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Book Artists Share Their Craft at the Tucson Festival of Books

An Artist's Book - "True to Life" by Julie Chen
An Artist's Book - "True to Life" by Julie Chen

Dates: March 12, 2011 - March 13, 2011

Contact: Roger Myers


Special Collections at the University of Arizona (UA) Libraries will explore the unique craft of book arts during a two-day exhibit and lecture program on March 12 – 13, 2011 held in conjunction with the Tucson Festival of Books. Artists from PaperWorks: The Sonoran Collective for Paper and Book Artists will lead the lecture program to share their experiences of creating books that become unique pieces of art.

The exhibit and lectures are offered in connection with the Art of the Book Collection housed in Special Collections. The collection consists of limited editions by small presses, miniature books, special volumes created by notable binders, pop-up books, as well as thousands of artists’ books, which come in all different shapes and sizes.

The exhibit and lectures will be held in the Special Collections Reading Room. Seating is limited.

The schedule of events is:

PaperWorks: The Sonoran Collective for Paper and Book Artists Exhibit
Special Collections Reading Room
10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 12 & Sunday, March 13

Wax and the Artist Book
Catherine Nash
Saturday, March 12, 2011
11:00 a.m. – noon

Catherine Nash will present an international survey of book artists who are using wax/encaustic as a major media component in their artists’ books. Her talk will be prefaced by a brief introduction to the media of artist books and followed by a brief discussion of suggestions (with some actual samples) on how one could incorporate wax/encaustic into a book format.

Catherine Nash freely mixes the media of paper, books, and encaustic to express her artistic ideas about nature and the movement of time. Nash balances creative studio work with teaching workshops and artist residencies. A passion for travel and different cultures has inspired her to live, exhibit, research and teach on four continents.

Making Photography Books
Nancy Solomon
Saturday, March 12, 2011
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Nancy Solomon will discuss making digital photography books online, with a printing company, or with a publisher. Also on hand will be photographer Virgil Hancock whose photographs were published in American Byzantium: Photographs of Las Vegas and is currently planning his own project. Sheila Johnson of Arizona Lithographers will be there too. Attendees will have the opportunity to speak with them after the talk.

Nancy Solomon designed photography books for the Center for Creative Photography for more twenty years. Solomon is a freelance publishing consultant has made books showcasing photography using letterpress, offset, and digital printing. She is a photographer and has also created many artists’ books that integrate her own photography in many handmade book formats.

Artist and Poet Collaboration
Poetry reading by Michael Rattee and a showing of the innovative artists’ books created by Gene Riggs in collaboration with the poet
Gene Riggs and Michael Rattee
Sunday, March 13, 2011
11:00 a.m. – noon

Michael Rattee’s books and chapbooks include Mentioning Dreams (Adastra Press), Calling Yourself Home (Cleveland State University), Enough Said: A Poetry Dialogue Between Father & Son (Adastra Press), Greatest Hits: 1976-3006 (Pudding House) and Everything Green Everything White. He received a Nation Endowment for the Arts fellowship in poetry. A native New Englander, he has lived in Arizona for thirty years.

Gene Riggs, M.A. Art Education, is a retired art, writing and humanities teacher of children and adults. She spends each day gardening, reading, writing and making art and has lived in Tucson, Arizona, for 26 years.


The Challenge of Creating an Artist’s Book: three book artists each describe their process in creating one of their favorite books
Mary Ellen Palmeri, Nadia Hlibka, Alice Vinson
Sunday, March 13, 2011
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Artist and educator Mary Ellen Palmeri currently focuses on the paper arts--creating unique pop-up cards, booklets, artists’ books, and organically complex origami displays.  Her personalized and internationally unique series, titled "Paper Dreams", often combines origami with hand-embossing, collage, and original drawings. 

Nadia Hlibka has been exhibiting nationally for over 30 years (and a resident of Tucson since 1985). A professional calligrapher, graphic designer and artist, her artwork blends many diverse international cultural histories, languages, and styles. Currently Nadia is enjoying folding and altering antique books and the conundrum that process creates in terms of “reading.”
Alice M. Vinson balances visual, textual, and structural elements in her book art. She captures experiences to provide a glimpse of that reality her work has been exhibited regionally as well as nationally, and can be found in both public and private collections across the United States and Japan.