Yesterday evening I slipped in to Old Washington County Courthouse in Salem, NY, through the back door, for a sneak peek at the BooksInBlack show that opens this evening. I didn’t exactly break into this former jailhouse: There was a Kung Fu going on downstairs, so I knew that back door would be open for exactly 75 minutes. Earlier in the day I had entered the Great Hall of the building through the front door while Ruth Edwards, Gail Bearup, Mary Kilpatrick and Ed Hutchins were setting up the show. The artists’ books were so compelling that I made this plan come back in the early evening when I could have the room all to myself.
This is a show of many layers. There’s the art layer: these books are visually exciting, just what I like, an intriguing blend of graphic and sculptural elements. The work shown here is full of celebration and whimsy. Additionally, it’s a well-researched show, full of history and copies of historical artifacts seamlessly integrated with the artists’ contemporary response.
I had a field day, taking photos of the work with no one around. It had been my intention to post these pictures this morning, but, after thinking about it, decided that it was good manners to first wait for the show to open.
So I left, and will return this evening at 6 pm sharp. With my camera.