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THE ART OF THE BOOK Twelfth annual exhibition of handmade artist books, altered books and book-related materials


THE ART OF THE BOOK Twelfth annual exhibition of handmade artist books, altered books and book-related materials

Jody Alexander Islam Aly Mary Ellen Bartley Tony Bellaver Kim Henigman Bruce Valérie Buess Tony Dagradi Foolscap Press

Casey Gardner Ximena Pérez Grobet Andrew Hayes Charles Hobson Lisa Kokin Emma Lloyd Mary V. Marsh Emily Payne

Susan Porteous Steph Rue Catherine E. Skinner Mike Stilkey Vita Wells Barbara Wildenboer Nanette Wylde Sandy Young


THE ART OF THE BOOK

Twelfth annual exhibition of handmade artist books, altered books and book-related materials Jody Alexander, Islam Aly, Mary Ellen Bartley, Tony Bellaver, Kim Henigman Bruce, Valérie Buess, Tony Dagradi, Foolscap Press, Casey Gardner, Ximena Pérez Grobet, Andrew Hayes, Charles Hobson, Lisa Kokin, Emma Lloyd, Mary V. Marsh, Emily Payne, Susan Porteous, Steph Rue, Catherine E. Skinner, Mike Stilkey, Vita Wells, Barbara Wildenboer, Nanette Wylde, Sandy Young May 3 to May 31, 2017 Reception for the artists: Saturday, May 6, 5:30 to 7:30 Front Cover: Catherine Eaton Skinner, Accumulations VIII, 2016, 24 x 24 x 2 in, Moab Entrada paper, encaustic, oil on panel Back Cover: Vita Wells, Flights of Mind, Installation of folded books

Photo Credits Jody Alexander: r.r.jones Tony Bellaver and Mary V. Marsh: Mr. Victor Casey Gardner: Luz Marina Ruiz Ximena Pérez Grobet: Pep Avila Andrew Hayes: Steve Mann Charles Hobson: Alice Shaw Lisa Kokin: Lia Roozendaal

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 $25 plus handling and shipping. Email us at art@seagergray.com


Jody Alexander

Frankenboro 2, 2015 (from series KEEP: Modern Library) book pages from three discarded library books, thread 8.5 x 9 in (above)

Jody Alexander

Frankenboro 1, 2015 (from series KEEP: Modern Library)

book pages from three discarded library books, thread 8.5 x 9 in (right)


Jody Alexander Santa Cruz, California

KEEP: Modern Library is a project and series inspired by withdrawn library books, Japanese textiles, the art of mending, and a KEEP stamp that was discarded from a library. One particular book, Records Management: A Collegiate Course in Filing Systems and Procedures, has been the artist’s muse throughout the project as she represents a once useful book that has become obsolete and has no place in the college library where she resided since 1974. Nonetheless, the book is endearing to Alexander for its bookness: design, color scheme, endpapers, and graphic images. Imagery from that book floats through all the pieces in this series like apparitions. Frankenboro Book, No. 1 and No. 2 are the first two pieces made for the KEEP: Modern Library series. Each is a mash up of three withdrawn library book pages that were chosen for their interesting illustrations. Like Frankenstein’s monster, they were an attempt to bring things that were dead back to life. Jody Alexander is an artist, bookbinder, papermaker, librarian and teacher who lives and works in Santa Cruz, California. She makes paper, in the Eastern-style, and uses her papers to bind books with exposed sewing on the spine in a number of historical and modern binding styles. She combines these books with found objects, wooden boxes and drawers, metal, bones, etc. to create sculptural works. Her pieces celebrate collecting, storytelling, and odd characters. She also likes to rescue books in distress and give them new life as rebound books, scrolls and sculptural pieces.


Islam Aly

Cryptic Magic, 2017

laser cut paper, wooden boards covered with paper, thread, magnets 2.5 x 6 in (42 inches extended) edition of 20


Islam Aly

Cedar Falls, Iowa / Egypt

Cryptic Magic is an investigation into symbols, their power and how they are given mysterious attributes to represent the spiritual. The book is presenting a vocabulary of signs and symbols to connect the physical and the emotional. Different Ethiopian symbols are laser cut on each page; their overlapping and intersection generate new meanings. The magnets embedded in the covers and the accordion structure allows the audience to interact with the book creating different connections between the symbols and compressing or extending the structure for more sculptural appearance. Sacred Meanings is based on the hexagon, one of the main shapes in creating grids and patterns in Islamic art. The form of the book, its words, and progression reveals the fading and development of a pattern. The book invites the viewer to consider his experiences with the transcendent and indivisible. Sacred Meanings presents an encounter that deals with the dichotomies of life, fall and rise, suspicion and faith, disorientation and orientation, chaos and order.

Islam Aly

Sacred Meanings, 2017

laser cut mould-made Johannot paper, laser engraved plexiglass covers, coptic binding with linen thread 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 in edition of 40

Unleash records an angel’s attempt to leave the book. A journey that starts with words about being confined and restrained, the angel appears and slowly makes a path through these words until succeeding to break the phrases and get out of the book. When the angel disappears from the book, the letters of the broken words start forming a human face. By using a late Coptic binding with straps and clasps, the book structure echoes its content. One wrap has the angel on the wooden clasp; the other wrap has the human face. Islam Aly is currently an assistant professor of Art Education in the Department of Art at the University of Northern Iowa. At Helwan University, Egypt he received a BA and an MA in Art Education; afterward, he graduated from the University of Iowa, with an MFA in Book Arts and a Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning with a concentration in Art Education. His books explore the possibilities of historical bindings in contemporary book art practice.

Islam Aly

Unleash, 2017

laser cut mould-made Johannot paper; laser engraved wooden boards, late coptic binding with leather wrapping bands and wooden clasps. 3 x 6 x 2 in edition of 30


Mary Ellen Bartley

Untitled 35 (from Paperback Series), 2009 photograph, archival pigment print 16 x 22 in (above)

Mary Ellen Bartley

Untitled 55 (from Paperback Series), 2013

photograph, archival pigment print 16 x 22 in (right)


Mary Ellen Bartley Wainscott, New York

Mary Ellen Bartley is an American artist known for her photographs that explore the tactile and formal qualities of the printed book and its potential for abstraction. Her work has been widely exhibited, including solo shows at Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York, and at The Drawing Room and Guild Hall Museum in East Hampton, New York. Bartley’s work has also been featured in several exhibitions exploring themes of the book and objects caught in transition from the analog to the digital realm. These include Well Read: Visual Explorations of the Book at Photographic Center Northwest in Seattle, Out of Print at the Bakersfield Museum of Art in California, The Thing Itself at Yancey Richardson Gallery, and Ordinary Pictures at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.The painter Ross Bleckner chose Bartley to exhibit her work alongside his at the Parrish Art Museum’s Artists Choose Artists exhibition in 2011, in Water Mill, New York. Recognitions include Photolucida’s Critical Mass Top 50 Photographers in 2011, 2012, and 2013; and a first place Lucie International Photography Award in 2012 for her series Artists and Models. Bartley was a Watermill Center 2015 Artist in Residence and spent a month creating the installation Reading Robert Wilson, followed by a “book of books” titled Reading Robert Wilson, which was shortlisted for the Fotobookfestival Kassel Dummy Award in 2015.


Tony Bellaver and Mary V. Marsh This river has no ego, 2016

accordion fold, letterpress printed, handset type, polymer plates, linocut on Arches paper 8 x 7 x 2 in (closed) edition of 15


Tony Bellaver and Mary V. Marsh (Quite Contrary Press) Oakland, California

Tony Bellaver and Mary V. Marsh, husband and wife are the principals of Quite Contrary Press and create small edition and unique artist’s books, prints and book/objects, both collaboratively and individually. Their art practice is integrated with their love of nature and their experiences in the wilderness. The making of “This river has no ego,” has been a process of years of conversations while camping, backpacking and fly fishing. The close observation required for fly fishing reveals the interconnectedness of the river, trees, fish and insects. It is a reflection on their relationship to nature, the power and endurance of rivers, and human insignificance. “We try to understand it through the lens of science and words. The river doesn’t care if we are here or not. We strive to see and respect the river, without naming or cultural construct.” From their sketchbook drawings and poetry they developed the content and designed the format collaboratively. The accordion structure allows the book to unfold in an uneven rhythm like a river. The maple burl and redwood veneer relates to trees around our favorite rivers of California. The salmon vertebrae shows one part of the cycle of life of the river. Oakland based artist Tony Bellaver creates mixed media sculpture and drawings inspired by his love of hiking and nature. He incorporates maps, drawings, photographs and found foliage gathered on his many hikes to create texture and meaning in his diary-like works. Using materials such as wood as the framework, plus found objects and photographs he tells a layered story of his journeys. Drawing people and scenes during her routine, and integrating them with journal entries, books and artifacts collected, Mary V. Marsh looks at the intersection of media, consumption and personal habits. Making art and working in libraries in the Bay Area since 1982, she received an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1992. She is currently an Artist in Resident at Kala Art Institute.


Kim Henigman Bruce Alberta, Canada

Kim Henigman Bruce studied fine art at The Alberta College of Art & Design and The University of Calgary from 1989 to 2002. She holds a degree in Interior Design where she received her diploma from Mount Royal University. A native Calgarian, she has been published in the New York Times in conjunction with a group show at the R & F Gallery in Kingston, N.Y. and the exhibition catalog from the Grassi Museum in Leipzig, Germany. She has also been reviewed in See Magazine, FFWD Magazine and The Gauntlet. Her work is in the collection of the Alberta Foundations for the Arts and is privately and publicly collected throughout Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands. Bruce uses books and other found materials with encaustic to create objects that explore issues of identity and gender. While the works might be specific references to her own experience, her intention is to leave them open-ended enough to allow others to bring their own impressions to what they see. Her latest work uses books to suggest actual characters. In Tunnel Vision, there is a surprise when you look into the hollows of the eyes, a reference perhaps to what we do not know about a person until we look inside.

Kim Henigman Bruce Tunnel Vision, 2017

encaustic, found objects, books 9.5 x 4.25 x 7 in


ValĂŠrie Buess Blue, 2012

paper, rolled and mounted 7.08 x 5.71 x 6.7 in


ValĂŠrie Buess

Marburg, Germany

For over 25 years, ValĂŠrie Buess, a Swiss artist living in Marburg, Germany (near Frankfurt), has exhibited around the world Her favorite materials are recycled paper from old magazines, books and phone directories. Shaped by rolling, collage, sewing and folding, they are transformed into imaginative sculpture, each typically created from a single object. Blue is an organic form created from varying rolls of paper, all with different tones of blue at their center. The effect is extraordinary when held up to the lights, like some magical rock or something pulled out of the sea. Pretty Attached is a spiny blue work created from a telephone directory. The form in some ways replicates a town or city where individuals cluster around a center. In Boycotting its original content, Pocket Edition Buess has created a form that continues to operate like a book, its spiny pages bound like a codex. She has subverted the original content by rolling pages into quill-like forms, giving the work an organic composition like something that might be found in nature. This is a smaller version of a similar work in our 2016 exhibition that we loved so much, we prevailed upon her to make something similar.

ValĂŠrie Buess

Pretty Attached, 2017

paper, rolled and mounted 7.87 X 3.94 x 5.12 in (upper right)

Boycotting Its Original Content, Pocket Edition, 2017

transformed book, cut, rolled, mounted 5.9 x 3.74 x 1.18 in (lower right)


Tony Dagradi

Family Time, 2017

hardcover book, acrylic varnish 9.5 x 15.75 x 1.25 in


Tony Dagradi

New Orleans, Louisiana

Tony Dagradi is an internationally recognized jazz performer, artist, composer, author and educator. For over three decades he has made his home in New Orleans, performing on tenor and soprano saxophone with many of the Crescent City’s most celebrated artists, including Ellis Marsalis, Allen Toussaint, Professor Longhair, James Booker, The Meters, Dr. John, James Black, Johnny Adams and Gatemouth Brown. His performing past also includes five years as a member of the internationally acclaimed Carla Bley Band and appearances and recordings with Bobby McFerrin, Mose Allison and Nat Adderley. Dagradi is most well known for his work with Astral Project, an adventurous quintet made up of top New Orleans players dedicated to playing cutting-edge improvisational music. In addition, for over twenty five years, he has been a Professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies at Loyola University in New Orleans. Since 2015, Dagradi has been exploring the compelling visual possibilities of altered books. Choosing vintage and antiquarian texts, he carefully cuts through one page at a time to reveal existing images in a three dimensional collage or sculpture. The results allow the contents and imagery of long outdated material to be viewed in a manner that is both exciting and thought provoking. Finally, when a piece is completed, he coats exposed surfaces with an acrylic lacquer. This treatment adds a certain rigidity to the paper sculpture and serves to protect the works from air and dust.

Tony Dagradi

Boring Machines, 2017

hardcover book, acrylic varnish 9.5 x 10 x 8.5 in

(upper right)

Strange Shapes Revealed, 2017

hardcover book, acrylic varnish 10 x 8.5 x 3.5 in

(lower right)


Foolscap Press The Snails, 2016

handmade letterpress book with linoleum block illustrations 10 x 9.75 x 3.5 in edition of 100


Foolscap Press (Lawrence G. Van Velzer and Peggy Gotthold) Santa Cruz, California

Foolscap Press is Lawrence G. Van Velzer & Peggy Gotthold. They started Foolscap Press in 1990 after many years in the business in order to publish books under our own imprint. All of their books are designed, printed and bound at the press. Their goal is to produce finelymade hand crafted books of literature and other works with the aim to surprise and delight institutions and individuals who collect them. They produce their books in editions of 120 to 200 copies. Foolscap Press editions are collected in England and across the United States. Most readers associate Patricia Highsmith with her Tom Ripley novels starting with The Talented Mr. Ripley, but throughout her writing career, she returned again and again to the short story, publishing eight collections in her lifetime. The Quest for Blank Claveringi (the slightly awkward name was simplified to The Snails for its publication in the Saturday Evening Post) is from her first collection in 1970 called Eleven. The subject was gastropods—on its face a strange choice of subjects—but a natural one for the author, she had a thing for snails. Patricia Highsmith kept snails by the hundreds as pets. She was known to take snails (presumably very special ones) to parties on leaves of lettuce in her handbag, and she smuggled her pet snails into France where she lived for many years. For this story, Highsmith scaled up her snails to monster size giving them teeth that would, in the real world, only threaten a leaf of lettuce. They now had the ability to saw through tree branches. And then she enhanced their speed just a bit, enough to put them in harmony with their great size. The Snails is published in an edition of 100 and is contained in a box with a cast-paper sculpture. The text is printed letterpress in Koch Antiqua type on Lettra and Zerkall German Ingres paper. The illustrations, done by Peggy Gotthold, are printed directly from the linoleum blocks in which they are carved.


Casey Gardner

The Gravity Series, 2017

three handmade letterpress books 6.5 by 13.25 in edition of 39


Casey Gardner Berkeley, California

Gravity is the attractive force that exists between every object in the universe. As one of the four fundamental forces of the universe, gravity is strong enough to hold galaxies together (two trillion and counting) and precise enough to give weight to each individual. Like love, gravity is invisible yet essential. So finely tuned is gravity, that if its proportion were even very slightly altered, our universe would not have emerged; life would not exist. This series of books reckons with gravity as a powerful universal, yet intimate force holding everything in perpetual motion and relationship. Magnetically held in a sturdy portfolio that reveals the science behind gravity, each of the three books tells a tale of this vital force in terms of falling, rising and orbiting. How to Fall is about how the universal, yet personal force of gravity guides our velocity in the unknown. Falling in love, that sublime catapult, is a story of infinite permutations, and varying weights. It can be exhilarating yet daunting when a new center of the universe emerges. Meanwhile, falling is a lapse of control, an abandon, and a fall from grace can unleash havoc.

Casey Gardner

All There Is from The Gravity Series, 2017 handmade letterpress book 4 x 6 in

All There Is is a book is about trust, finding your own center of gravity and moving your own weight. Humans are forces of nature nding their own paths through forces of nature. Climbing is a negotiation of gravity while tethered to another. Sometimes letting go is the way to progress and rise. A Star Close Enough is about two mutually attracted bodies revolving around a joint center of mass, located in the space between them. In relationship, two bodies move closer together and farther apart as they follow the shape of their orbital path. Meanwhile, our earth is gravitationally bound in the most propitious orbit around our sun, making us just the right distance to receive its life-giving energy. Casey Gardner grew up in the Rocky Mountains. She received her first degree from University of Colorado, Boulder and worked as a journalist before receiving a BFA in Graphic Design and Printmaking at California College of the Arts. Her books are in Special Collections libraries around the world.

Casey Gardner

A Star Close Enough from The Gravity Series, 2017 handmade letterpress book with vovelle 6 x 6 in


Ximena PĂŠrez Grobet: Nowhereman Press Words, 2016

letterpress book 6.3 x 7.09 in edition of 30


Ximena Pérez Grobet: Nowhereman Press Barcelona/ México.

Words are possible considering the space of each letter. This book separates each letter from a poem of Wallace Stevens called “The house was quiet and the world was calmed” into 26 different pages (one for each letter) making beautiful and diverse letterscapes. When you put them all together you are able to see the space they occupy in the poem. The structure of the book makes it possible to read the poem even if you don’t open it. Ximena Pérez Grobet, founder and owner of Nowhereman Press, has been creating her own artists books since 1994. Her work has been shown in galleries, book fairs and museums throughout Europe, USA, Mexico and Latin America. She also collaborates with other artists and collectives, producing artists books and special editions. Grobet is the director of Artists’ Books for Artists, where she elaborates artists books for other artists interested to turn their projects into special and limited editions. She has worked as an editorial designer and in art book production in various publishing houses around the world.

The house was quiet and the world was calm. The reader became the book; and summer night

Was like the conscious being of the book. The house was quiet and the world was calm.

The words were spoken as if there was no book, Except that the reader leaned above the page,

Wanted to lean, wanted much most to be The scholar to whom his book is true, to whom

The summer night is like a perfection of thought. The house was quiet because it had to be.

The quiet was part of the meaning, part of the mind: The access of perfection to the page.

And the world was calm. The truth in a calm world, In which there is no other meaning, itself

Is calm, itself is summer and night, itself Is the reader leaning late and reading there.

- Wallace Stevens


Andrew Hayes Circuit, 2016

book pages, steel, paint 9.5 x 24 x 3 in


Andrew Hayes

Penland, North Carolina

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. After leaving school, Andrew worked in the industrial welding trade. While living in Portland, Oregon, bouncing between welding jobs and creating his own work he was invited to the EMMA collaboration. This one-week experience was liberating for Andrew and he was encouraged by his fellow collaborators to apply to the Core Fellowship at Penland School of Crafts. During his time as a Core Fellow, Andrew was able to explore a variety of materials and techniques. Surprisingly, the book became a big part of this exploration. In this work he faces the challenge of marrying the rigid qualities of metal with the delicacy of the book page. Since Andrew Hayes’ 2012 exhibition at the Portland Museum of Contemporary Craft, he has been included in exhibitions and collections at Yale University, Hartford University, the Morris Museum in Morristown, New Jersey and the Mesa Contemporary Art Museum in Mesa, Arizona to name a few. Hayes will have a one person exhibition at Seager Gray Gallery in June of 2017.


Charles Hobson (Pacific Editions) Mermaid, 2016

handmade artist book with mirrors 7 x 7 x 10 in (box) edition of 8


Charles Hobson (Pacific Editions) San Francisco, California

Mermaid comes from tales of the Salish people of the Pacific Northwest for whom storytelling is the primary way of transmitting their history, religious beliefs and myths. In the story a young girl comes to the beach in despair and find a beautiful sleeping mermaid. Upon awakening, the mermaid shows the young girl her compassion and how they are inextricably connected. Mermaid has been made as a limited edition of eight copies during the spring of 2016. Sets of three wooden boxes each measuring 6.5 x 6.5 x 3 have been painted and fitted with mirrors and transparent sheets with the text of the myth. Charles Hobson created three monotypes for each copy which have been reproduced as highresolution digital prints. A small volume containing the threepanel presentation of the myth has been printed on Coronado ST paper and bound in boards covered with fabric, and each copy is housed in a fabric-covered box measuring 7 x 7 x 10 inches. The edition was designed by Charles Hobson who assembled it with the assistance of Alice Shaw. The book is sold out and we are fortunate to have a copy in this years eshibition. Charles Hobson is a book collector as well as an artist himself. He uses pastel, monotypes and other printmaking variations (such as photogravure) to construct his images for books and works on paper. He is professor emeritus of the faculty at the San Francisco Art Institute and his work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the New York Public Library, the Whitney Museum, the National Gallery, Stanford University, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the Getty Center, among others. Hobson has operated Pacific Editions, a publisher of limited edition artist books since 1986.


Lisa Kokin

Not Like, 2017

thread, shredded money 14 x 22.5 in detail, lower right page


Lisa Kokin

El Sobrante, California Not Like excerpts Emma Lazarus’ sonnet “The New Colossus,” written in 1883 as a donation to raise funds for the construction of the Statue of Liberty. It is inscribed in a plaque on the pedestal of the statue as a welcome to immigrants. As a child, Kokin remembers hearing the poem set to music and learning about Emma Lazarus and the meaning behind the poem – empathy and tolerance – which had a meaningful impact on her world view at an early age. The piece bears the complete text of the poem written with shredded money and thread, although by the end it is unreadable. She chose the title, Not Like, because it is both the first two words of the poem and a double entendre, the most basic explanation of the phenomenon of xenophobia.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Perseveration is defined as the tendency of an idea to stick in your mind or recur, or getting stuck on something mentally and not being able to shift gears. In this humorous graphic demonstration of the term, Kokin has begun with a book object created from remnants of her Asemic series which gives birth to a repetition of itself in 18 more miniature versions. Lisa Kokin received her BFA and MFA from the California College of the Arts in Oakland, California. Kokin’s work has been featured in many books and articles including Art Made From Books, Chronicle Press and her one person exhibition How the West was Sewn took place at the Boise Art Museum in 2013.

Kokin’s work is often a critique of the socio-political status quo imbued with a healthy dose of levity and a keen sensitivity to materials and process. Sewing and fiber-related sensibilities play a key role in much of Kokin’s work. 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

Perseveration, 2016

industrial felt, thread, wire, rust, cotton batting 18 x 12 x 4 in


Emma Lloyd

Between and Beyond, 2017 sculpted book 10.63 x 7.68 x 3.15 in details, right page


Emma Lloyd

Northern Moor, Greater Manchester, UK

Between and Beyond is part of a body of work produced from various types of experimentation with the aesthetic form of language. This particular piece is the culmination of Lloyd’s investigations with the font Wingdings. Wingdings come from the printing word, “dingbats” which are ornaments, characters, or spacers used in typesetting. The term continues to be used in the computer industry to describe fonts that have symbols and shapes in the positions designated for alphabetical or numeric characters. Often before, Lloyd has examined language with the understanding that so much is distorted by our own perceptions and preconceived notions. By using Wingdings, carefully carving the shapes into the surface of the pages, she further mystifies language expanding the possibilities for multiple associations the way emoticons function in social media – both a tool for communication and a new opportunity for misunderstanding. “Language,” explains the artist, “when considered accordingly - is as convoluted as imagery. We can all see what is before us, but how we see is subject to our own experiences and associations. We believe there is objectivity in our observations, yet we inevitably project a personal conception of past experiences onto what is presented. The parameters within which we think and act are unique to the individual, yet they are mapped in part by the languages and environments surrounding us.” She began to consider how language and symbols shape our encounters with art whilst manipulating the text in her book sculptures. Indeed, what do words and non-words do to a piece? In effect, how do we translate them? Whilst musing upon the topic of translation, she began exploring ways of distorting and altering the aesthetic form of language; thus displaying the process of translation through visual means. Emma Lloyd received her BA in art from the University of Wales in Aberystwyth, graduating in 2004. Though she began as a painter, her interest in visual communication led her to exploring language. In 2013, she was awarded a residency at Salford University in Manchester, UK where she continues to reside. Lloyd’s compelling

work has been included in publications such as Typographic Universe, published by Thames and Hudson in the UK and Paper Secret, published by Hightone Books in China. In 2016, Lloyd took part in exhibitions South Africa and Belgium as well as here in the United States.


Emily Payne Berkeley, California

As a sculptor and former book artist, Emily Payne likes to take apart old books and mine them for their parts. She finds her books in dumpsters or in the discard pile in local libraries. She recycles the books, once functioning primarily as containers for words, and transforms them into a combination of two- and three- dimensional collaged and sculptural works. In Loop, she cut and reassembled the rectangular book covers into a puzzle-like form that she glued together as her “canvas.” An extension of Payne’s highly successful exhibition, Heave Heft/Weave Weft in the gallery in February, Loop plays with concepts of shadow and light. Restricting herself to the cream and tans of the inside boards of the books and painstaking drawing in graphite, the artist plays with our perceptions. The coiled “loop” appears as light superimposed upon variations of shadow. The effect is multidimensional and enormously pleasing. Payne’s ingenious work with book boards and book covers began when she received her MFA in printmaking and book arts at San Francisco State University. She found herself continually drawn to the materials as sculpture and began to assemble them in ways that celebrated their innate qualities while offering a surface she could draw and paint upon. At the same time she was creating work with wire, and became fascinated with the way 3-dimensional objects enliven the environment they inhabit. Her concern was about relationships - between the work and the environment, between one work and another as well as the juxtaposition of space, shadow and light created by the whole. The combination of the two media merges in works like Loop, where the artist is able to create the impression of the object directly on the patterned surface.

Emily Payne Loop, 2017

graphite on book boards 39 x 40 in


Susan Porteous

Playing the Cards, 2013

altered book, plywood, linen thread 34 x 28 x 8.5 in


Susan Porteous Bend, Oregon

Susan Porteous is the owner of Green Bird Press, a small letterpress printing and bindery operation with a modern, minimalist, often geeky approach to design. Cards, coasters, and other products are all hand printed on an antique tabletop press using a combination of handset type and custom metal plates. Journals are hand bound using traditional binding techniques, often feature recycled leather for their covers, and are perfect for writing or drawing. Susan is also a book and paper artist whose work focuses on sculptural book works and origami installations that investigate issues of form, content, word, and image. Her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout America and in Europe and can be found in multiple publications on book art including Various Small Books (MIT Press) and Art Made From Books (Chronicle Books).

Susan Porteous

Advanced Auction Bridge, 2013

altered book, leather, linen thread, wood, metal hardware 24 x 4 x 4 in

Playing the Cards is one of a series of bridge-like structures formed by rebinding found books containing instructions on how to play the card game bridge. In this work, the book is bound to a curving spine and the arched columns are made of laminated plywood. Advanced Auction Bridge is one of a series of bridge-like structures formed by rebinding found books containing instructions on how to play the card game bridge. This bridge book is bound to a piece of leather recycled from protective clothing once worn while pouring molten metal and uses the material’s existing hardware to attach to sections of rough cut cedar. Derivations has an experimental binding based on the traditional binding over cords. The technique has been manipulated to create meandering organic lines across the expanded length of the spine.

Susan Porteous

Derivations, 2013

altered book, linen thread, wood 20 x 3.5 x 3.5 in


Steph Rue

Lectio Divina, 2012

handmade abaca paper and thread 5.5 x 5.5 x .05 in


Steph Rue

Sacramento, California Lectio Divina explores the practice of sacred reading by way of repetition, meditation, and contemplation. This series of three accordion books is enclosed in a four-flap portfolio case. Each book is letterpress-printed with handset metal types and washed with sumi ink. The books, collaged strips, embroidered thread, and case are from unbleached abaca paper made by the artist. This book can be ‘read’ sequentially or can be displayed as three opened panels.

Artist Steph Rue draws, collages, cuts, sews, weaves, and prints with or on handmade paper. The process and content of her work are informed by my explorations in religion and spirituality and her interest and travels in Korea. She uses the interactive medium of the book to create an experience of a spiritual idea and integrates spirituality and materiality, traditional and contemporary techniques, into works that can be read, prayed, and held in the hand. Steph Rue is a 2015-2016 recipient of a Fulbright Arts Research Grant to South Korea, where she studied traditional Korean bookbinding, papermaking, and printing. She holds a BA from Stanford University and an MFA from the University of Iowa Center for the Book. Her artist books and paper works have been exhibited both nationally and internationally. Steph Rue first appeared in our 2012 Art of the Book Show. Her books have a reverential quality to them. They are elegant and subtle like a whispered prayer.

Steph Rue

Lectio Divina, 2012

handmade abaca paper and thread 5.5 x 5.5 x .05 in


Catherine Eaton Skinner

Catherine Eaton Skinner

encaustic, oil, Moab Entrada paper on panel 24 x 24 x 2 in

encaustic, oil, Moab Entrada paper on panel 24 x 24 x 2 in

Accumulations VIII, 2017

Accumulations II, 2016


Catherine E. Skinner

Seattle, Washington/Santa Fe, New Mexico

Catherine Eaton Skinner works out of her Northwest and Santa Fe studios as a multidisciplinary artist, incorporating painting and encaustic, sculpture, printmaking and photography. Growing up east of Seattle, she then received her B.A. in Biology from Stanford University in 1968, while studying art under Nathan Oliveira and Frank Lobdell. The figure, human and animal, is an important element in her work and acts as a source of inspiration and exploration of identity, spirit and the paradoxes of human existence. Her work explores the natural world, its intricacies and energies that require a fine balance. Often using the Eastern philosophical number of 108, Skinner uses repetition of sacred forms, reiterating both the artistic and the spiritual dissolution of the self into the whole. The five elements – earth, fire, water, air and ether, foundations of the universe - also interact significantly in her work. In 2016, after 3 years of working on her impressive book, 108, the artist began her series entitled “Accumulations.” In this series, she was interested in stacking and gathering without attachment to any particular number. The paintings in this exhibition are of prayer books. In Accumulations VIII, they are Tibetan Chanting books. In Accumulations II, we see red Buddhist prayer books and the vertical blue book stack, Accumulations IV is of a stack of blue books that the artist saw in Myanmar in her many travels. She says of these new works: Stacking, gathering, collecting, assembling, amassing, mounding…all words speaking to accumulations. There are stone stacks and sea stacks, wood stacks, and book stacks. The pages of my book were stacked, colors bleeding down and then across the sides. Time leaves rings stacked around the beginning core of seedling trees. Time leaves horizontal strata in the earth, layers of various colors and beds of matter. Vertical stacking relates to the heart beats or the earth movements recorded on monitor printouts. The Korean Dansaekhwa artists more often painted in vertical stacking patterns across the work. Data stacking refers to the computer term LIFO, Last-in First-out principle, like a container of objects. This series is in the first stages of exploration. My mind stays open to experimentations and listening to my early morning dreams. - Catherine E. Skinner, 2016

Catherine Eaton Skinner Accumulations IV, 2016

encaustic, oil, Moab Entrada paper on panel 24 x 12 x 2 in


Mike Stilkey

Old Man Questioning Existence, While Dogs Wait For Ball, 2016 acrylic on discarded books 18 x 8 x 6 in


Mike Stilkey

Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles native Mike Stilkey has always been attracted to painting and drawing not only on vintage paper, record covers and book pages, but on the books themselves. Using a mix of ink, colored pencil, paint and lacquer, Stilkey depicts a melancholic and at times a whimsical cast of characters inhabiting ambiguous spaces and narratives of fantasy and fairy tales. A lingering sense of loss and longing hints at emotional depth and draws the viewer into their introspective thrall with a mixture of capricious poetry, wit, and mystery. His work is reminiscent of Weimar-era German expressionism and his style has been described by some as capturing features of artists ranging from Edward Gorey to Egon Schiele. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States as well as internationally, at galleries and museums such as the Bristol City Museum in the UK, Bakersfield Museum Of Art in Bakersfield, CA, Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, Mesa, AZ, Andrea Schwartz Gallery in San Francisco, CA, Kinsey/DesForges Gallery in Culver City, CA, David B. Smith Gallery in Denver, CO, Gilman Contemporary Gallery, Ketchum, ID, and Rice University Gallery, Houston, TX. He has also created numerous largescale installations internationally, in Turin, Italy; Bern, Switzerland; Manila, Philippines; and Hong Kong and Beijing, China.

Mike Stilkey

Old Man Getting a Chair to the Head, 2015

acrylic on discarded books 18.5 x 9 x 6 in


Vita Wells

Berkeley, California

Flights of Mind is an installation of books varying in subject, language, condition and color that are altered and installed as an integrated body. Each book is in motion, suspended at different heights, pitch and yaw, subtly turning independent of the others. The shape and orientation of the installation suggests direction and motion. The work was first sponsored by the Berkeley Public Library Foundation for the Foundation’s 11th Annual Authors Dinner, hosted by Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman in 2013. Wells was born and bred in South Texas and attended Williams College and Yale. She has been creating objects since she was old enough to wield an exacto knife. While involved in textile arts in the late 1990’s, she was given a provocative book that she was compelled to improve with her knife, finding the results to be quite satisfying. Not abandoning her loom, spindle and dye pots completely, she expanded her toolbox to include a jigsaw, bandsaw, drill press and oxyacetylene torch, and her media began to include copper, steel, and books.

Vita Wells

Flights of Mind, 2017

books and monofilament varie


Barbara Wildenboer Capetown, South Africa

Brave New World, the carved book by South African artist, Barbara Wildenboer is part of the Library of the Infinitesimally Small and Unimaginably Large, an ongoing project that started in 2011. The altered books are made from found books, particularly old books of maps and atlases. The books become both reference and raw material for sculptures, paper installations and digital animation. The books, sentences, words and letters become elements of a new visual narrative in which the old and new forms co-exist. 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. The choice of the paperback version of Brave New World was a reflection of the times. Barbara Wildenboer has participated in several group exhibitions and art fairs both nationally and internationally, including South Africa, San Francisco, London, Dubai, Sydney and Hong Kong. In 2011 she was nominated and subsequently selected as one of the top 20 finalists for the Sovereign African Arts Award for which she received the Public Choice Prize. 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 (Colombia, 2011), the Rimbun Dahan artist residency (Penang, Malaysia, 2013) and the Serlachius residency in Finland (2017). Wildenboer lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa. She obtained a Masters in Fine Art (with distinction) from the Michaelis School of Art at the University of Cape Town in 2007. Before that she completed a BA (Ed) with majors in English literature, Psychology and Pedagogics at the University of Pretoria in 1996 followed by a Bachelor of Visual Arts from UNISA.

Barbara Wildenboer

Brave New World, 2017 altered book 21 x 21 in (framed)


Nanette Wylde

Redwood City, California

California native, Nanette Wylde is a conceptual artist, writer and cultural worker making socially reflective, language-based works generally of hybrid media. Wylde has a great passion for the book as an art object, and as a container and conveyor of thought and imagination. Even so, many of her own works take digital form.They can only be experienced via a computer and fall under the category of Electronic Literature. She thinks of these works as books also. In addition to creating in book form,Wylde curates exhibitions of artists’books under the title,Conceptually Bound. Wylde has a BA in Behavioral Science from San Jose State University. Her MFA is in Interactive Multimedia from Ohio State University. She is Professor of Art & Art History at California State University, Chico where she developed and heads the Digital Media/Electronic Arts Program. Her artists’ books, prints and electronic works are included in significant international collections including: The Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, United Kingdom; The Iraqi National Library, Baghdad, Iraq; The Oakland Museum of California; Museum of the Miniature Book, Baku, Azerbajian; Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany; The Electronic Literature Collection, Volume One; and many Public and University Library Special Collections. Between Us Two is a recovered screen print on canvas with needle felted wool. It is housed in a custom drop spine box. In her words, “Communication is a wooly fog of intentions and perceptions, interpretation and memory. Sometimes we find each other. Sometimes we don’t. Do I see you? Do you see me?”

Nanette Wylde

Between Us Two, 2017

handmade felted artist book 6.75 x 8.5 x 2 in closed


Sandy Young

After the Show, 2013

mixed media with kiln-formed glass, wire and tacks on birch panel 30 x 40 x 3 in


Sandy Young Sonoma, California

With her ingenious use of kiln-formed glass and mixed media, Sandy Young is a storyteller, weaving images into multiple planes. Markings and handwriting serve as mementos of lives from the past. Often inspired by turn-of-the-century photographs, handwritten documents and time-worn objects, the artist imagines other lives and other times. Mixing old with new, combining disparate images and elements, she seek to create harmony and illustrate the connections between all things. Distressed and fragmented layers allude to the passage of time. As with memory, one moment is erased, while the next is painted, leaving only impressions of the first. Young received her Bachelor of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in “Materials, Techniques and Form� and went on to the Artists and Technology Series at the MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies. In addition she had a one year full fellowship in Product Design at Stanford University and took printmaking courses at the University of California, Berkeley. In After the Show, a worn leather volume forms the background. A stamped date, 1868 and a French 10 centime stamp give a clue of the historical date. A woman in a dress with a pink bodice is holding a mask to her face as she looks up from a metal chair. On the verso, we see a sign of carriages and people strolling on some European bridge. The images join together to suggest a memory or story, perhaps written about in the beautiful curved handwriting. In Voyage, we see two young boys (brothers?) superimposed above a book that might well suggest a passport stamped from Frankfurt, Germany. The postage stamp too is German from the early 30’s and there is an old map of the world. So many clues, but the artist leaves enough to engage the imagination of the viewer.

Sandy Young Voyage, 2015

mixed media with kiln-formed glass, wire and tacks on birch panel 18 x 24 x 2 in


The Art of the Book, 2017 at Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley  

Full color catalog of the gallery's 12th annual exhibition of handmade books, altered books and book-related works.

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