TACOMA – Puget Sound Book Artists (PSBA) will open their 4th annual members’ exhibit with a public reception and Awards for Excellence celebration on Thursday, June 5, from 5 to 7 p.m.The exhibit, featuring 57 handmade books by 39 artists from the Puget Sound area and beyond, will be held at Collins Memorial Library on the University of Puget Sound campus in Tacoma, Wash.
The public is invited to three special, free events that will run alongside the exhibit. All will be held in Collins Memorial Library.
5–7 p.m. Thursday, June 5
Opening Reception: The winners of the three Awards for Excellence will be announced at 6 p.m. The awards include the Collins Library Award, Curator’s Choice Award, and Recognition of Excellence Award.
5:30–7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 19
Conversation with the Artists: Book artists featured in the exhibit will talk about the inspiration and creative process associated with one of their pieces.
5:30–7:30 p.m. Monday, July 14
The Artist’s Vision: From Idea to Completion: A panel discussion will be held with a select group of Puget Sound Book Artists members. Suzanne Moore, distinguished calligrapher and book artist, will moderate.
Book artists distinguish themselves in the field of art by merging new structures of the book with historical forms, creating distinctive pieces that challenge our ideas of what constitutes a book. Each artist shares a personalized experience through the medium of the book as object. The creative techniques used can include photography, printmaking, drawing, painting, hand lettering, and digital media. Unusual and surprising materials are often employed.
Mary Ashton’s In Praise of Women incorporates a straw hat; Pat Chupa’s Book of Changes has terracotta figures as book covers; An Gates’ Folium employs sheets of mica; and Lucia Harrison’s Old Growth: Beneath the Forest Floor I is created from handmade papers from plants that she harvests on the Olympic Peninsula.
Artists also may choose unusual styles of binding, such as Japanese stab binding, tunnel books, felted wool, accordion books, pop-ups, Coptic binding, hanging books, and books of cloth. Mari Gower’sAlchemist’s Lunchbox and Jan Ward’s My Collaboration with Nature–Book Arts Tool Box are reminiscent of 17th-century cabinets of curiosities.
The 2014 PSBA Members’ Exhibition curatorial team includes Deborah Greenwood, An Gates, Patricia Chupa, and Elizabeth Walsh.
Puget Sound Book Artists is a nonprofit organization comprised of professionals and amateurs from all quarters of the book, paper, and printing arts—including bookbinders, papermakers, printers, book artists, archivists, and conservators. The group aims to provide educational opportunities and to foster excellence through exhibitions, workshops, lectures, and publications dealing with various aspects of the art of the book.
In 2013 the PSBA was awarded the City of Tacoma AMOCAT Arts Award for Community Outreach by an Organization. The group meets monthly for lectures and/or “play days” which are designed to be learning opportunities for beginning and experienced book artists.
In 2014 the PSBA began providing membership awards to students of book arts and allied printing arts, giving them the opportunity to exhibit their work and to assist with events. PSBA also collaborates with other artists’ organizations to present public events, including the Book Arts Guild of Seattle, Guild of Book Workers, and Tacoma Calligraphy Guild, as well as Pacific Lutheran University and University of Puget Sound.
The exhibition catalog will be available for purchase. Information about ordering a catalog will be available during the exhibition and on the PSBA blog: blogs.pugetsound.edu/pugetsoundbookartists/