The New England Chapter of The Guild of Book Workers (NEGBW) is pleased to announce a multi-state book exhibition, Geographies: New England Book Work. The exhibit opened March 3, 2014 at the Rhode Island School of Design’s Fleet Library in Providence, Rhode Island. Over the next two years, the exhibition will journey to venues in each of the six states within the region.
This show represents current work from our membership of bookbinders, book artists, printers, conservators, and calligraphers, working in our widespread New England communities and beyond. The work presented will appeal to book lovers and artists of all ages, aficionados of the printed word, and those interested in New England’s history as interpreted in books of all kinds.
With the only restraint that the work must relate to the theme of New England or the individual New England states, the 26 exhibitors were free to explore and express their creativity in a finished product of their choice, ranging from fine leather bindings to artist books and calligraphic productions. For many, it was an opportunity to meditate on the meaning of a sense of place. Artist statements accompany the works for viewers interested in the concept of the work or the production of the piece. These point out such details as the use of native natural materials found in a book’s construction, the connection to the exhibit’s theme, or the inspiration drawn from a favorite text.
The exhibit includes classic regional texts, such as Elizabeth Curran’s binding of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and Gerritt VanDerwerker’s binding of The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett. More personal connections to the region appear in Susan Bonthron’s Stones, Anne McLain’s Place, and Laurie Whitehill Chong’s Snow Bound In September: A Re-Imagining.
A number of works deal with New England history from a variety of perspectives, including an 1874 copy of the Gazetteer of the State of Massachusetts bound by John Nove, and 28 Fort Square: What Charles Olson wrote on the window casings of his apartment in Gloucester, Massachusetts, an artist book by Rutherford Witthus. Nancy Leavitt’s Plant Corridors, Penelope Hall’s Wildflowers Around Tufts Pond, and Lindsley Rice’s Some Plants Endemic to New England all explore some aspect relating to New England’s natural world.
While many of the books are the traditional representation of the codex form, Bexx Caswell’s Mind Map and Graham Patten’s Call Me Trimtab might give viewers new ideas of what a book might look like.
The complete list of entrants: Cathy Adelman, Susan Bonthron, Marianna Brotherton, Patty Bruce, Bexx Caswell, Elizabeth Curran, Eric Drzewianowski, Penelope Hall, Karen Hanmer, Barbara Adams Hebard, Deborah Howe, Nancy Leavitt, Anne McLain, Nancy H. Nitzberg, John Nove, Jan Owen, Graham Patten, Todd Pattison, Lindsley Elisa Hand Rice, Sarah M. Smith, Pamela Spitzmueller, Julie B. Stackpole, Gerritt VanDerwerker, Laurie Whitehill Chong, Rutherford Witthus, and Stephanie Wolff.
Geographies: New England Book Work opened March 3, 2014 at the Rhode Island School of Design’s Fleet Library in Providence, Rhode Island. The exhibition is open to the public and located on two floors of the library with varying open hours. Three cases are on the first floor main area, open all library hours: M-Th 8:30 am – 11 pm, F 8:30 am – 8 pm, Sat 10 am – 6 pm, Sun 12 pm – 11 pm. A large single case is on the second floor in Special Collections. The open hours there are M-F 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. http://library.risd.edu/exhibitions-current.html
Subsequent tour stops include the University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, Wiliams College in Massachussetts, Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, and ends its run in Fall of 2015 at Connecticut’s Creative Arts Workshop.
The full exhibition schedule is listed here, though please confirm closer to exhibition dates with individual venues, as slight changes may be required.
Fleet Library at Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI
March 3 – May 31, 2014
Pope-Cheney Art Studio, Wishcamper Center, University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME
June 16 – August 22, 2014
Bailey/Howe Library, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
September 8 – December 12, 2014
Williams College Library, Williamstown, MA
January 12 – March 20, 2015
Dartmouth College Library, Hanover, NH
April 6- August 21, 2015
Creative Arts Workshop, New Haven, CT
September 16 – October 9, 2015
Please stay tuned for any special programs in conjunction with the exhibition as it travels around the various venues. Details will be available through e-mails, the NEGBW website, and NEGBW’s Facebook page.