Sunday, September 21, 2008

Art, Fact, and Artifact: The Book In Time And Place

That's the title of the upcoming College Book Art Association (CBAA) Biennial Conference, to be held here in Iowa City, hosted by the University of Iowa Center for the Book. We'll have talks, artist presentations, exhibits, demos, professional development, and tours of UICB and other venues in Iowa City showing work for this conference.

January 8-10, 2009

"Fearful Asymmetry," Randall McLeod, University of Toronto
"Enfolded by Holes: a talk on book openings," Tate Shaw, Preacher’s Biscuit Books and University of Rochester

The list of confirmed participants include Book Arts superstars such as Betty Bright, Julie Chen, Inge Bruggeman, and Daniel Kelm, along with our very own superstars Julie Leonard, Emily Martin, Tim Barrett and Gary Frost. The complete list, along with more information can be found at this UICB site.

I'll be there, helping with a large-format papermaking demo with Elizabeth Munger and Kathleen Tandy, and giving an artist presentation on my work, "Unbound: Book Art Without the Book." It will include squirrels and scrolls.

As Gary Frost would say, "Be there and be square!"

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Please excuse my effete pamphlets

I was trying to figure out how to spell book art today; bookart, book-art, or book art? I'm also confused by artist book, artists book, artist's book, and artists' book. So, I did some googling to see how others spell the words (knowing full well that there isn't one standard just yet). I came across a definition of book art at , and was amused to see that they had managed to reduce the definition down to one paragraph - not an easy task! What surprised me even more was this tidbit in the definition:

<< John A. Walker (Glossary of Art, Architecture and Design Since 1945, 1973, 3rd edn., 1992) writes that it ‘refers to publications by individuals or small groups of artists whose background and training is in the visual arts rather than literature. These publications are usually small in size, slim, white, often effete pamphlets, journals, or booklets issued in small editions and marketed via art galleries rather than via bookshops … Frequently the text and illustrations are minimal and the majority are not splendid examples of printing or binding.’>>

I don't know when he added this definition of book art in the Glossary, so maybe it held water in 1945, but by the last edition in 1992 maybe the editors should have noticed that there are many artists books out there that are not "small in size, slim" or "white". As for the rest of the definition... what a jerk. (One could argue that most paintings suck, too, but that's not exactly how paintings are defined.)

For a better definition of artists books, I prefer Wikipedia's version, or this discussion on the Book Arts Web.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Great Northern Printers' Fair

Mark your calendars - the Great Northern Printers' Fair is coming up soon! Some info from the Briar Press website:

The Fifteenth Annual Midwest and Great Northern Printers’ Fair will take place at Printers’ Hall, on the Old Threshers Grounds in McMillan Park, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa on Friday and Saturday, September 19 & 20, 2008.

Come and join 100 or more other letterpress printers for this great annual event. Friday will consist on an Open House at Printers’ Hall and everyone is invited to come and ‘play’ with our equipment. Saturday will start with a Swap Meet in the morning, followed by an auction just after lunch. The awesome steam powerhouse in the museum building next-door should be operational on Saturday as well.

For complete information, go here. The photo is taken from the Midwest Old Threshers website.

Thinking of going but don't know what to wear? Might I suggest Angel Bomb's new t-shirt design that states "Lead is not dead." It's not really a new design, just new, friendlier colors. I have the original orange, which apparently was a problem for many people, but I'll admit it - I have a fondness for orange t-shirts.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Poster, books, tattoo, and one octopus

Currently working on a new poster for the Iowa City Barn Dance with a fellow printer at Browncity Press. Also, thinking about what to submit to the College Book Art Association's Bi-Annual Student Awards 2009. Interested in submitting something? Click here for the prospectus. Finalists will be on display at this year's conference, Art, Fact, and Artifact: The Book in Time and Place, in January 2009, to be held right here in Iowa City.

While looking for inspirations for a new tattoo, I found this:

Found atBibliOdyssey. Originally used in an ad campaign for Anagram Bookshop in Prague. Nice, huh?

Monday, September 01, 2008

Website update

Finally, after dragging my feet on this project all summer, the Heroes & Criminals Press website is updated! Along with minor changes to the "Shop", Links", and "About" pages, I've added lots more to the gallery pages, including recent posters, prints, and bindings. I even included my most recent project, a box covered with the paper from a hornets' nest, completed while at Penland.

I have a few events coming up this fall: I'll be showing work at the Soap Opera during Iowa City's October Gallery Walk, and I'm participating in a Crafts Fair in November at Home Ec Workshop. I'll post more details very soon!

We have finished the 2008 edition of the Homestead Rocket at the Historic Homestead Printshop in the Amana Colonies, so stop by and pick one up while it's hot off the press! The print shop will be open every Saturday from 10am - 4pm until the end of September.