Books, Books and More Books

- March 9, 2012

“Literary and art events around town…”

I don’t know if it is a function of my sense of hibernation or from the chill I feel during the cold winter months or just that that I have more time indoors, but books come to my mind more often at this time of year. It’s a time for reading, going to book signings, learning about book projects, even seeing book art and, yes, buying whatever I can get my hands on. At least all of this gets me through the winter months when I can’t be in my garden – even my greenhouse is in semi-hibernation. So, what’s happening around town?

Do you have a library card?
On Thursday, March 29 the Visual Arts Gallery at Santa Fe Community College opens No Library Card Required with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m.
This is an inaugural exhibition celebrating SFCC’s Center for Book Art and Printmaking and runs through April 26.

SFCC’s Center for Book Art and Printmaking is dedicated to promoting these arts. The Center offers faculty who are accomplished artists with a breadth of professional experience, state-of-the-art equipment, studio rental and workshops throughout the year.

This national invitational exhibit features fine art books, altered books, books as sculpture and artist’s books. Featured book artists include Tor Archer, Carol Barton, Emily Martin, Daniel Essig, Janet Jones and many others (a complete list is at Exhibiting nationally and internationally, the artists have received numerous prestigious awards and are represented in museums, galleries and private collections.

In addition to the Visual Arts Gallery exhibit, work by students, faculty, program alumni and the Book Arts Group of Santa Fe will be displayed in the School of Arts and Design, in the Fine Arts building. Works by book art and printmaking instructors and the Center for Book Art and Printmaking Board of Advisors will be exhibited in the college’s Main Hall exhibition space. Additional exhibits showcasing the college’s extensive collection of book arts will be shown at the SFCC Library and other locations on campus.

Guest speaker Emily Martin of Naughty Dog Press will present a lecture and slideshow of her sculptural and movable artist’s books Friday, March 30, 7-9 p.m. in the SFCC Board Room. On May 11, Daniel Essig, book sculpture and instructor at Penland (NC) will discuss “Sculpture and the Book,” detailing his work with wood-covered art books and book-based sculptures using the 4th-century Ethiopian Coptic style.

Sculptural Books and Books as Dresses
Books as sculptural objects have always been of interest to me and I also love handmade books, both as objects and sources of literature. Kristiina Lahde’s phone book art is pictured above as well as a couple of images of Ravenna Osgood’s outrageous “Harry Potter “dress from Santa Fe’s Recycled Arts Festival.

Osgood, a young New Mexico designer, has been winning prizes for her fashions in Santa Fe’s Recycled Arts Festival for years. This time around she’s concocted a wearable book, literally, crafting her dress from J.K. Rowling’s now-classic texts. She’s proven herself a fashion magician with found materials ranging from coffee bags to credit cards. For more pictures of Ravenna and the Recycled Arts event, go to

And, down at the Palace of the Governors
At the Palace Press, curator Tom Leech, is putting the final touches on a special edition of Margaret Wood's new memoir about working for Georgia O'Keeffe, “Remembering Miss O'Keeffe,” to be published by the Museum of New Mexico Press in June.

Wood, now a speech pathologist in Santa Fe, was O'Keeffe's cook and companion from 1977 to 1982. In 1991, Red Crane Press published Wood's collection of O'Keeffe's recipes, “The Painter's Kitchen.”

A hand-bound edition titled “O'Keeffe Stories” will be available by Mother’s Day, May 13. These 100 copies, with fine-art-charcoal paper and 1920s typography, printed on a 60-year-old Vandercook letterpress, will sell for $225 each.

Of this special edition, Leech  said, "When I was trying to come up with a feel for this book, I went to the O'Keeffe Museum and looked at her charcoal drawings – definitely some of her best and most interesting work. I tried to put together a book that had the feel of the materials that she would have used."  This special edition has no photographs, but it includes an original engraving of the artist by illustrator Barry Moser, using a photograph by Wood's father, Myron Wood, that shows O'Keeffe's deeply wrinkled face as she studies a box of rocks.

"I love this photograph of her looking at those stones," Leech said. "I would like to think that she would look at this book with that same intensity."

It was Destiny
“Shaping Destiny: A quest for meaning in Art and Life” is a new book by multi-talented artist Destiny Allison.

Collected Works Bookstore will host Destiny and Ted Orland, bestselling author of “Art & Fear” and “View from the Studio Door” in a reading and conversation on Friday, March 16th at 6:00 p.m.

Seating is limited.  Please RSVP by responding to this email if you are able to attend. 

A Whirling Dervish of animated speech and creative energy, Destiny Allison and her activities deserve more space than I can allot in the space of this post on literary items, so I will continue in a separate post in just a few minutes.