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College Presents Book Arts Preview Exhibition

November 04, 2015

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Students assist with Book Art Preview ShowSaint Anselm College's first Book Arts Preview Exhibition will showcase more than 30 of the nearly 85 artist books on loan to the college this year for exhibitions and workshops.

The exhibition is co-curated by Alicia Bailey of the Abecedarian Gallery, which specializes in artist books, and Professor Kimberly Kersey-Asbury of the Fine Arts Department, with the special assistance of her mixed media students, MaryPat Devine '16 and Valerie Nugent '16. Devine, an art history major and Nugent, a biology major, helped to assemble the Preview show that will be on display Nov. 4 - Dec. 16 in the Geisel Library.

Faculty, staff, students, and the community are invited to a Reception for the Preview Exhibition on Friday, Nov. 6, from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Geisel Library's foyer gallery.

"The book arts show in the Geisel Library lends beautifully to my experiences as an art student here," says Devine. "I had the opportunity to handle the artist books, choose them for the preview showing, and arrange them in the gallery space with Professor Asbury, which allowed me to be fully active in the a curatorial process."

The exhibition features works of art using literary formats. Among the 34 books that will be on display throughout the first show, are "Web Words," an artist book by Brigette Amarger, and "HereSay," by Casey Gardner. "HereSay" is a beautifully made book focusing on how we speak, how we hear, and how we locate ourselves along the dimensions of truth and lies.

Collaborating with the Fine Arts Department on the exhibition is the Office of Residential Life, the Humanities Program, Conversatio, and the Geisel Library.

Book Art Preview Show includes work by artist Casey Gardner"Geisel Library is excited to be partnering with the Fine Arts Department for this display because it invites us to look at books and the content inside the book through a different lens," says librarian Gwen Verkuilen-Chevalier.

The Preview show will also include a local New Hampshire book artist, Erin Sweeney, who will be conducting a bookbinding workshop at Saint Anselm in the spring.

"The opportunity to invite so many talented book artists to exhibit with us this year and to work on these exhibitions with Alicia Bailey is quite a thrill," says Kersey-Asbury, a book artist herself.

Saint Anselm students interested in book arts are hand-making books this semester, and are also helping with the Preview Exhibition's installation.

"In the full show, opening in January, we will delve deeper into what book arts is, with the opportunity to see a book as a sculptural object," says Devine. "Students from the mixed media class even have the opportunity to have their artist books included. I am so excited to see this exhibition fully in action on this campus, challenging the boundaries of art and of the written word."

In addition to the exhibition, the library is highlighting books about book art, bookbinding, and other areas that pertain to the history and creation of books and literary art, combining these resources with actual examples of artist books by leading artists in the field.

Margaret Lynch '17 and Jamie Dulac '17 contributed to this story.

Photos (courtesy of Fine Arts Department and Casey Gardner): Top Valerie Nugent '16 and MaryPat Devine '16; Bottom: Casey Gardner's artist book "Here-Say"

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