Falling Open: On & Off the Page, Book Art and Book-Related Objects Curated by Renée Owen. Exhibiting Artists: Jane Ingram Allen, Rhiannon Alpers, Pamela Blotner, Lyn Dillin, Kathleen Edwards, Paula Gray & Susan Gross, Timothy Graveson, Mirka Knaster, Rachel Laufer, Sherrie Lovler, Linda MacDonald, Teddy Milder, Renee Owen, Cheryl Pfeil, Louise Pryor, Inez Storer, Jami Taback, Susan Zimmerman

Jane Ingram Allen, Daily Scrolls

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Lyn Dillin, For the Eradication of Seemingly Incurable Sadness, Letterpress on paper

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Lyn Dillin, Make Beautiful Things, Letterpress on paper

Tim Graveson, Column with Book Beam Sculpture with discarded books, 79 x 52 ins

Artist Statement
This sculpture is comprised of two wooden columns and a section of books as a beam. My preference is to let the viewer tell me the story, to imbue the object with their internal feelings. If I have to put the sculpture into a category it would be social justice, The columns stand in for justice and the book beam for the the weight of justice.

Sherrie Lovler, Marking Time, ink-watercolor-4x3x2-

Artist Statement
I have been seeing our Shelter-in-Place as an Artist-Residence-in-Place. How else to better spend my time than to mark it with art? I want to look back at this era as a productive one, a transformative one, in many ways. I created this book in a class from the Sonoma County Book Arts Guild on Greek binding, a variant of Coptic binding. Like many books we make, it was sitting on my shelf, blank. I made it my pandemic project to paint in it daily as a way to mark this time. It is unfinished, as the pandemic is.

 

Renee Owen, .Sheltering..43x16x2.5

 

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Sheltering, folded view

In the spirit of the Japanese aesthetic of “mono no aware,” a gentle loving towards all that is doomed.

 

Then: A fragment of a long-ago black & white photo, of a little brown-haired girl with a shy smile, kneeling in a backyard sandbox – a container to shelter her from harm. She escapes often, to the quiet woods behind her house, where she collects bones & sticks & feathers, fodder for her imaginative adventures.

Now: There is nowhere to escape to, as a viral pandemic races around the globe and wildfires ravage the drought-stricken land. An endless time of between, of lock downs, and air too smokey to breathe. A time for art making and poetry writing and frozen zooms, where we move like masked marauders, going nowhere. The concept of time, floating yet frenzied, filled with preoccupations of wiping and sanitizing and fearing each other’s touch. And a fine layer of white ash drifts from the darkened sky, blanketing everything in sorrow.

 

Materials: Wood, watercolor paper, deconstructed book parts, vintage Asian box parts, sumi ink, gouache, acrylic, old photograph fragment, waxed linen thread, metal insulation support rods, old saki bottle stopper, bamboo, repurposed curtain finials, woven shoelaces, rusty washer, old postage stamps, bookcloth and Eleanor’s ephemera.
   Techniques: Gestural calligraphy, collage, assemblage, embroidery, knotting, painting, dyeing, artist’s poetry, and original accordion binding.
Year Completed:  2020.

Inez Storer, The Good and the Terrible mixed_media, 12×92020

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Inez Storer, Definition, mixed media, 9×7

Inez Storer, Looking for a Cur 2020, mixed media, 12 x 9 ins. Online only

Rhiannon Alpers, Tracing Outlines,

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Rhiannon Alpers, Whispering Stones, detail

Kathleen Edwards, Shelter in Place, Detail

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Shelter in Place

Mirka Knaster, Journeys into Unknown Territory, 36 x 80 ins

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Mirka Knaster, Cup of Tea, Fiber, 7.5 x 4.5 x 1.25

Linda MacDonald, Sketchbook #1, watercolor on paper, 9 x 6 ins.

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Linda MacDonald, Sketchbook 2020 #2. watercolor on paper, 9 x 6 ins.

Louise Pryor, The World Reads Itself and Weeps, mixed media, 11 x 9 x 11 ins.

Artist Statement
This piece, the tenth in a series of seated figures, was inspired in some sense by watching my grandchildren play with their toys. As they played, I observed that they were in a seamless, flowing world, with no separation between subject and object. The children directed the toys and it also seemed that the toys directed them. This seated, reading figure represents that seamless world, the world that is us. The world reads that it is burning up, flooding, unable to feed its wandering masses desperately trying to escape climate change, unimaginable poverty, hatred and violence, and most recently a global pandemic. The world reads itself and weeps. The figure is made like a rag doll, in a form that a child can understand. It is made from repurposed clothing, an old atlas, fiber fill, buttons, pipe cleaners, and pennies for weight. The materials call to me and as I begin to assemble them, they take on a life of their own. Louise Pryor August 2020

Jami Taback, Pandemic’s Box, prints, 8 x 8 x 1 ins.

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Jami Taback, Aquifers & Spirit Rocks, Book of Prints, 9 x 12 ins.

 

Jami Taback, Bill of Rights, detail, mm on canvas, 5 x 8 ft.

Pamela Blotner, Albatross, carved and painted wood

Artist Statement

“Albatross” addresses our global environmental crisis and the growing number of species vanishing on our planet. Birds, which have been referred to as “Windows to Heaven,” have been particularly affected.

“Albatross” refers to the “Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in which a sailor shoots and kills an albatross, symbol of good luck. His action results in the destruction of the ship and the death of his fellow sailors, while he remains alive,doomed to tell the tale to anyone who will listen for rest of his life.

Kathleen Edwards, Paula Gray, Susan Gross, Tree of Life, collaborative accordion book

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Susan Gross, Kathleen Edwards PaulaGray, Cry to the Living, MixedMedia_10.25X44


Susan Gross, Kathleen Edwards, Paula Gray, Desasosiego, MixedMedia_8.25×36.25

Rachel Laufer, The Silent Spring, Cyanotype, mobile 16 x 24

Artist Statement
My piece reflects the start of the environmental movement in the United States with the publishing of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” in 1962. The book brought attention to the country and the world, the inherent dangers of chemical DDT usage without proper consideration of the consequences to people, animals and the natural world. My cyanotypes capture the cyclical nature of flora, from nascent bud to the reproduction of seed to ensure future survival and Springs to come.

Teddy Milder, Wall Constructions, 11″h x 16 ‘ w

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Teddy Milder, Border Relics, mixed media, 22 x22x14″

I am intrigued by tension generated between hard and soft surfaces; both can be fragile or strong. Through tension, I explore inequality, shifting spaces between ancient/contemporary, creation/destruction, non-violence/aggression. In these Covid-threatening, turbulent political times, I use art to soften tension and isolation.

“wall constructions” and “border relics” were inspired by artist residencies in Oaxaca, Mexico. Arriving just after 2016 Presidential election, threats of building border walls loomed large, becoming the focus of my work. Often built when feeling unsafe, walls can manifest desire to isolate, divide, defend-making it hard to “see” who is on the other side. We now live in imposed isolation with literal and metaphorical walls.

Photographing, I found comfort in Oaxacan ancient-contemporary walls. No longer only physical barriers, they became a state of mind, elements of support, surfaces for art, communication, protest. “wall constructions” are images of Oaxacan walls printed on handmade paper, linked by paper-wrapped barbed wire spanning 17 feet. Stitched enhancements intertwine my handwork to symbolically and delicately mend US border/refugee policies. border relics were inspired by rows of pipe-organ cactus in the Ethno-Botanical Garden. I built cactus structures that reference a porous passageway and relics of those who didn’t make it across the border.

Cheryl Pfeil, Tilt, Letterpress, paper

Artist Statement

Language relics reveal how past civilizations thought about their relationship with the environment and suggest how changes in language may have changed the relationship over time.

I explore my curiosities with paper and ink, my conjuring partners, that combine in unexpected ways, offering fresh vision and pleasure.

 

Susan Zimmerman, Steamship Ticket, fiber, 49 x 39x 2 ins.

 

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Steamship Ticket to America #2 This piece uses historically accurate steamship tickets circa early 1900s, many of them steerage class, to honor the memory of my grandmother who, at age 17, stole a steerage-class steamship ticket to America off the kitchen table and ran off to America from Eastern Europe. This piece is dedicated to all immigrants who made that long ocean journey to America and to all immigrants today from all countries who wish to make American their home.