Exhibit: Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here

Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here
A three-part exhibition of artist books and broadsides

January 7 – June 21, 2013
Opening Reception:  Monday, January 14, 2013 at 6:00-8:00p

CAC Gallery at the Cambridge Arts Council
City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 2nd Floor, Cambridge, MA

On March 5, 2007, a car bomb exploded on al-Mutanabbi Street, the ancient street of booksellers, poets and writers, located at the literary and cultural heart of Baghdad, Iraq.  The attack killed 30 people and injured scores more. As part of an international response to this event, the Cambridge Arts Council presents “Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here,” a three-part exhibition of 261 artist books made by 260 international artists from 24 countries.This exhibition events aims to bear witness to the events on Al-Mutanabbi Street, and to collectively affirm that the right to a free exchange of ideas and culture in public space is never to be taken for granted.

Over the course of six months and three exhibitions, the Cambridge Arts Council will present the entire collection of astoundingly powerful artistic creations along with a number of related events such as film screenings, poetry readings, curated conversations at the opening receptions, book-making workshops for children and adults, and in-depth panel discussions.

Visit website for more information, event listings, images and video:

Save the Date – Sam Ellenport Lecture

Thursday, February 7, 6:00pm – 8:00pm at the North Bennet Street School

Sam Ellenport talks about his 40+ years as a bookbinder and historian and the changes in the craft during his career. Today’s bookbinders bridge the gap between the traditional craft of producing multiples and the current practice of making unique items while navigating a world in which the transfer of knowledge and information retrieval happens through a constantly advancing world of electronics. Sam makes comparisons between our times and important transformations that occurred during the second half of the 15th century and early 16th century.

Sam Ellenport’s influence on the bookbinding field in New England cannot be overstated. He was instrumental in establishing the bookbinding program at North Bennet Street School in Boston, was the first Chair of the New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers and is past President of Harcourt Bindery. Sam is a highly skilled bookbinder, collector, lecturer and writes about the history of bookbinding. His most recent publication “Reflections of Two Craftsmen: Sam Ellenport & Ron Gordon” [Boston: Club of Odd Volumes, 2012] was written with Gordon, his former roommate at Amherst College.

Free – please register.

NBSS Annual Holiday Stroll & Student Sale

Enjoy some holiday shopping on December 7th at the 6th Annual Holiday Stroll in Boston’s North End neighborhood. Beginning at 7:00 pm, you can explore local galleries, boutiques and design studios. Make sure to stop by the North Bennet Street School and shop handmade items made by students from the Bookbinding, Jewelry and Furniture Making departments.


Social Event Reminder

Reminder – our first monthly social event will be Wednesday (Dec. 5th) at Christopher’s in Porter Square, 1920 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA from 5:30 until whenever. No registration or prior notice is required, just show up if you feel like it, look for Katherine Westermann Gray in the party hat, see some old friends and get a chance to meet some new ones.

If you have a favorite hangout anywhere in New England where you think we should host a get together in the future, just email Katherine at katherinewestermann@yahoo.com.

Looking forward to a fun evening!