The Art of the Book 2019

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T HE A RT OF T HE BOOK Fourteenth annual exhibition of handmade artist books, altered books and book-related materials





T HE A RT OF T HE BOOK Fourteenth annual exhibition of handmade artist books, altered books and book-related materials

Jenny Honnert Abell,

Andrew Hayes

Katya McCulloch

Gale Antokal

Janet Jones

Gail Skoff

Doug Beube

Lisa Kokin

Buzz Spector

Renee Bott

Diana Majumdar

Liz Steketee

Julie Chen

Mary V Marsh

Susan Stover

Joseph DeCamillis

Kate Nicholson/Rachel Hebert

Thyrsus Press

Brian Dettmer

Emily Payne

Richard Wagener

Daniel Essig

San Quentin Arts

Michelle Wilson


T HE A RT OF T HE BOOK Fourteenth annual exhibition of handmade artist books, altered books and book-related materials

May 1 to May 31, 2019 Reception for the artists: Saturday, May 4, 5:30 to 7:30 Front Cover: Daniel Essig, Eddy, 2019, painted wood, handmade paper, mica, lead type, urchins, Ethiopian and Coptic bindings, 5.25 x 8.5 x 3 Back Cover: Liz Steketee, Wedding Scream, 2014, book wrapped in photography, textile & thread--sewn shut, 5 x 7 x 1 Photo Credits Jenny Honnert Abell: Bob Stender Julie Chen: Sibila Savage Andrew Hayes: Steve Mann Lisa Kokin: Lia Roozendaal Richard Wagener: Jay Daniels Direct inquiries to: Seager Gray Gallery 108 Throckmorton Avenue Mill Valley, CA 94941 415-384-8288 seagergray.com All rights reserved. Catalog can be purchased through the gallery for $20 plus handling and shipping. Email us at art@seagergray.com



Jenny Honnert Abell Book Cover 151, 2014 collage on book cover 9.875 x 7.25 inches (left)

Book Cover 115, 2012 collage on book cover 10.125 x 7.375 inches (upper right)

Book Cover 71, 2009 collage on book cover 12.5 x 9.25 inches (lower outer right)

Book Cover 188, 2017 collage on book cover 6.75 x 4.375 inches (below text)


Jenny Honnert Abell Santa Rosa, California

Santa Rosa Artist Jenny Honnert Abell had been working on collages for some time when she began an exercise – to make a one-day collage on a book cover. “The laborious backgrounds of the larger works on paper were to be absent, replaced by the cover of a book that has been handled for years giving it a beautiful, natural, aged patina, needing no further embellishment,” explains the artist. The effect was magical, allowing her to create fanciful characters, like her signature bird with a human head and to effectively utilize the wonderful character and associations that come from books. Thus began an exploration that became her signature style. Abell summons the subconscious with her combination of worlds, and brings psychologically complex and beautiful imagery to life. She transforms false eyelashes into haloes, leather glove fingers into tree tendrils, and dryer lint into luxurious fur to create otherworldly fantasies. Celebrating the beauty of the bizarre, Abell loves anything new and unusual. Her works are beautiful, and they are also delightfully unique – quirky tales told on the cover of books.


Gale Antokal The Farnese Walls, 2019 boxed portfolio 15 x 12 x 1 inches (left)

Farnese Walls explanation of contents (upper right)

Farnese Wall #60, 2019 photogravure and chine-colle 15 7/8 Â x 13 inches framed (lower outer right)

Farnese Wall #32, 2019 photogravure and chine-colle 15 7/8 Â x 13 inches framed (below text)


Gale Antokal Berkeley, California

The Villa Farnese is a massive renaissance and mannerist mansion in the Roman Campagna that Antokal visited twice during the summer of 2014. Amid the opulence and painted splendor of the villa, are the undocumented, insignificant rooms where surfaces of the walls and frescoed architectonic motifs are barely visible, and reveal vague images in a painted tangle of nicks, cracks and scratches. These abraded walls presented a wealth of visual ideas that grew into a sequence of small drawings that evolved abstractly after her initial experience. She developed a process using an opaque white synthetic paper on which the graphite has been painted, rubbed, dissolved, erased, and ultimately burnished into a surface that resembles polished mirror. In her book edition, Farnese Walls, Antokal worked with master printer Unai San Martin to create a portfolio of eleven copperplate photogravures from the original drawings. From the essay by Laura Richard, “Like all of Gale Antokal’s previous work, the power of her recent Farnese drawings lies in their tension between precision and evocation, between the personal and the universal. But where her earlier series were grounded in representation and verisimilitude of people, places, and things, here crisp line and architectural detail wash away into liminal fields, only to be reconjured as the uncanny visual effects of pencil, finger, rag, and turpentine.� Gale Antokal was born in New York City and received her BFA (1980) and MFA from the California College of the Arts in 1984. She is a Professor at San Jose State University in the Department of Art and Art History. Antokal held several visiting artist positions and teaching positions including the San Francisco Art Institute, Instructor of Art History at the Lehrhaus Institute, and the American College in Jerusalem. She was an affiliate faculty member in the JSSItaly program in Civita Castellana, Italy in 2015. In 1992 Antokal received a Visual Arts Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her work is included in public, private and international collections.



Doug Beube

Brooklyn, New York

Doug is a mixed media artist working in bookwork, collage, sculpture and photography. He received his BFA in Film in 1974 from York University in Toronto, Canada and in 1983 his MFA in Photography from the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY. Prior to receiving his MFA in Photography, he was darkroom assistant to Minor White in Arlington, MA. He moved to Brooklyn in 1984 after graduating from VSW. From 1992-2012 he was curator of The Allan Chasanoff Bookwork Collection, which Mr. Chasanoff donated to the Yale University Art Gallery culminating in a 2015 exhibition entitled, Odd Volumes: Book Art from the Allan Chasanoff Collection. Doug regularly lectures on his artwork throughout Asia, Canada, Europe and the US. He was a featured artist presenting his work in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates in March 2016 at a conference on the future of the book. Doug exhibits extensively both nationally and internationally and his bookwork and photographs are in numerous private and public collections. In the fall of 2011 a monograph entitled, Doug Beube: Breaking the Codex was published by Etc. Etc. The Iconoclastic Museum Press. David Revere McFadden, former chief curator of the Museum of Art and Design in New York, wrote the introduction. The in depth overview of Doug’s artwork, with essay contributions from several well known writers, critics and curators, discusses his bookwork made over the past thirty years. Doug received a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2016. The Holy Bible, a prayer book whose contents speak about human behavior, is polemically aligned with either 'God' or the 'Devil'. In Crushed Redemption this belief system is reflected in two contradictory actions, which created the piece: the crumpling and straightening of each page. Some of the questions, which came to mind as Beube worked on the sacred text, were, "How does God punish those who perpetrate acts against his word?� and "How does God forgive those who redeem themselves by embracing his word?" If crumpling each page was an act of desecration, then subsequently smoothing them represented an act of redemption. I repeated this dual action throughout the body of the book until no more unblemished pages remained. The unforgiving nature of the damaged paper would forever retain the memory of past violence. This memory is transformed from fragile paper to what seemingly is now cold white marble.

Doug Beube

Crushed Redemption, 2006 altered bible 5 x 6 x 3 inches



Renée Bott

Berkeley, California

Ghost Ship by Renée Bott is painted on collaged book pages from a book called The Trust, by Susan E Tifft and Alex S. Jones. The book is about the powerful family behind the New York Times. The text lined pages of the book act as an armature for the departing ship. By carefully painting out the text horizontally and leaving other parts of the text visible, Bott has created a work that has the appearance of a textile and hints at the interwoven connections between text and image. The Ghost Ship, says Bott, “is a painting about loss.” She sees the boat as a symbol for those people we have lost: the ship is gloriously sailing into a envisioned space, fighting to leave a mark on the world - wanting to be remembered. “Although the choice of text was random for this painting,” says the artist, “I feel that the era of great journalism is waning, and perhaps a parallel can be drawn there as we watch this great ship depart. Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Renée Bott has always made and worked in art. She worked in fine art print publishing for over 30 years. For the past twenty years, she was a founding partner and Master Printer of Paulson Bott Press, a fine print atelier located in Berkeley, California. Here she worked with luminary artists such as Martin Puryear, Kerry James Marshall and Tauba Auerbach. Renée specialized in facilitating the creation of complex and colorful intaglio prints within a traditionally black and white medium. Paulson Bott Press has published over 500 editions, working with many artists. In 2016, the archive of Paulson Bott Press was acquired by the deYoung Museum in San Francisco.

Renée Bott Ghost Ship, 2019 book pages with acrylic and ink on canvas 60 x 40 inches


Julie Chen Wayfinding, 2019 handmade letterpress book 9 x 16 x 4.5 inches edition of 50


Julie Chen

Berkeley, California

Wayfinding examines the relationship between physical and mental learning through the context of navigation through time and space. The piece focuses the reader’s experience on the physicality of the book as object through the inclusion of 3-dimensional cast paper sheets and pages of handmade paper that rattle when turned. “I wanted to have a connection between the body and abstract knowledge so I made an alphabet of abstract shapes that are based on the positions of the head, arms and flags for each letter/gesture in flag semaphore,” explained Chen, “The second part of the book is a primer of sorts that shows the evolution of the abstract alphabet from diagrammatic image to 3-D texture and will allow the reader to go back and read the text shown on previous pages. Chen’s non-traditional approach to bookmaking inspires us to consider new definitions of what a book can be. Her talents incorporate writing, printing, binding and inventing structures that offer new experiences of reading. Under the imprint Flying Fish Press, she has been publishing limited edition artists’ books for over 20 years. Her work is known for combining three-dimensional and movable book structures with fine letterpress printing and inspired artistic vision. Julie received her undergraduate education at University of California, Berkeley and a graduate degree in Book Arts from Mills College in Oakland, California. Her artists’ books can be found in many collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. She teaches in the book art program at Mills College in Oakland, California, as well teaching workshops at institutions around the country. She lives and works in Berkeley, California. Her catalog, Reading the Object: Three Decades of Books by Julie Chen was published by Mills College Center for the Book and Flying Fish Press in a limited edition of 750 copies and can be seen in the gallery.


Joseph DeCamillis Bound to Happen —Autobiographical Straightjacket , 2019 cloth and vinyl hardback book covers hand stitched with leather details 77 x 25 x 6 inches (left)

Lost in America oil on steel plate set into altered book 8 x 5 x 1 inches (upper right)

Power/Powerless oil on steel plate set into altered book 8 x 5 x 1 inches (center right)

Potential Energy oil on copper plate set into altered book 8 x 5 x 1 inches (beneath text)


Joseph DeCamillis St. Louis Park, Minnesota

Joseph DeCamillis is a self-described life-long reader. He was on the creative writing path when the art bug got him and he’s never looked back. For the last 15 plus years his focus has been on book inspired art. One jewel is his autobiographical Straightjacket, an assemblage of hardback book covers and various items of deconstructed clothing. DeCamillis had two criteria for choosing the books used: 1. Reading the book had a major impact on his personality at some stage of his life. And 2. Title and/or subject of the book connects to some piece of his past. His tag line for the piece is “What You Read is What You Get.” DeCamillis studied creative writing at UCLA in the 1980’s before discovering a gift for telling stories with paint & brush. His style has changed slowly but dramatically– from loose bright paintings on board to dramatic scenes of everyday America painted like Dutch Masters on copper and steel. He pushed the extremes of scale until 2002 when he painted smaller than postage stamp size. When he began paintings the miniatures on copper and steel, DeCamillis found old books to be a perfect companion to further narrate and contain his exquisite illuminated images. He carved niches from old distressed books to emphasize the storytelling nature of the work and embedded the tiny paintings. The books altered through various means, serve as more than just frames for the paintings. Rather they are dimensional art objects which encourage a dialogue to unfold between the collaged elements of text, oil painted imagery and personal writings.


Brian Dettmer The New Practical Reference, 2018 hardcover books, acrylic, varnish

33.25 x 11.75 x 11.75 inches


Brian Dettmer New York, New York

Brian Dettmer is a New York-based artist born in 1974 in Naperville, Illinois known for his detailed and innovative sculptures with books and other forms of antiquated media. In his work Brian begin with an existing book and seals its edges, creating an enclosed vessel full of unearthed potential. He cuts into the surface of the book and dissects through it from the front. He works with knives, tweezers and surgical tools to carve one page at a time, exposing each layer while cutting around ideas and images of interest. Nothing inside the books is relocated or implanted, only removed. Images and ideas are revealed to expose alternate histories and memories. His work is a collaboration with the existing material and its past creators and the completed pieces expose new relationships of the book’s internal elements exactly where they have been since their original conception. About his work Brian says: “The age of information in physical form is waning. As intangible routes thrive with quicker fluidity, material and history are being lost, slipping and eroding into the ether. Newer media swiftly flips forms, unrestricted by the weight of material and the responsibility of history. In the tangible world we are left with a frozen material but in the intangible world we may be left with nothing. History is lost as formats change from physical stability to digital distress. In Bubblescape, two large tomes from thecomic book world’s biggest publishers merge to create a single scene. Each sculpture uses a set of categorical guidelines to guide the carving and excavation of imagery; the result reveals the hidden structures and assumptions of these fantastic worlds. Comic book heroes offer supernatural solutions to real world problems, but the decisions they make and the examples they portray are often more damaging than the issues they set out to save. This series breaks down these symbols and narratives to examine problematic aspects of the material while exposing parallels between fantasy worlds and our own reality. His work The New Practical Reference is a tower created by rounded volumes of an encyclopedia. The work is going to be in a curation for The Sun Valley Writers’ Conference and will be in the gallery soon.

Brian Dettmer Bubblescape (from the Comic Heroes Series 2017 hardcover books, acrylic, varnish

16 x 17.625 x 6 inches


Daniel Essig Eddy, 2019 handmade book 5.25 x 8.5 x 3 inches above

Shelved, 2019 handmade book 6 x 9 x 4.5 inches upper right

Writer, 2019 handmade book 5 x 3 x 2 inches lower right


Daniel Essig

Penland, North Carolina

Penland artist, Daniel Essig blends imagination with a deep respect for ancient traditions. Using a fourth-century binding known as Ethiopian-style Coptic, he creates mixed-media book structures that incorporate unusual woods, handmade papers, found objects and mica. Both sculptor and archivist, Essig has been collecting things from the time he was a child in Missouri – rocks, shells, Indian arrowhead, seedpods, bones bits of rusty nails, animal teeth and fossils. “They represent periods in my life, even just days or moments,” he says. “I keep my collection of objects in drawers, bottles, and boxes within a single small room in my house. The space has the feel of a German Wunderkammern, a “cabinet of curiosities.” I often sit in the room and scan my collection, seeking just the right object to inspire a new book or sculpture.” There is no mistaking a work by Daniel Essig. They have the patina of time with the distressed wood and embedded artifacts and at the same time they often challenge the notion of book as in his work Eddy, where two books are mounted back to back with a wooden vessel on top. As you move to open the books on opposite sides, the boat turns as in a whirlpool. All of the books have Essig’s signature Coptic binding. Essig received his degree at the University of South Illinois at Carbondale, where he worked for a time as a graduate assistant for a professor who went on photographic caving expeditions. He found himself gravitating towards the colors of decay, the beauty of aging. “I kept an eye out for Native American petroglyphs, abstract designs or images of footprints or animals.” He had also begun to experiment in bookmaking. His professor’s wife, a graduate student, made exquisite books and had studied at Penland in North Carolina. She knew it was the right place for Essig. As he finished his degree at Carbondale, he spent his summers as a work scholarship student at Penland, and later became a core student there. It was at Penland that he began to concentrate exclusively on Ethiopian Coptic books. Essig is now a studio artist and teacher living in Penland. He teaches book arts workshops at book centers, craft schools and colleges. He exhibits his work nationally and is in numerous collections including the Mint Museum and The Clarence Ward Art Library at Oberlin College. His sculptural pieces are featured in The Penland Book of Handmade Books as well as countless other publications. He holds a unique place among book artists and is respected world-wide.


Andrew Hayes Rachis, 2019 fabricated steel and book paper 23 x 8.5 x 4 inches


Andrew Hayes

Asheville, North Carolina

Like a conductor of an orchestra, Andrew Hayes transforms steel and paper into a symphony of shape and form. Masterfully counterpointing curved and straight lines, he continues to find new arrangements that resolve the elements in satisfying and surprising ways. Paper in Hayes’ sculpture assumes the natural properties of water, taking the shape of whatever contains or borders it. In his work, Rachis for instance, Hayes has created a shaped column with a curved S shape in the upper front surface facing forward. The book paper flows from the side of the column, mimicking the organic s shape at the top in a way that punctuates the fluidity of the paper and demonstrates Hayes’ amazing ability to form steel into any shape or form he chooses. The title is a wonderful one. “Rachis” is an axial structure like a backbone, or the shaft of a feather or the stem of a fern. A master of steel fabrication Hayes’ welds are imperceptible, and his surfaces are sanded to a pebble-like smoothness, except for when roughness is intentional. His forms are elegant, even formal in their design, but they are never oversimplified as he constantly tinkers with the shapes innovating creative approaches to composition. Andrew Hayes grew up in Tucson, Arizona and studied sculpture at Northern Arizona University. The desert landscape inspired much of his early sculptural work and allowed him to cultivate his style in fabricated steel. While living in Portland, Oregon, bouncing between welding jobs and creating his own work he was invited to the EMMA collaboration. The experience was liberating for him and he was encouraged to apply to the Core Fellowship at Penland School of Crafts. There he was able to explore a variety of materials and technique. Andrew Hayes' work appears in collections at the Yale Museum of Art, the Houston Museum of Art and Black Mountain College. He has been the subject of many reviews and articles and is a favorite among online zines such as Design Milk and Beautiful Decay. It is, however, in the studio that his greatest strides are made. In these sophisticated works, he continues to push boundaries while adhering to rigorous standards of flawless fabrication. His instinct for composition and form becomes ever more refined by curious investigation, faith in process and an ever-deepening understanding of his materials and the various ways they can behave.



Janet Jones

San Francisco, California

Rather than collecting beautiful materials for collage and mixed media, Janet Jones has a love of those that have in her words “survived against all odds.” “I want to draw attention to the innate beauty of the stains, foxing and velvety patina of old book pages and the grime and grunge of "road kill" papers rescued from the street,” she says. Sometimes these found papers are finished pieces with very little intervention on her part, and in other cases she distresses papers by soaking, laminating, staining, scorching and sanding to give them still more history. A graduate of the California College of Arts and Crafts, now known as the California College of the Arts, Janet Jones worked for several years as a painter, and then as a graphic designer, before turning to printmaking, collage, mixed media and book arts. She has taken part in group exhibitions in the United States, Europe, Japan, New Zealand and South America. Her work is in many private and corporate collections in the United States and Europe, and she is featured in the Lark publication, "Masters: Collage". She is represented in the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts collection at the California Palace of theLegion of Honor.

Janet Jones The Anatomy of a Book, 2018 book collage 15 x 15 x 1.25 inches


Lisa Kokin Enough, (mini, small, medium, large and jumbo) 2019 shredded money and thread (6 x 8), (8 x 10.5), (12.5 x 16), (16.5 x 21.5), (20.5 x 28) inches (left)

Chapter and Verse, 2018 shredded money and thread 40 x 31 inches (upper right)

Prosody, 2016 industrial felt and thread 35 x 51 x 3 inches (lower right)


Lisa Kokin

El Sobrante, California

“How much is enough?” That is the question Lisa Kokin asked herself as she conceived of this wall installation, composed of five iterations of the word “enough”. “I have a size for every taste: mini, small, medium, large and jumbo,” says Kokin. “For some people, a mini is more than plenty; for others jumbo doesn’t quite do it.” “Alternatively, the piece could be interpreted as a response to the current zeitgeist and a plea for change,” she added. Kokin created Prosody, which means the patterns of stress and intonation in a language, after noticing the little bundles and mounds of thread that remained on my worktable after she sewed a piece. “I was intrigued by their haphazard formations, and was inspired by them to use them as asemic words in an invented text.” The red bundles are the words that are emphasized, the various grays form the less important words. Chapter and Verse, part of her Lucre series, is also an asemic piece in which the loopy strands of shredded money form a pseudo-sacred text. It is difficult to classify Lisa Kokin’s work. She is a conceptual artist to be sure, but few conceptual artists break as many boundaries in working with their materials. Her work has content, humor and social commentary while maintaining a rigorous adherence to painstaking process. Sewing and fiber-related sensibilities play a key role in much of Kokin’s work, which she attributes to growing up in a family of upholsterers. Thread, which in the past she used to construct and embellish her work has, in her most recent body of work, become the primary material. Kokin explores irony and memory in her seemingly ephemeral pieces, allowing transiency itself to be immortalized in lasting works of art. Lisa Kokin received her BFA and MFA from the California College of the Arts in Oakland, CA. and is the recipient of numerous awards and grants including the Dorothy Saxe Creativity award at the Contemporary Jewish Museum and the Purchase Award from the Richmond Civic Center Public Art Interior Acquisitions Project in Richmond, CA.


Diana Majumdar Hiraeth, 2019 mixed media: book pages, plaster, photo transfer, encaustic 10.75 x 10.75 inches


Diana Majumdar Petaluma, California

Since a very early age Diana Majumdar has been exposed to art in many forms and shapes. She grew up in Estonia in the last days of the Soviet Union. Like many children, she was first introduced to art through her father. “I loved watching my father draw,” said Majumdar, “I loved it when he taught me the basics of watercolor.” Her father took her to see museums in Estonia, Russia, Armenia, and he gave her his large set of art books printed in Russian. “My father had dreamed of becoming an artist, and even though his life took him in a different direction, art has stayed with him and enriched his life and mine.” Majumdar pursued art, graduating from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Experimenting with different media was a major part of her experience at the Academy and she learned to use a variety of media to achieve her very special blend of book pages, paint, photo transfer and in the case of this painting, plaster and encaustic. Majumdar first appeared in the gallery’s exhibition, Natural Inclinations. Her works, many of them with birds and outdoor nature scenes, have a special quality – a feeling of nostalgia and memory and the transient beauty of nature and time. The title of this small painting is Hiraeth, a very special Welsh word that defies direct translation, but means a deep longing for home – a nostalgia for the past. The pages are from a Russian dictionary and the image is of a small village or homestead. It is a small painting, but evocative and mysterious.


Mary V. Marsh

Mary V. Marsh

TABLOID!, 2018

Vertical Scroll: Unorientable, 2019

linoleum cut, handset type and cuts on Rives Lightweight 15 x 15 x 1.25 inches

linoleum cut on Kitakata, wooden newspaper sticks, linen thread 8 x 4 x 5 feet


Mary V. Marsh Oakland, California

Mary V. Marsh’s work explores the intersection of mass media and personal habits of its consumption. Thinking about technological changes in reading and communication, she makes prints and artist’s books that reference this history. Having worked in libraries, the materials collected, concepts experienced, and the changing technology of access, is a foundation for ideas. Journal drawings and diary entries record the patterns of her daily activities and observations of her surroundings provide imagery and text for projects. The first books were scrolls, read horizontally. One drawback of scrolls was noting the location of a particular section and getting back to it. The introduction of the codex solved this problem with sequential pages. Vertical Scroll is a continuous, unending print of newspaper articles that reference aspects of the changing technology of communication. Formed into a möbius strip, it demonstrates the unorientable realm of digital reading, and the vertical scrolling that is an endless stream. Our current digital world has brought back the difficulty of getting back to something that you read online; not having a physical location affects our experience of reading. The newspaper sticks supporting the paper refer to the sharing of one physical newspaper in libraries, a contrast to many thousands reading the same digital file. The making of TABLOID! became a process of Marsh looking at her response to newspaper articles about technological changes in our communication systems, and the political changes affecting its access and control. She collected headlines and articles, mostly from the New York Times, from January-July 2018. Carving the photos and articles in linoleum, and hand setting lead type contrasts the continually updated digital information on our screens. Printing the stories in tabloid format and tone both satirizes and reveals our current news environment. Mary V. Marsh has been making art in the Bay Area since 1984. She has exhibited throughout the Bay Area with solo shows at, San Jose Museum of Art, San Francisco Art Commission at Grove Street, Berkeley Art Center, San Francisco Public Library Skylight Gallery and Mercury 20. Quite Contrary Press shows at the CODEX Book Arts Fair, and is in the collections of SFMOMA Library, The Bancroft Library, Harvard Fine Arts Library, Yale University Art Library and many others. She received an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1992. Currently a Fellowship artist at Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, California, she makes artist’s books, prints and collaborative work with Tony Bellaver at Quite Contrary Press, in Oakland, California.


Rachel Hebert/Kate Nicholson Who Tempts a Lady, 2019 rare book, gold thread, brass pins 8 x 10 inches (upper left)

Yes, It is, 2019 rare book, gold thread, brass pins 8 x 10 inches (lower left)

I'm Afraid it is More, 2019 rare book, gold thread, brass pins 8 x 10 inches (upper right)

It is Whispered, 2019 rare book, gold thread, brass pins 8 x 10 inches (upper left)


Rachel Hebert/Kate Nicholson Mill Valley, California

Artists Rachel Hebert and Kate Nicholson joined forces to create Truth to Paper, for their collaborative works. Working with texts from favorite works, they use thread and weaving to create new physical poems, the meanings delicately woven and stitched together. Rachel Hebert received her Bachelors of Art at Portland State University in Drawing, Painting, and Printmaking. She has a passion for dance, performance and the circus arts. She was raised in a fundamentalist cult and the experience of existing both within and outside of this culture informs her work. Kate Nicholson started graduate work at SFAI then moved to NYC to attend Parsons, The New School for Design where she earned a Masters in Fine Art in photography and related media. She also holds a MBA from the University of New Orleans (the most culturally verdant city in the US, where she was raised by an abstract artist and impish psychiatrist on soul food, music and art). The artists met through their children’s preschool and started writing and making work together in 2017. Their collaboration has sparked a unique energy, which has resulted in producing multimedia work including commissioned poetry, events and interiors. “A judge once wrote that words are weapons,” the artists explained. “We contend that words are also medicine. Our work is intended to reveal hidden truths and bring more beauty and depth to our individual and collective experience.”



Emily Payne Berkeley, California

Emily Payne was born in San Francisco and grew up in Mill Valley, California and Amherst, Massachusetts. She went to Oberlin College where she studied English and Women’s Studies. Emily moved to San Francisco after college and studied figure drawing and oil painting. Her love of making sculptural things with paper led her to pursue an MFA in printmaking and book arts at San Francisco State University. In the midst of busy, often noisy classrooms, she anchored her concentration with heavy, low tech but utterly reliable tools like the letterpress, the book press and a beat up wooden ceramics table she found abandoned in the corner of the sculpture lab. It became her makeshift studio space. At the heart of Emily Payne's work is drawing. By reducing things to their simplest elements, she finds that they have maximum interaction with the space around them. Shadows and the play of air around an object or work on paper is as important to the work as the work itself. Along with her highly successful one person exhibitions in the gallery, Payne has been a part of The Art of the Book since 2012. Her offerings this year are from a series entitled Insides. Ever true to her vision, she began drawing on substrates created from book covers. A new direction in abstraction, they become color studies demonstrating Hans Hoffman’s “push-pull” effect, playing with your perceptions.

Emily Payne Insides 2, 2019 ink on book covers 8.5 x 8.5 inches

Insides 4, 2019 ink on book covers 11 x 14.5 inches

Insides 1, 2019 ink on book covers 11 x 15 inches



San Quentin Arts with Katya McCulloch San Rafael, California

The William James Association Prison Arts Project contracts with professional artists to provide in-depth, long-term arts experiences for incarcerated men and women. Begun in 1977, the program selects and hires professional visual, literary and performing artists to teach in California state prison facilities through Arts in Corrections, an innovative fine arts program developed in association with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the California Arts Council. As of 2017, each of California’s 35 prisons once again has an established fine arts program serving incarcerated students. Among the several programs is a printmaking class started by Katya McCulloch in 2005. The program focuses on linocut prints and artists' books. Blocks Off the Block: Bird Bath is a hand-bound book of original linocut images inspired during a long drought cycle in California. “Everyone was affected by water rationing,” said McCulloch. “San Quentin inmates were impacted by reduced shower days. The 'Bird Bath' concept covers a wide range of themes including: water conservation, oasis, nurture, humor, relaxation, compassion, new beginnings (parole), and spiritual cleansing." The book contains handmade linoleum prints printed on Canson Dessin Classic Cream Paper with Charbonnel Aqua Wash Black Luxe C ink. Most of the Linocuts are signed and numbered. Design, cover and title page were made by Katya McCulloch.

San Quentin Arts/Katya McCulloch Blocks Off the Block: Bird Bath, 2019 handmade artist book with linocut prints from inmates at San Quentin 7 x 6.25 inches



Gail Skoff

Berkeley, California Mixing reality, art history, and traditional French terra cotta figurines called Santons, Scenes from Provence by Gail Skoff is a 13" x13" handmade accordion book containing 24 color photo montages, a tipped in map, 4 full page spreads and two cut out images. It is enclosed in a box with a gold stamped spine and 2 inset canvases. Before the invention of trains and planes, the tradespeople of southern France wound their way along dirt roads from village to village offering their wares on foot, wagon or horseback, trading news and gossip along the way. Santons are terra-cotta figurines modelled after these artisans. In traditional dress and with tools of their various trades, they represent village life at that time. The collection places Santons in imaginary contexts with real objects and details from photographs and paintings, including those of the Impressionists, who were inspired by the lavender fields and olive groves of Provence. Inspirations for Skoff's montages include Pierre Bonnard, Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, and others. The montages reward close inspection. Look for Skoff behind a camera or behind an easel. The montages build on each other so there are bits that move from one to another (for example, the doll maker's scene incorporates images of the butcher, the women washing, and the violinist). Gail Skoff is a native Californian who has been photographing since her teens. Her early work included images from Bali, the American Southwest and Hawaii. These were black and white photographs which were hand-colored with oil paints. This mix of photography and painting was a technique she used for almost 30 years. In 1981 she began to travel extensively through the French wine country with her husband, the wine importer Kermit Lynch. Her unique access into the wine culture allowed Skoff to document the winemakers lives and the traditional way wine was produced with an intimate viewpoint. Gail Skoff received an MFA from The San Francisco Art Institute in 1979 and was the recipient of an NEA grant in 1976. Her work is included in many collections both nationally and internationally, including The Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, The Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA and the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institute.

Gail Skoff Scenes from Provence, 2018 (right) handmade accordion book with 24 color photo montages 13 x13 inches

Haystacks, 2018 (left) archival pigment print on canvas 20 x 20 inches


Buzz Spector Effaced Nabokov, 2014 altered book 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.75 inches above

Between the Sheets, 2019 handmade book with Japanese Fold Binding 6.25 x 8.5 x .5 inches upper right

Arte Pura, 2019 altered book 9 x 9 x 1 inches lower right


Buzz Spector

St. Louis, Missouri Buzz Spector is an artist and critical writer whose work has been shown in the Art Institute of Chicago, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, and the Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, PA. Spector's work makes frequent use of the book, both as subject and object, and is concerned with relationships between public history, individual memory, and perception. He has published a number of artists' books and editions since the mid-1970s. Spector received the Distinguished Teaching of Art Award from the College Art Association in 2013. Other recognition includes a 2005 New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA Fellowship), a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Fellowship in 1991, and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Awards in 1982, 1985, and 1991. He is professor of art in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. A solo survey show of his work will be at the Saint Louis Art Museum, opening in March 2020. Effaced Nabokov, 2014, is an altered copy of Dimitry Nabokov’s edition, The Original of Laura by Vladimir Nabokov, a tribute to his late father, Vladimir Nabokov. Spector chose the book because of the Chip Kidd design of its text block, in which the 138 handwritten postcards comprising the extent of Vladimir Nabokov's preparations to write The Original of Laura are reproduced in consecutive lifesize images on the recto, with the (mostly) blank backs of the cards on the verso. Between the Sheets is a project that arose, said the artist, “from the congruence of a memory, a method, a residue, and a phenomenon.” Offset images are details from author dust jacket photos that were rephotographed and enlarged to produce the artist’s series of largescale torn paper on lectern works, Authors and Thinkers, between 1998-2000. The blank sides of these photo sheets were printed with letterpress text and folded inside the bound leafs. This text can only be read by peeking inside the folds. Spector created 40 of this edition of which 32 have been placed in various institutions and private collection. Arte Pura is an altered copy of an Italian exhibition catalog of abstract painting and sculpture.


Liz Steketee Wedding Scream, 2014 altered book 5 x 7 x 1 inches

Nectar Collage: Beach Boy, 2014 photo collage 5 x 8 inches

Nectar Collage: Cherry Girl, 2014 photo collage 5 x 8 inches

Nectar, 2014 artist book 6 x 9 inches


Liz Steketee

San Rafael, California

Born in Michigan, Liz Steketee received her BFA in photography from the University of Michigan and her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute where she was a member of the faculty for over a decade. A fulltime artist living in the Marin County with her husband and two children, her personal work focuses the notions of photography and its role in family life, memory, and our sense of self. Her most recent work explores mixed media; particularly the combination of textiles, book arts, sculpture, and photography. “It is through art that I make sense the world,” says Liz, “I use my life and family as material for my work. By doing this, I am able to explore the complexity that exists in the everyday and the richness found in the mundane. Through the use of montage, collage, and purposeful juxtaposition of photographs, it is my intention to examine the “truth” in life. I do not feel tied to chronology, linear expression, or one media exclusively. My belief is that life experiences are a combination of independent, non-linear moments that we construct into memory.” Steketee’s Ghost Books incorporate her own altered photographs of family members and in the case of Wedding Scream, herself printed on cloth and wrapped around a book that relates to the subject. Steketee’s images are quirky and whimsical, suggesting the complexity of human existence. In addition to Wedding Scream and Wrapped Scream (not pictured), there is Nectar, her handmade book of black and white photographs with collaged paper masks along with two of the collages, Beach Boy and Cherry Girl.


Susan Stover

Sampler for Aunt Em, 2019 tea-stained paper, waxed with embroidery 6 x 24 inches


Susan Stover Graton, California

Susan Stover is a San Francisco Bay Area artist who creates paintings and sculptures that explore themes of cultural identity and mythology. With the study of ethnic patterns and of utilitarian and sacred objects in non-western cultures, her work embraces ritual, tradition, and meditation through repetitive labor. In the beautiful Sampler for Aunt M, Stover creates a book object with teastained paper, wax and embroidery. The simple needle and thread motifs reflect her love of textiles and patterns, beautifully realized in white on white. Susan received a MFA from California College of Art in Oakland, California and a BFA from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Her paintings are in many private collections and in 2016 was commissioned for several pieces for the American Ag Credit headquarters in Windsor, CA. Her work was featured on the cover and in the lead article of the Surface Design JournalWinter 2016 issue and has been included in The Art of Expressive Collage by Crystal Neubauer, Studio Visit, and Gathering Clouds – A Magazine of Contemporary Art. She teaches workshops in her northern California studio, other locations in the U.S., and internationally. “My paintings and sculptures often recall an ethnic sensibility and geometric organization,” says Stover. “I am interested in the objects made by non-Western cultures and how they are tied to identity, status, religious beliefs, and mythologies.” Adapting processes that are traditionally used in the production of textiles, Stover uses materials and techniques that refer to a collective history with the completed forms revealing themselves in the making.



Thyrsus Press Berkeley, California

Omnia Vanitas contains 33 selected poems by the renowned early 20th century French poet, artist, and critic, Max Jacob. Newly translated into English by Bay Area printer and scholar, Alastair M. Johnston. Jacob was an important but neglected figure in the French avantgarde. In addition to being a roommate of Pablo Picasso during his early years in Paris, Jacob was a mercurial artist and writer whose inventive prose poems are regarded as a significant link between the symbolists and the surrealist movement. The book contains 32 original illustrations by Jinny Pearce and was handset in Stempel Janson types. 135 copies were printed on Somerset Book paper at Thyrsus Press in Berkeley, California in 2018. Designed and produced by Jinny Pearce and Douglas Heise. Hand bound in three quarter hard binding and covered in handprinted Lama Li Loka paper. 48 pages. Edition of 135. Thyrsus Press is run by Jinny Pearce and Doug Heise. Jinny has an MFA in Theatre from Wayne State University, a BFA in Printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute and a BA in Theatre and Studio Art from the University of Alabama, Birmingham. Doug got his Bachelors in Drama from Stanford University and a MPhil in Theatre from the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Jinny and Doug met in the experimental theatre/dance scene in San Francisco in a previous life.

Thyrsus Press Omnia Vanitas, 2018 handmade artist book 9.25 x 6.25 x .625 inches



Richard Wagener, Mixolydian Editions Petaluma, California

During a visit to Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center in Venice, California, some forty years ago, Richard Wagener discovered a small publication of prose poems titled 'A Vegetable Emergency' by Maxine Chernoff. After establishing his own imprint, Mixolydian Editions in 2006, Wagener began to think about the possibility of printing some of these prose poems in a fine press edition. His series of prints from 'Umbraculo Series' of color wood engravings developed in 2017 provide a lively accompaniment to Maxine Chernoff's Writing. Wagener chose the title Teapots & Tympani for his collection from words found in the poems, feeling that it captured the quirky individuality of the writer’s voice. Mill Valley resident, Maxine Chernoff is an American novelist, writer, poet, academic and literary magazine editor. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, she attended the University of Illinois at Chicago. Chernoff is a professor and Chair of the Creative Writing program at San Francisco State University. She is the author of six books of fiction and ten books of poetry. Teapots & Tympani comes in a deluxe and standard edition. The 48 pages include 19 wood engravings. Edition of 48: 26 deluxe lettered copies; 14 standard numbered copies; 5 hors de commerce; and 3 sets unbound sheets. Standard: Bound in quarter cloth with paper over boards housed in a Japanese cloth slipcase with a printed title label on the spine. Signed by the poet and engraver. Numbered. Deluxe: Bound in quarter leather with cloth over boards and a leather lined fore-edge. Housed in a clam shell box with a paper chemise that holds eight signed prints from the edition. Foil stamped on the spine. Signed by the writer and the engraver. Lettered A-Z.

Richard Wagener, Maxine Chernoff Teapots and Tympani, 2019 handmade book, prose poems by Maxine Chernoff 13 x 7.5 inches


Barbara Wildenboer

Barbara Wildenboer

Tales of Gods and Heroes, 2019

Historia Naturel, 2019

handcut altered book 20 x 24 inches (framed)

handcut altered book 20 x 24 inches (framed) (right)


Barbara Wildenboer Cape Town, South Africa

Barbara Wildenboer delicately cuts and extracts the pages of old books to produce sculptural explorations of the contents inside. The works are part of an ongoing project titled the Library of the Infinitesimally Small and Unimaginable Large, to which she has been contributing altered books since 2011. The series uses the site of the library as a metaphor for the larger universe, while also focusing on the decrease of printed materials as a result of the digital age. “Through the act of altering books and other paper based objects the intention is to draw emphasis to our understanding of history as mediated through text or language and our understanding of the abstract terms of science through metaphor,” Wildenboer explains. The Cape Town-based artist sources her books and maps from secondhand bookshops and flea markets from around the world, looking specifically for publications that have illustrations, paper quality, and subject matter that might be interesting to slice and transform. Her work, Tales of Gods and Heroes is scheduled for a special curation Seager Gray is creating for the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference in July, the mythology theme an homage to Madeline Miller who will be at the conference with her book, Circe. In Historia Naturel, created especially for this exhibition, Wildenboer took full advantage of the images of bird species that peekaboo through the gorgeous paisley pattern of the endpapers of the book. The swirling cut paper mimics the wings of a bird. Wildenboer has participated in group exhibitions and art fairs both nationally and internationally, including South Africa, San Francisco, Washington, London, Dubai, Sydney and Hong Kong. She has been awarded several international residencies such as the Unesco-Aschberg residency (Jordan, 2006), the Al Mahatta residency (Palestine, 2009) and the Red De Residencias Artisticas Local (Bogota, Colombia, 2011), the Rimbun Dahan artist residency (Penang, Malaysia, 2013), L’Atelier Sur Seine (Fontainebleau, France 2016).



Michelle Wilson Richmond, California,

Michelle Wilson is a papermaker, printmaker, book and installation artist. She is also one-half of the ongoing collaborative, political art team BOOK BOMBS. She has exhibited her work both internationally and in the United States, including participation in biennials such as Philadelphia's Philagrafika 2010 and the 2006 Second International Biennial for the Artist's Book in Alexandria, Egypt. Her artworks are in various collections, including Yale University (New Haven, CT), the National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington, DC), and the Mediatheque Andre Malraux (Strasbourg, France). She is a past Artistin-Residence at the David and Julia White Colony in Ciudad Colon, Costa Rica, the Jentel Artist Residency Program, in Banner, Wyoming, and the San Francisco Center for the Book. Grants she has received include a Puffin Foundation Grant, a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Project Streaming Grant, and an Artist-Investigator Grant from San Francisco's Triangle Arts Lab. In 2007, she was awarded the Lenore Adelman Award for Book Arts. Creative Capital designated her as an "On Our Radar" artist in 2015. In addition, she is a past hand-papermaking advisor to Signa-Haiti, a nongovernmental organization developing a sustainable and bio-dynamic economy in Haiti. Wilson’s imprint is Rocinante Press. A former longtime resident of Philadelphia, Wilson now lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. In her installation, El Proceso, viewers and readers are surrounded with papers that transform from birdlike forms into a book. The book is a metanarrative told from the point of view of a book conservator who is repairing some text fragments that she discovered. As she repairs the book, she reads in the fragments of political disappearances, extraordinary renditions, and bird extinctions. She is horrified by the words she reads, but compelled to preserve the account.

Michelle Wilson El Proceso, 2007

handmade flax and abaca paper, monofilament, custom book stand, letterpress, and screen print dimensions variable





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