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.
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….
…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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
While there were certain pieces that were on display when the summer season began, such as this paper sculpture by Bob Nopper…
..and a collection of Japanese Pop-up greeting cards,….
…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.
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!
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 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…)