Monday, September 18, 2023

After a three year hiatus, UICB faculty, students, and alumni returned to Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists' Residency on Lake Michigan for the 2023 Paper and Book Intensive. PBI, as a "work­ing sab­bat­i­cal in the book arts, paper­mak­ing, and con­ser­va­tion for sea­soned prac­ti­tion­ers and moti­vated begin­ners" offers singular opportunities for deepening one's existing art practice and extending it in new directions in collaboration and community with others. UICB Director and Professor Julie Leonard and UI Libraries Conservator and UICB instructor Giselle Simón took the lead as two of six co-directors who plan and run the program. Over two weeks, across ten different classes, participants learned about many aspects of the book arts, deepening their knowledge of making everything from paper to ink to brass tools to photopolymer intaglio prints to enclosures for artists' books. Leonard worked directly with instructors to develop their courses while Simón managed studio and supply concerns. Book artist and UICB instructor Emily Martin taught a course on moveable books and paper sculptures, drawing on her new interests in puppets. UI Libraries Collections Care Coordinator and UICB instructor Julie Smith taught a class on boxes in which participants made a set of nested boxes, exploring how different styles of enclosures can guide a reader's experience of an artist book. Students and alumni, including Jen Miller (MFA candidate), Laura Moser(Certificate '22), Erin Iams (certificate candidate), Mary Sullivan (MFA '14), and Larry Houston (Certificate '13) participated as studio assistants and students. Julie noted that "it was wonderful to be back" in person, continuing UICB faculty and students' long investment in this program, whose early 1980s founders include UICB professor emeritus Timothy Barrett and UI Libraries conservator emeritus Gary Frost.