Artists transform mass-produced books
“Between the Covers: Altered Books in Contemporary Art”
Photos by Joan Mead-Matsui
Artists giving new life to books as unique works of art is the premise behind Between the Covers: Altered Books in Contemporary Art, a must-see exhibit due to close in a matter of days at The Everhart Museum of Natural History & Art in Scranton.
“Between the Covers: Altered Books in Contemporary Art,” is exclusive to the Everhart Museum and guest curated by Sarah Tanguy, a curator of ART in Embassies, US Department of State, as well as an independent curator and art critic based in Washington, DC. Artists from across the United States have utilized mass-produced books as their expressive medium of choice and transformed them into sculpture and installations of all sizes while improvising with text and images. Nezka Pfeifer, Everhart Museum curator installed the exhibit.
Why should you make it a point to see this exhibit?
All 24 artists Tanguy asked to participate have masterfully allowed us to visualize a future without communal libraries, commercial bookstores, and hand-me-down school books as reading for most individuals becomes a digital experience. At the same time, we are challenged visually, in some cases, to find the remnants of the books that have been folded, drilled, shredded, carved, stacked, ripped sewn, pasted, burned and sanded into collage and assemblage.
Nezka Pfeifer, Everhart Museum curator said, “Books are such an accessible portal when it comes to understanding culture and knowledge even if you’re not a big reader.”
The artists are Noriko Ambe, Doug Beube, Caryl Burtner, Long-Bin Chen, Byron Clercx, Brent Crothers, Brian Dettmer, Jessica Drenk, Shiela Hale, Lisa Hill, Jeffrey Kent, John Kirchner, Lisa Kokin, Carole P. Kunstadt, Guy Laramée, Susan Lenz, Corwin Levi, So Yoon Lym, Scott McCarney, Pamela Paulsrud, Buzz Spector, Robert The, Maika’i Tubbs.
“Corwin Levi has a great story when he talks about when his mother was teaching him to read, she would also draws pictures. The stories were always about the pictures he created in his mind. He took polymer clay and created these bursting worlds out of these fairy tale illustrations.”~Pfeifer
Pfeifer shared stories of each of the artists’ journeys that have led them to this exhibit.
Buzz Specter, “Wide Open Books,” for example, is one of the first artists who used books specifically as his medium, Pfeifer noted.
“Several of his students are in this room as well,” she said. “There’s Scott McCarney who takes works and cuts through the pages to reveal patterns and images. Byran Clercx is another one of Buzz’s students.”
The exhibit will be available until Mon., June 6.
For more informaiton, visit everhart-museum.org.
The Everhart Museum of Natural History, Science & Art was founded in 1908 and is located in Scranton’s historic Nay Aug Park.