I've been an absent blogger for a while, but not for lack of activity and news to report. The past couple of months have seen some exciting developments. For one, I'm finally making progress on a new artist's book project with Steve Addiss that's been in the planning stages for several years now. I'll have a new post about that soon, with photos.
The other most exciting thing has been the founding of a new local book arts group in the area -- the Triangle Area Book Arts Group.
Last year when my library helped to host a series of book arts events at UNC and Duke, two themes kept coming up. First: there was a ton of local interest in book arts and a multitude of practitioners. Second: we were all working individually, with only sporadic contact with each other and no network for sharing news, questions, or expertise.
After the series of events wrapped up, I stayed in contact with the people who expressed an interest and together we have started this group. There are several components. First we have a Google group which serves as an email listserv for all members to share news and plan events. Second, we've been meeting monthly to discuss the direction of the group and follow up on event planning. And third, we've been planning workshops and other activities outside of the monthly meetings. In April Lisa Gilbert taught a workshop on how to create the mysterious Secret Belgian Binding. And last month Mary Yordy and Bryant Holsenbeck taught the group techniques for making paste paper.
Along with the meetings and workshops, we are planning more public presentations to raise awareness of book arts in the local community -- demonstrations, exhibits of our work, etc. It looks like our first foray into that area will be at Frank Gallery in Chapel Hill, where three of us will discuss our work at one of their TGI Thursday artist talks in July. It's tentatively scheduled for Thursday, July 7th from 5-8 p.m. -- I'll post the details when it's 100% certain.
In the meantime, if you're in the area and are curious about the book arts scene, please feel free to check out the Google group and get in touch! We're a very friendly group open to all areas of book arts interest and skill levels.
And if you've read this far, here's a glimpse of the new book: