Friday, May 24, 2013

Bound & Unbound: Mendocino Exhibit 2013

My bookworks were invited to a show in Mendocino, and I was invited to give a talk there as well. Janet Self organizes art events at Odd Fellows, an open and light-filled, two-story wooden building up the street from the Pacific Ocean. This show is called Bound & Unbound: Exploring the Art of letter, word & book and it will extend through June 2013.

A broad range of work was included from paintings, quilts, and prints…

To what was labeled "A Bookie's Chair" by Wendell Rickon…Yes, you could sit in it.

And words incorporated into papier mache masks (in the book) and torso…

One section featured books that could be handled (mine are there)…

And one wall showcased the entire alphabet, each letter created by a different artist, and ready to be auctioned off as a benefit (starting bid $50)…

The Hebrew alphabet also made an appearance on small painted canvases…a piece by Alena Deerwater, who also works at Gallery Bookshop, one of my favorite stops in Mendocino.

Upstairs there was An International Print Exchange Portfolio from 2001 titled, "The End of Language" organized by Adam Wolpa. The wall text says, "Displayed together, the prints form a circle that mimics traditional game boards. The prints are mostly two-sided, conceptually intended to be moved, flipped, played." It would be fun to create a set of these that could be placed on the floor and handled during an exhibit.

The highlight of the show for me was its overall display of love for reading, writing, and making. I was also impressed by it as a community event. It is inclusive: works from established artists are shown next to projects done in the schools like this collection of dos-á-dos books upstairs…

Some of the kids' books contained opposite concepts: 
"Sun" on one side, "Rain" on the other.
Others were imaginative like this one, "The Sock Monkey" and "The Girl."

Overview of upstairs. Photos taken by children of children (ages 3 & 4) are on the far wall.

There were "Creation Station" activities, such as helping to write the longest poem ever (you can see part of the paper unrolled above on the floor on the right). And a "Typing Pool" (on the right).

Downstairs, a vitrine held many works by Dayle Doroshow, a Fort Bragg resident, artist, and instructional book author who used to teach polymer clay workshops at the San Francisco Center for the Book. Her clay treatments inspired me to develop a method to distress museum boards for book covers. Dayle has books in the first 500 Handmade Books on pages 192 and 268. (500 Handmade Books Volume 2 , with books chosen by Julie Chen, is due out September 2013.)

A peaceful show, indoors and out.


Monica said...

Is there a list of shows like this somewhere. living in the boonies I only hear about them after the fact or too late to make travel arrangements. Thanks

Alisa said...

There are many book arts organizations—perhaps there is one near you that has a community events listing? Check out some of the links to Book Arts Organizations in the sidebar on the right.

You don't say where you are, but local exhibits like the Mendocino show are often labors of love and aren't always posted globally.

Syracuse University hosts (or at least used to host) a Book Arts ListServe that will list many events.

If you are planning to travel, I recommend planning to attend Codex. See this post for the highlights of 2013 (the next one in the USA is in 2015).
We {Heart} Books: Codex Book Fair 2013

dayle doroshow said...

Alisa, thank you so much for your lovely comments about my polymer clay books in the show. I was so sorry to miss your talk and meeting you but left to teach in France on May 15. I hope we can meet sometime in the near future.