North Main Gallery, 2014, Salem NY

North Main Gallery, 2014, Salem NY

For the past few summers the Book Arts Summer In Salem (BASIS) has been evolving as the involvement of the main organizers ebb and flow. This summer Al Hutchinson aka Hutch, (no relation, except professionally to Ed Hutchins) joined the mix and developed a community sourced facet to this summer’s exhibit. This focus on the community continues into the fall, in a most unexpected and exciting way, but more about that later.

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The theme of the summer was Paper Structures. Lynn Oddo, Donna Maria de Creeft, Cathy Daughton, and I taught a wide range of skills. The work that came out of our workshops became part of an ever-expanding show! I loved the fluidity, expansiveness and playfulness that this brought into the gallery. Lynn Oddo was the first up. She taught animation with stop-action photography, then  put together and made available a video of the mini-movies that people created. Donna Maria de Creeft taught Origami Accordion Structures, which resulted in the books pictured above, as well as….inside to out

…this long trailing origami stream that was displayed in the window. The story I was told about this was that after the class was over, a young participant in the workshop showed his friend how to make the base of this structure. Then the two of them repeated this folding technique, having a grand time using up the all the paper left-over from the workshop. Ruth Sauer, the owner of the gallery, was so delighted by the results of their industriousness that she found a front and center place for their creation.

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Cathy Daughton introduced us to the secrets of quilling. I have long wondered why, when I try to curl paper, nothing interesting happens. I, therefore, quite eagerly signed up for the quilling class. Another one of life’s mysteries revealed! There are tools and techniques that I had no clue about.

Examples of Quilling done in Cathy Daughton's workshop

Examples of Quilling done in Cathy Daughton’s workshop

Ruth managed to convince us to leave our blossoming efforts for display.  But harvesting from workshops wasn’t the only manner in which pieces showed up here.

by Al Hutchinson

by Al Hutchinson

I think I am remembering this correctly – while Hutch was hanging these prints before the opening of the show, there came a clamoring that he create something similar for the window of the gallery, which he did, which you can see in the photo at the top of the post.

Jumping Jacks by Paula Beardell Krieg

My Jumping Jacks

Another impromptu entry happened when we were doing the animation class. I said something about Jumping Jacks, which was an unknown structure to someone in the room. So, at lunchtime I went home and brought back these two colorful guys, which Hutch then re-appropriated for the wall space next to his trees.

By Bob Nopper

By Bob Nopper

While there were certain pieces that were on display when the summer season began, such as this paper sculpture by Bob Nopper…

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..and a collection of Japanese Pop-up greeting cards,….

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…as well as some zany pop-up books, other items showed up next to the original displays at the summer wore on. That tall pink pop-up card on the right in the photo above was one of the samples I made for my cut and folded structures workshop.

By Ruth Sauer

By Ruth Sauer

It was such a delight to walk in the gallery and see what had showed up next. The whole summer felt like a group-sourced performance piece. It seems fitting, therefore, that the grand finale of the season should have a community centered theme, which it does in a big and unabashed way.

The Briton Is Coming!

I have no idea who made this sign, but I love it

I have no idea who made this sign, but I love it

What’s happening next is so wonderful that it defies comprehension…especially since it won’t exactly exist until tomorrow. At this very moment Ed Hutchins has his hands full hanging and displaying the amazing Paul Johnson’s work at the North Main Gallery, which will feature, guess what!

Paul Johnson's Salem Village Panorama sign

Paul Johnson, Salem Village Panorama

Paul Johnson created a body of work based on the buildings of Salem, NY! I can’t tell you much more than that, though, until after tomorrow. Then on September 23 at 6pm, between engagements in Philadelphia and Balitmore, Mr. Johnson will be coming to Salem for an Art Party and presentation, which will include some never before exhibited work. The next day, Wednesday, September 24, he will be teaching  an all day workshop (there are two spots lefts at the time of this writing). Make note that even though the show opens tomorrow, the Art Party opening will be happening on September 23 at 6pm. Be there! (My apologizes to my readers in far off places like Australia and Qatar…)

More Salem Buildings to Come sign

 

Announcement cards BASIS 2013There’s one more post about the Book Arts Summer in Salem 2013 that I want to write, even though summer has now given way to autumn. I guess this post is more about making sure I have a record of the show, as seeing it was like going down a rabbit hole…the more I looked in certain directions, the more there was to see.

Broadsides Designed by Shawn Sheehy for Onerios Press

Broadsides Designed by Shawn Sheehy for Onerios Press

For instance, Shawn Sheehy exhibited a number of broadsides which featured the writing of various poets. I knew that there must be more to know about this project, so googled the press that printed the broadsides, Onerios Press,, which led me to the Vamp and Tramp website, which OMG has gathered in one place more presses, artists’ books, miniature books, and broadsides (not mention new arrivals) than I will ever have time to sift through….though I’ve been working at it!

Sheehy notebook

Sheehy Notebooks

Another sort of rabbit hole were these notebooks that Sheehy set out on a table. He invited the viewer to look through them…I wanted to take them home.

Sheehy notebook, open

Sheehy notebook, open

Each page was filled, and I mean filled with notes, drawings, and plans, It was such a treat to have a peek at the inner workings of Shawn’s process of working. One thought that I kept having as I viewed the show was , ‘I wonder how this guy’s mind works?’ and here I actually got the chance to read through what he was thinking and seeing as he worked through ideas.

Carrot or Tree, a turn upside-downable accordion by Cathy Daughton

Carrot or Tree, a turn upside-downable accordion by Cathy Daughton

There are a few more images I want to add in here before I get to the final part of this post. Cathy Daughton made these whimsical, accomplished drawings for an accordion book, which, for me, successfully blurred the distinction between carrots and trees.

BASIS 2013 Susan Bonthron Workshop at North Main Gallery

BASIS 2013 Susan Bonthron Workshop at North Main Gallery

Here’s North Main Gallery full to the brim of participants in Susan Bonthron’s Pesky Bug workshop.  Susan did as much prep for this one workshop than I usually do for a full week of workshops: she wrote and printed up a book about various garden pests, and she created a veritable treasure box of items which we used to  make prints of slimy creatures munching their way through the crops that we evidently plant for their enjoyment.

Images printed for The Pesky Bug Book

Images printed for The Pesky Bug Book

We we each able to print up ten of our gardens’ worst nightmares, ranging from the all too real asparagus beetle  to the tomato horn beetle (a particularly enthusiastic tenant in my husband’s garden) . Fortunately, the booklet that we tipped these pages into provided us with tips for eviction.  It’s not pictured in the photo above, but Susan also included an image of the Fracking Beetle, which has not taken up residence in my backyard, At least not yet.

Now here are the final stars of the show, which I’ve saved for last because I noticed them last. Their names appear just inside of this catalog for the show.

Book Arts Summer in Salem: Veggies, Bugs and Seeds Catalog

Book Arts Summer in Salem: Veggies, Bugs and Seeds Catalog

In little letters, inside of front page,  you can find this line:

???????????????????????????????

The catalog design is such a well done piece that I started looking for more info about  Joe Freedman and Ilisha Helfman. It was such fun looking into the work of this duo! If you want your socks knocked off, check out this blog post written by Nancy Ricciwho visited their studio in Portland Oregon. Links from Nancy’s  post will lead you to a plethora of highly diverse work done by Freedman and Helfman.  But it won’t lead you to Joe’s current (kickstart)   project, his GatorGraph which has nothing to do with alligators, but that’s all I will say about it because I wouldn’t want any understated description of mine deprive you of checking out this brainchild which surely inspires out-of-the box thinking. Oh, and if you are looking at the GatorGraph page and are feeling adventurous, click on the links to the projects that Joe has backed: he has a real eye for ingenious thinking.

Book Arts Summer In Salem 2013 catalog

Book Arts Summer In Salem 2013 catalog, inside

So, thank you Joe and Iiisha for a great catalog, and thank you Ruth Sauer and Ed Hutchins for putting together a memorable show. It’s been a journey. Now, one last look at my favorite piece in the show…

hawn Sheehy's pop-up featured in issue #3 of Vintage Magazine

Shawn Sheehy’s pop-up featured in issue #3 of Vintage Magazine

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