the woman who was a maker, benefactor, and important thinker of her time.

Ulises Carrión's “Margins, 1975”
Thomas Baldwin, Graduate Student, Hunter College, CUNY

Taking a single art book as a starting point, Margins from 1975, I explore how the career of Ulises Carrión hinges on this work, defining the artistic concerns of form and language that drive his many experiments in publishing, stamp art, and book art.

Libraries and Archives Are Not Neutral: Recognizing and Repairing Bias

Katie Risseeuw, Preservation Librarian, Northwestern University Libraries

Katie Risseeuw is the Preservation Librarian at Northwestern University Libraries, where she focuses on preventive conservation responsibilities. She is a letterpress printer and active in the Chicago printing community.

This presentation focuses on how bias operates through libraries and archives–specifically in the acquisition, description, and accessibility of collection material. The stories absent from institutions are ones of marginalized communities and people; new policies and initiatives attempt to repair this harm. Community libraries/archives, however, actively create a space for these voices and offer a path to inclusivity.

Imploding the Library
Edwin Jager, Interim Associate Dean, College of Letters and Science, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

Edwin Jager is an Interim Associate Dean in the College of Letters and Science at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. He has an MFA and a Graduate Certificate in Book Arts from the University of Iowa. Using sculpture, print, and text, he explores the book as physical and cultural artifact.

Is there a better intersection for book arts than the library? In this presentation, I will recount my efforts in working with my university’s academic library to create a series of altered books from the library collection, catalog them, and then have them recirculate.

Can you also show us some of those artist books?: Book Arts-Based Instruction across the Disciplines
Cristina Fevretto, Head of Special Collections, University of Miami

Cristina Favretto grew up in Trieste, Italy and moved to the US at age 19. She has worked in libraries--public, private, and academic--for most of her life. She has helped build significant book arts collections at Duke University’s Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture, UCLA’s Young Research Library, San Diego State University’s Special Collections, and most recently at the University of Miami Special Collections. She enjoys the inspiration and wonder artist books bring to almost everyone who views them.

Although our University doesn't have a press or a book arts program, projects based on artist books are among our most popular initiatives. Our region is steeped in vibrant artistic traditions, and although artist books were not typically on the wider arts radar, we knew they would resonate with our diverse populations. What we didn’t know was just *how* popular this collection would become. This paper focuses on the many collaborations our department has fostered by using our artist book collections (coupled with our 15,000 strong zine collection), not only with University partners but with elementary and high schools as well as local communities.

Installing the Codex

alea adigweme, MFA Student in Art, University of California Los Angeles

alea adigweme is a multidisciplinary artist-scholar working in creative writing, book arts, performance, social practice, and visual/dimensional media. She has graduate degrees in both Nonfiction Writing and Media Studies from the University of Iowa and has been published by Bustle, Gawker, and the dancing girl press chapbook series.

Lydia Diemer, Artist

Lydia Diemer holds an MFA from the University of Iowa and works in print media and installation. She has exhibited at EFA Project Space (New York), The Soap Factory (Minneapolis, MN), Des Moines Art Center Downtown (Des Moines, IA), and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art (Omaha, NE).

Riley Hanick, Certificate Student, Center for the Book, University of Iowa

Riley Hanick is the author of Three Kinds of Motion (Sarabande Books, 2015) and the lead author of Mapping the Imaginary (ALA Editions, 2019). He received an MFA in Nonfiction from the University of Iowa and has been published in Seneca Review, Sonora Review, eyeshot, Labor World, and No Depression.

Betsy Hunt, Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota Duluth

Betsy Hunt lives in Duluth, MN and teaches Digital Art at the University of Minnesota Duluth. She has an MFA from California Institute of the Arts, 2008. Betsy has exhibited video installations at Elephant Art Space (Los Angeles), Soo Visual Art Center (Minneapolis), and the Duluth Art Institute (Duluth).

Zach Moser, Artist

Zach Moser uses animation, illustration, and video to make short films, art installations, and comics. Zach has exhibited work at Ochre Ghost Gallery (Duluth, MN) Elephant Art Space (Los Angeles, CA ) and the Soo Visual Art Center (Minneapolis, MN). He currently lives and works in Cedar Falls, IA.

What kind of book needs a hallway, a gallery, a room (or several) to exist? What kind of installation is built for continuous marking-up, re-reading, and active engagement in order to elaborate a plural, mutating authorship? While one of the enduring appeals of the book is bound to its portability, this panel will explore the desire to create site-specific work that includes but is not limited to the codex. Growing out of multiple and overlapping media sources, with an emphasis on varying experiences of contiguous and contingent referral, we will consider how individual and collaborative art installation can curate, frame, and contort expectations around reading, information, and process-based participation.

Panelists alea adigweme (The Roslyn Forbes-Adigweme Memorial Library), Lydia Diemer and Riley Hanick (The Office of Oceanic Feeling), and Betsy Hunt and Zach Moser (Vacationland) will draw from specific challenges and outcomes from three recent installations, alongside their broader questions as artists, scholars, and makers.

Panel Presentations B
3:00–4:30 p.m.
Ace Hotel, New Orleans

Colophon, Catalog, Curation, and Community
Marnie Powers-Torrey, Managing Director, Book Arts Program & Red Butte Press, University of Utah

Marnie Powers-Torrey holds an MFA in Photography from the University of Utah and a BA in English and Philosophy from Boston College. Marnie is an Associate Librarian at the J. Willard Marriott Library and teaches letterpress, bookmaking, artist books and other courses for the Book Arts Program and elsewhere.

Ruth R. Rogers, Curator of Special Collections, Wellesley College Library

Ruth Rogers is Curator of Special Collections at Wellesley College, where she acquires rare books and contemporary artist books. Specializing in the evolution of the book as material culture, visual communication, and artistic form, her current work focuses on articulating standards and creative approaches for teaching with institutional collections.

Beth Shoemaker, Rare Book Cataloger, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, & Rare Book Library, Emory University

Beth Shoemaker is the Rare Book Cataloger at Emory University’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archive & Rare Book Library. In addition to cataloging, she also acquires for the rare book collection, including artist books. Hopelessly in love with the book form, she is also learning letterpress printing and book-making.

As scholarship and makership in the field increases, so does the number and variety of artist books that fall into the miscellany of N7433.3. Notoriously hard to research but rich with diversified content, artist books are potential resources with a multiplicity of access points for a broad range of users. As educators and makers, how can we best reach the broadest community of readers/viewers? This panel brings together the perspectives of a cataloger, curator, and teacher/maker to discuss the challenges of and strategies for accessing artist books. How does each of these gatekeepers of collections provide keys for discovery to students and the broader community? How can makers, catalogers, curators, and educators refine practices to foster readership? Through this discussion, we hope to expand upon scholarship and efforts in the field by culling language across the roles of cataloging, curation, education, and making in order to encourage the use of a common descriptive vocabulary that can be used by makers to support cataloging and curation, and in turn, access.

Nine to Ninety: Book Arts for All Ages
Tennille Shuster, Associate Professor of Graphic Design, Mercer University

Currently associate professor of graphic design at Mercer University, Shuster earned her MFA from Florida Atlantic University and her BFA from James Madison University. A Florida Artist’s Book Prize recipient, she has work in numerous collections including the Jaffe Center for the Book and the Hamilton Wood Type Museum.

No pre-req? No problem! Explore new ways of sharing your passion for book art outside of an academic setting by introducing the field to audiences of all ages. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of a variety of formats, techniques, and materials in the context of leading accessible workshops, as different ages and settings represent specific considerations and needs. Get helpful tips and tricks on how to effectively operate workshops and lectures to a wide range of ages, from Girl Scout troops to senior center groups, and share your own experiences on how to successfully seek out opportunities and deliver successful workshops that expand our community of book artists to include people of all ages.

(Book) Arts Build Community in Rural Regions
Melanie Mowinski, Professor, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

Melanie Mowinski is a professor of art at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Mowinski holds an MFA from The University of the Arts and an MAR from Yale University. Her books under the imprint PRESS • 29 PRESS can be found in private and public collections around the world.

This project began through brainstorming with an artist who performed radio-stories live on stage that chronicle three families at or below the poverty line. As part of this, college students in the community worked with guests of the local food bank to create artworks,and responded to their collaboration by designing letterpress and digital typography works that advocate for food security as well as other social issues through positive messages.

How can the arts be accessible to those who do not have the financial means to engage in the arts either as a maker or a consumer, thereby building an arts community where all feel welcome? What does inclusion and equity mean in the arts? Are the arts really accessible to all? This paper documents the process of this collaboration from the idea to implementation, including grant writing, outcomes, the messiness of collaboration, and most importantly how arts build community.

The Lively, Practical, Non-Academic World of Pop-Up Books
Shawn Sheehy, artist, educator, published author/creator

Shawn Sheehy has been teaching and making artist books since 2001. Two of his artist pop-up books have been published by Candlewick Press: Welcome to the Neighborwood (2015) and Beyond the Sixth Extinction (2018). He currently serves as director of The Movable Book Society. He holds an MFA in Book Arts from Columbia College Chicago.

Academia has little to offer in the instruction of paper engineering. Workshops, how-to books, websites/youtube videos, private studio opportunities, and an autodidacticism based on taking apart trade pop-up books are keeping the three levels of the industry afloat—trade, artist book, and the blurry, burgeoning level of larger crowd-sourced editions.

Bridging Book and Film at the Intersection of Poetry and Typography
Warren Lehrer, Artist/Writer/Professor, SUNY Purchase + School of Visual Arts

Warren Lehrer is a writer/artist described as a pioneer of visual literature and design authorship. Honors include: Brendan Gill Prize, three AIGA Book Awards, Center for Book Arts Honoree; NEA, NYFA, Rockefeller, Ford Foundation fellowships. Professor at SUNY Purchase and founding faculty member of SVA’s Designer As Author MFA program.

Judith Poirier, Artist, Professor/Director of Graphic Design Department, École de design, Université du Québec à Montréal

Judith Poirier’s work focuses on experimental typography and the relationship between printed page and cinema screen. Her many honors include Best Canadian Film Award and two TDC Typographic Excellence Awards. Professor at the École de design, Université du Québec à Montréal, she directs the research project The Printed Thing.

Emily McVarish, Artist/Writer, Professor, California College of the Arts

Emily McVarish is a writer, designer, book artist, Professor of Design at California College of the Arts. Her work has been exhibited internationally, published by Granary Books, and collected by major museums and libraries. Her critical writing is featured in Visible Language, Design and Culture, and Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis.

From a distance, we see a poet, book artist, and filmmaker crossing a bridge. It’s a trek made every day between the land of writing and picture-making. They’re not in a rush. They enjoy the journey as much as they need to get to where they’re going. (Work, presumably.) Zoom in closer, we can see it’s actually only one person, and from her, (his, their) perspective, there is no bridge, and the two land masses are really one and the same.

The renaissance in book arts over recent decades has served as a laboratory for re-imagining the visual, physical, time/space properties of the book. Some of the same practitioners who have helped expand the notion of what a book is and experiment with different ways of composing and navigating texts have also been making films/videos as part of their practice.

This panel features three seasoned artist/typographer/writers who make books and films, and also teach. Each will present examples of projects they have worked on that manifest in a book or a film or a combination of both, and discuss the similarities and differences of the various intersecting modalities they work in. They will reflect on the content and form of these projects, the personal, cultural, political, aesthetic/poetic underpinnings, and methodologies and technologies employed. Together they’ll share joys and frustrations of intersecting with multiple fields, and challenges and rewards of bringing hybrid approaches into their teaching.

Panel Presentations C
4:45–6:15 p.m.
Ace Hotel, New Orleans

Hair + Book: Body Politics in Book Arts
Alisa Banks, Independent Artist

Alisa Banks uses materials that reference traditional craft to address aspects of identity. Her work is in several collections, including the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Museum, and the New York Public Library. Alisa received her BS from Oklahoma State University and her MFA from Texas Woman’s University.

Diane Jacobs, Teaching Artist, Right Brain Initiative

Diane Jacobs uses materials that surprise and stimulate associative and visceral reactions in an effort to interpret society and initiate change. Her prints and artist books are in the Getty, SFMOMA, the DeYoung, Achenbach, New York Public Library, Library of Congress, and Walker Art Center, among others.

The artist book creates intimate spaces where viewers engage layers of meaning in a variety of forms. The structure of the book object, the use of text and /or imagery or not, and how it is made, all communicate ideas. The nuance of time is an essential ingredient in an artist book. Hair is fiber that can be manipulated on the body and in the book. Hair, though an inert material, has power. It is familiar and foreign, personal, unique, and loaded with historical references and societal biases. Hair can enable the viewer to be more receptive because of its human quality. Hair can lure attention when attached to a woman's head, yet if found in food or on the floor, it is likely to disgust and repel. This phenomenon makes books featuring hair challenging to introduce to audiences. Shock value can be used advantageously if viewers can get past the initial negative implication. The juxtaposition of polar reactions can be exploited in art to question assumptions, “norms”, and stereotypes. The physical characteristics: color, texture, thickness, thinness, absence or presence, often take on political connotations. These messages may be conscious or unconscious to both the wearer and the viewer. As a book material, hair fiber can not only be used to convey a message, tell a story, disrupt beliefs, or challenge hierarchies, but also to promote community and understanding. This presentation discusses hair in book art as an expression of body politics, identity affirmation, and breaking down barriers of categorization.

Feminisms of the Upper Air
Janelle Rebel, Digital Curation and Special Collections Librarian, Ringling College of Art and Design

Janelle Rebel’s activities span critical graphic design, experimental bibliography, exhibition making, and special collections librarianship. Her artist projects have led her variously to study comparative religion and mythology to mine feminine symbols; to track material blanks within Internet culture; and to examine the role of digital surrogates, representation, and exchange.

This paper discusses the themes in Feminisms of the Upper Air (Are Not Books), a three-volume artist book exploring the intersectionality of gender, race, and religion; its timeliness for the present moment; and its manifestation as an engaging and readable set of book objects.

Generative Measures: Teaching Research and Writing in Book Arts Courses
Ellen Sheffield, Instructor of Art, Kenyon College

Ellen Sheffield’s art practice has intersected multiple disciplines. A graduate of The Cleveland Institute of Art, Case Western Reserve University and The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, she has practiced art law, directed Kenyon College's Olin Art Gallery, and currently teaches Book Arts courses in the Art Department at Kenyon College, as well as workshops at The Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory.

Students often struggle to see a connection between their studies in liberal arts courses and the hands-on skills and conceptual thinking required for studio art classes. This presentation will outline cross-disciplinary approaches for generating ideas, researching topics, and creating original writing and images for use in artist books.

Teaching Teachers the Book Arts: Adventures in a Masters in Education Program
Katherine Ruffin, Director of the Book Studies Program & Lecturer in Art, Wellesley College

Katherine is Director of Book Studies Program and Lecturer in Art at Wellesley College. She teaches at Boston University’s College of Fine Arts and Rare Book School. Katherine holds an MFA in Book Arts from the University of Alabama and a PhD in Library and Information Science from Simmons College.

Teaching graduate students pursuing a Masters in Art Education how to make books provides avenues to expand the reach of the book arts into K-12 classrooms. In addition, the book arts can foster collaboration within schools and serve as catalysts for the exploration of themes such community and sustainability.

Intersecting Spaces: Integrating Community-based Book Arts Instruction in the Undergrad Classroom
Jen Thomas, Book Arts Program Director, University of Richmond

Jen Thomas is the Book Arts Program Director at the University of Richmond’s Boatwright Memorial Library. She works collaboratively with campus and community partners to develop and implement a variety of book arts programming and holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Book & Paper Arts from Columbia College Chicago.

The Book Arts Studio at the University of Richmond works collaboratively with undergraduates and diverse community partners to create a variety of print and book arts programming. These community-focused projects are integral to our students’ learning experiences and help to expand book arts instruction beyond the undergraduate classroom.

What Was Knowledge: Artist Books and Interventions
Michele Carlson, Associate Professor of Printmaking, George Washington University

Michele Carlson is an artist, writer, curator and educator in the Washington D.C area who recently joined George Washington University as an Associate Professor in Printmaking. She is one third of the arts collective Related Tactics, who have exhibited projects at SFMOMA, The Berkeley Arts Center, and Southern Exposure.

LJ Roberts, Part-Time Faculty, Parsons School of Design

LJ Roberts is an artist working in installation, textiles, collage, and text. Their work addresses queer and trans politics, material deviance, alternative kinship structures, archives, and narrative. LJ lives in Brooklyn, NY and teaches at Parsons School of Design. They are a 2019–2020 Artist-in-Residence at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, NY.

Vivian Sming, Independent Artist-Publisher

Sming Sming Books is a Bay Area–based publishing studio run by artist Vivian Sming, producing a wide range of artist books, zines, and editions. Sming Sming Books experiments with publishing as a form of art, archive, and exhibition and is committed to promoting critical discourse and advancing cultural equity.

How can artist books provide intersectional and critical approaches to history and systems of power through disseminating interventionist perspectives and alternative narratives? This panel presents four artist books that through a range of formal and conceptual strategies reframe and intervene in oppressive histories and systems of power. These projects ask questions about narratives of history and knowledge production by employing artistic actions such as refiguring found archival material from ‘trusted’ publications such as National Geographic or the New York Times to asking participants to assess their own book collection as an archive of knowledge that may unintentionally reinforce troubling narratives of power.

This panel brings together four artist books: bricks and stone (2016–17), was sparked by rage experienced when mainstream narratives published about the Stonewall Rebellion erased lesbians and transpeople in the years preceding the event's 50th anniversary. SHELF LIFE (2018) is a series of actions that ask one to approach their own books as a collection of knowledge by sorting them in categories such as “add a pink sticker if this book is authored by or if the narrative is focused on a white man.” White Gaze (2018) works with an archive of National Geographic magazines to explore the mechanics of the "white gaze." Finally, Kentrifications: Convergent Truth(s) and Realities (2018), examines what happens to bodies in transit and how they are contextualized culturally, depending upon historically sanctioned, dominant signifiers of race and culture.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Panel Presentations D
9:15–10:45 a.m.
Ace Hotel, New Orleans

Reading Artist Books / Artists Reading Books
Woody Leslie, Independent Artist

Woody Leslie constructs large homes for tiny ideas. Equal parts book artist and writer, he writes specifically for the book form. The results are large edition verbo-visual artist books, zines, and other publications themed around autobiographical micro-memoir, and visual typographic constructions.

AB Gorham, Director of Black Rock Press, The University of Nevada, Reno; Black Rock Press

AB Gorham is a book artist and writer who holds MFAs in Book Arts and Poetry from the University of Alabama. She is the Director of Black Rock Press and Administrative Faculty of Book Arts at the University of Nevada, Reno.

HR Buechler, Independent Artist

H.R. Buechler is an interdisciplinary artist, founder of OXBLOOD Publishing, and former Print Production Fellow for the Journal of Artists’ Books (JAB). She holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts from Columbia College Chicago, and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

MC Hyland, Lecturer in English Literature, New York University

MC Hyland holds MFAs in Poetry and Book Arts from the University of Alabama and a PhD in English Literature from NYU. She is the founding editor of DoubleCross Press, and the author of a dozen chapbooks and two poetry books: Neveragainland (Lowbrow Press 2010) and THE END (Sidebrow 2019).

Through the integration of text and image, artist books have the potential to draw from the field of both visual and literary arts. However, more often than not, the field of book arts aligns itself with visual art, while ignoring literature. Take for example art exhibitions as a method of public presentation. Even if we are lucky enough to be able to turn the pages of an exhibited book, galleries are simply unideal environments for reading. They are uncomfortable, full of distraction, and overwhelming in the number of books presented. Gallery shows pretend that artist books have more in common with paintings, prints, and sculpture than with poetry, essays, and novels. While some artist books are easily displayable visual works, there are many others whose integrity is undercut by the gallery, if they are even accepted by the gallery at all.

Book arts exhibitions are numerous, while artist book readings are near nonexistent.

This panel seeks to address this issue by itself being a reading. Four artists will read from their books, drawing parallels to how writers present their work at book launches and poetry readings. But we do not wish to ignore the visual nature of our work either. The readings will incorporate visual elements to address the experiential difference of seeing a book page and hearing it read, as well as the difference between the written and spoken word. All of this is in service to expand the ways in which artist books can be publicly presented.

Embracing Diverse Perspectives and Dissolving Barriers: How to Build an Inclusive Book Arts Community
Rachel Simmons, Professor of Art, Rollins College

Rachel Simmons earned her MFA from Louisiana State University in 1999. She teaches printmaking, book arts, comics & visual journals at Rollins College. Her practice examines tensions between globalization, ecotourism, conservation & climate change. In her socially engaged projects, she invites participants to explore their relationship with nature.

Matt Runkle, Writer, cartoonist and book artist

Matt Runkle is a writer, cartoonist, and book artist. He has taught at venues including San Francisco Center for the Book, University of Iowa Center for the Book, University of Nevada–Reno, and Penland School of Crafts. He serves on the CBAA board as Executive Vice President.

Benjamin D. Rinehart, Associate Professor of Art, Lawrence University

Benjamin D. Rinehart is a multimedia artist and author with a focus in printmaking and book construction. His socially charged work is currently in many public collections and has been exhibited worldwide. He is an Associate Professor of Printmaking and Artist Books at Lawrence University.

Artist books thrive in communities with a common commitment to exploring diverse perspectives and creative experiences, yet there are still barriers to offering sustainable educational programs for both academic and independent artists and writers. This roundtable presentation will explore how creative communities can work together to dissolve these barriers by envisioning a more inclusive kind of book arts education. In academia, we look for discoveries at the intersection of local and global experiences, devoting our resources to cultivating excellence, integrity, and diverse perspectives for our students. Book arts curricula, collections, faculty and staff support their institutional missions, but they can also offer significant support to local, non-academic initiatives like zine and poetry festivals, print actions, group exhibitions, and community book arts guilds. Several current collaborations between academic and independent practitioners may serve as models for a more holistic community-based approach to book arts education. We will examine how academic institutions can partner with community schools, museums, galleries and craft schools as we identify barriers such as restricted budgets, space availability and the gap between academic and independent artists’ social networks. As universities continue to devalue the arts, which alternative education models might inspire a sustainable, accessible book art education infrastructure that will weather a world where institutional support is often unreliable or exclusive? How can academic and independent book artists overcome these obstacles to build a better connected creative community?

Casting a Wider Net: Focusing on Accessibility to Maximize Impact
Alison Milham, Independent Artist & Educator

Allison Leialoha Milham is a book artist, musician and educator. She received her MFA in Book Arts from the University of Alabama and teaches workshops and courses in book arts and printmaking. Her work is held in prominent collections including Yale University Arts Library and the Library of Congress.

How do we build upon the inherently democratic nature of the book in order to reach the public in the most direct and effective way? What factors can increase an artist book’s reach and impact? How are contemporary book artists expanding beyond the covers of the book form to maximize engagement, raise awareness, and encourage positive action? For political and socially-engaged work, accessibility is key and addressing these questions is critical. This paper will explore the various ways contemporary book artists are addressing accessibility issues within our field, making use of split editions, sliding scale pricing, expanded formats and alternative means of production in order to engage, educate and activate the broadest audience possible.

Bricolage as an Intersection of Refugees, Entrepreneurship, and Book Arts
Becky Beamer, Assistant Professor, Art & Design, American University of Sharjah

Becky Beamer is an Assistant Professor at the American University of Sharjah, artist, and documentarian. Common themes that have emerged in her work include questions about personal identity, social justice, and the importance of cultural preservation. Every adventure supplies new inspiration for artistic expression, content, and process.

Bricolage is a unifying word that can be used as a method of research and creative output to demonstrate the influence of refugees on their host country. This presentation focuses on the book art creative output that is being constructed from the field research in Jordan. It’s an “Intellectual bricolage” intended to make meaning out of the web of data collection and personal resources constructing a bricolage output from a qualitative survey, personal narratives, artifacts collected from their businesses, atmospheric audio from the camp, and visuals of experience. The final creative output is a book art installation that represents the complex social relationships and observations in the Zataari Camp in Jordan.

Developing Artist Books in Context: Principles and Methods for an Inclusive Practice
Maria Rogal, Professor, Graphic Design, University of Florida

Maria Rogal is a design educator and researcher at the University of Florida. Her trans-cultural background and perspective influences her work, in which she explores the potential of design to positively shape the human experience. Her intent is to orient the design discipline toward methods and socially conscious outcomes that are inclusive and respectful.

For the past 20 years, my work has been in and about México, where I explore the visual culture of the Yucatán peninsula, which is at once both central and peripheral to the very concept and content of Mexicanidad. In this presentation I share principles and methods of working in context, with people, to research, conceptualize, and create artist books that are inclusive, attentive to, and prioritize the voices and insights of the normally overlooked, othered, non-dominant, and marginalized people and their stories. I will share some principles for working in this context to support a fieldwork methodology for book artists, informed by cultural anthropology, tourism studies, and horizontal methods.

Panel Presentations E
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Ace Hotel, New Orleans

The Future is Ephemeral: The Importance of Connecting Book Artists and Cultural Heritage Workers to Build Ephemeral Collections
Sarah Carter, Art, Architecture, and Design Librarian, Assistant Librarian, Indiana University

Sarah Carter is Art, Architecture, and Design Librarian at Indiana University. She holds a dual Master’s degree in Library Science and Art History. Her research interests revolve around increasing access to art information through a variety of channels, including controlled vocabulary for artist’s books and equity in library circulation policies.

Courtney Becks, Librarian for African American Studies & Jewish Studies Bibliographer, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Courtney Becks is the Librarian for African American Studies and Jewish Studies Bibliographer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For the 2019-2020 school year, she will co-direct the Fashion, Style, & Aesthetics Research Cluster through the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities. She loves fashion zines.

Vaughan Hennen, Digital Design & Access Librarian, Dakota State University

Vaughan Hennen is the Digital Design and Access Librarian at Dakota State University in Madison, South Dakota. Wearing many hats, Vaughan manages databases, provides instruction to art students, and schedules programming and outreach. Vaughan’s research is rooted in the intersections of critical pedagogy, Visual Thinking Strategies, and visual pedagogy.

Which works are included in special collections, and which are left out? How can librarians plan, build, and sustain dialogue with artists directly to expand the traditional special collections to include ephemera, thereby capturing voices that are not often included in institutional collections? This panel will focus on a case study of a contemporary book artist's works, discussing the development of three of their major collections at three large institutions, including how he developed relationships with the librarian/collector, and the importance of ephemeral work.

The presenters will show that the relationship between the print culture creator and librarian at its best is mutually beneficial and productive. By preserving ephemeral print cultural works in cultural heritage institutions, creators and librarians ensure future access to materials that increase access to marginalized voices. Though both parties benefit, it should be incumbent upon librarians and other cultural heritage workers, who, through their affiliation with institutions, generally wield more power, to build authentic, gladdening relationships with creators. This is because an informed, engaged librarian’s actions could impact creators, institutions, and researchers for the better. The goal is to impart on artists that libraries are usually very interested in collecting ephemeral works of art professors, students, and community artists.

Revisiting Efficacy: A Conversation about Friends, Peace, and Sanctuary (A Grant Funded Book Arts Project)
Suzanne Seesman, Artistic Director of Friends, Peace, and Sanctuary

Suzanne L. Seesman (she/her) is a Philadelphia based artist, writer, and curator whose past-life experiences in working in labor rights, education, and collective workplaces influence her writing, making, and curating. From July 2017–2019 she served as Artistic Director of Swarthmore College's Pew-Center funded Friends, Peace, and Sanctuary (FPS) project.

Islam Aly, FPS Book Artist

Islam Aly is a book artist and educator who worked as a commissioned book artist on the grant-funded FPS project. He holds masters degrees in book arts and in education and will share his perspective the project in relation to his work and research.

Nora Elmarzouky, FPS Project Manager

Nora Elmarzouky is an organizer who works in community and civic engagement and design. From September 2017–September 2019 she worked as the FPS Program Manager, performing community outreach, organizing workshops, and overseeing all logistics of the project's workshops and exhibitions. She also performed translation and interpretation on the project.

Fadaa Ali, FPS Collaborator

Fadaa Ali is a Philadelphia-based multimedia artist who works in sculpture, ceramics, and film. She was a Friends, Peace, and Sanctuary collaborator. In her own words, she is “an American woman of Iraqi origin, since my childhood I have an art talent, but I haven’t had a chance to develop it. My studies were far from art, where I studied to be a pharmacy technician when I came to America. Luckily I had the opportunity to work in art in Philadelphia with Penn Museum and Radio Silence with Mural Arts Project. I have the talents to work with antiques and integrate colors to give a different scenery.”

Academic institutions and large funders use grant-making frameworks to bring artists and community members together, ostensibly for the purposes of supporting communities through social engagement and cultural exchange. The temporary, part-time nature of grant-based work, however, means that institutional support for the work of project participants (artists, administrators, and community members alike) often ends once all “deliverables” have been delivered. The institutional timelines built around big events and “measurable-outcomes” often belies what we as artists, community members, and administrators know and experience - that the time we spent, the work we did, and relationships we built continue to shape our ongoing practices.

Revisiting Efficacy: A Conversation about Friends, Peace, Sanctuary is a roundtable discussion that takes a participant-centered and conversational approach to considering efficacy. The roundtable speakers include a commissioned book artist, a collaborating artist (a member of a community of resettled individuals invited to participate on the project), and the lead administrator and community organizer who worked together on a specific book-arts focused project. During the roundtable, each speaker will share their own perspectives. Suzanne L.Seesman, who acted as the project’s artistic director, will facilitate the discussion around the following questions: What brought us to this project? What types of knowledge, expectations, and experiences did we bring to the project? How has this project affected our creative practices since its completion? What might we suggest or share with participants of future socially engaged book-arts projects? What would we want to share with grant writers and funders about our experiences?

Roundtable: Adjunct Survival Guide
Jessica Peterson, Self-Employed Studio Artist

Jessica Peterson is a letterpress printer, book artist and teacher. She operates The Southern Letterpress in New Orleans’ lower Ninth Ward. Jessica holds a MFA from the Book Arts Program at University of Alabama (2009). Jessica currently teaches letterpress printing at Tulane University.

Adjunct teaching positions make up the majority of available teaching positions within book arts. While this leads to more jobs for book arts educators, and allows practitioners to teach while maintaining another career, there are many downsides including poor salary, lack of health insurance, no contractual agreement with the teaching institution, non standardized pay rates, overwork, and burn out.

In this discussion, we will make a list of the positives and negatives of being an adjunct professor. We will look briefly at what some academic systems have done to successfully support their adjunct teach core. We will consider adjunct pay rate across the country. We will brainstorm resources for adjuncts and create a collective “survival guide” which will be typed up and produced as a Google document immediately after the discussion, and then shared with hopes that it will continue to grow as a resource.

We will consider the following topics:

  • how to maintain active participation within the academic field of book arts as an adjunct
  • how to do research and service work without institutional support
  • how to maintain financial stability, even with multiple jobs
  • how to maintain sanity with multiple jobs
  • how to locate and obtain benefit and health insurance resources
  • how to start conversations within your department about your role as an adjunct

Levi Sherman, Graphic Designer, University of Missouri

Levi Sherman is a designer, educator, and interdisciplinary artist. In 2015, he received his MFA in Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago, where he was a Journal of Artists' Books Print Production Fellow and taught undergraduate book arts. He earned his BFA at the University of Arizona.

Leah Mackin, Leah Mackin, Victor Hammer Fellow/Full Time Faculty, Wells Book Arts Center at Wells College

Leah Mackin is a visual artist and educator who explores themes of reflection, response, and re-creation through performative publishing projects. Mackin holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA in Printmaking+Book Arts from the University of the Arts.

Jessica Hoffman, Adjunct Instructor, Pratt Fine Arts Center and Seattle Central College; Co-owner and Press Operator, Paper Press Punch

Jessica Hoffman is a visual artist and educator in Seattle, WA. Jessica’s work investigates memory, obsessive behaviors, and interactions between people and communication technology. Jessica holds a BFA in Photography from the Corcoran College of Art and Design and MFA in Book Arts/Printmaking from the University of the Arts.

Sarah Mottaghinejad, Founder of Editions and Book Arts Evangelist, Board Member of Seattle Print Arts

Sarah Mottaghinejad fell in love with book arts when she discovered the Center for Book Arts. Her favorite influences are Sarah Nichols, Elsa Mora, Julie Chen, and Ana Cordeiro. Her artist books are intimate explorations of her experiences. Sarah founded Editions, the coworking space for book artists, in November 2017.

This discussion will explore the opportunities and challenges that social media presents to book arts. Each panelist has a unique approach to social media, which together sketch out just some of the possibilities for a more connected book arts community. INTERNET ART BOOK FAIR is a shapeshifting, web-based alternative to brick-and-mortar book fairs and exhibitions. One contribution to INTERNET ART BOOK FAIR, called #booklooks, further examines the relationship between social media and the material world. The #areyoubookenough challenge inspires artists with a monthly theme and brings together the responses on Instagram. Artists’ Book Reviews pairs conventional art writing on a blog with reviews that are reformatted for distribution on Instagram. These projects demonstrate social media’s role throughout the artistic lifecycle, from creation to exhibition to appreciation.

Amid privacy scandals and concerns about emotional health, artists are grappling with whether and how to use social media. The panelists will facilitate a transparent conversation, beyond the carefully curated feeds that characterize art world social media. Drawing on experience from their respective projects, they will cover practical advice as well as conceptual considerations. How can book artists use their interdisciplinary visual literacy to responsibly create and consume social media? How can it benefit such a tactile, material field? In the spirit of social networking, audience participation will be encouraged.

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