Book Arts Collection in Texas

As I travel, my on-going goal is to promote my artists' books. After a few emails to book arts collections in Texas, I scheduled two appointments.

My first rendez-vous was with Shā Towers, Curator of the Book Arts Collection, Art Liaison Librarian, and Associate Director of the Central Libraries at Baylor University. Since 2007, the artists’ book collection of The Crouch Fine Arts Library has grown to over 800 works representing many artists and presses. The collection functions as a teaching collection for both studio artists working in the medium and various disciplines outside the arts. The collection includes a wide-ranging representation of everything from single-page constructions, complex forms, sculptural book-works, fine press, letterpress, photography, handmade papers, textiles, collaborative works, and more.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, the Jesse H Jones Library, one of the central libraries at Baylor University in Waco, Texas

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, the Jesse H Jones Library, one of the central libraries at Baylor University in Waco, Texas

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, the Jesse H Jones Library entrance to a very friendly staff

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, the Jesse H Jones Library entrance to a very friendly staff

I arrived in Waco, had a pleasant visit and exchange on the Library collection with Shā. Following my artists' books presentation, I left re-energized. It’s nice to talk with someone who has an understanding, interest and creates artists' books.

I'm thrilled to say my artists’ books: Conversation, Decades Apart, Traverse, the Texas and New Mexico volumes of City Shields, are now part of the Crouch Fine Arts Library.

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, Conversation

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, Conversation

© 2015 Louise Levergneux, Traverse

© 2015 Louise Levergneux, Traverse

© 2012 Louise Levergneux, Decades Apart

© 2012 Louise Levergneux, Decades Apart

© 2006 Louise Levergneux, City Shields, New Mexico volume

© 2006 Louise Levergneux, City Shields, New Mexico volume

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, door in downtown Waco, Texas

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, door in downtown Waco, Texas

My second consultation was with Rebecca Pad, Humanities Liaison Librarian for the Fine Arts Library at the University of Texas.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Oak trees around the Doty Fine Arts Building 

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Oak trees around the Doty Fine Arts Building 

Examples of Artists' Books can be found in Libraries and Art Collections across the University campus. The artists' books in these collections contain illustrations by artists, livres d'artistes, multiple-copied and inexpensive produced booklets, limited-edition, and handcrafted books.

Rebecca Pad, three other colleagues and I sat and reviewed my books. I took pleasure in seeing my ideas and concepts experienced with amusement. I’m fond of bringing a smile to the reader, part of my artistic statement and philosophy behind my work.

At the end of our session, the Fine Arts Library acquired Ambivalence, a flip book from the Outside of the Studio series entitled Earth.20 and my last published book Shadow Me.

© 2010 Louise Levergneux, Ambivalence

© 2010 Louise Levergneux, Ambivalence

© 2012 Louise Levergneux, Earth.20 from the Outside the Studio Series

© 2012 Louise Levergneux, Earth.20 from the Outside the Studio Series

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Shadow Me

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Shadow Me

Shadow Me is a documentary that exemplifies solitary moments after the loss of unconditional love of a devoted companion. Rebecca was touched by this book, I’m glad it's now part of the collection.

In the past, I wasn’t keen on talking about my work, but Texans have a way of welcoming you, what can I say Y'all made me feel at home!


Preparations!

The week flew by with residency and exhibition preparations. Lots of details to iron out as the days are short and timing is everything. City Shields will be part of the show, but not the focus. The attention will be on the idea behind my work, my obsessions, my collecting and my archiving. City Shields is the most obsessive and most popular project of my career, so it is a major component of the exhibition.

Time was spent choosing between all my published books—the ones that best describe my artist statement. Equinox was the first to make the list, but since I found a new home for the books at the beginning of the year, the books won't be present at the gallery—with imagination you might see nine years of my life. Other books in line are: A Day Filled with Onomatopoeias, Traverse, Parade, Perception, and Ambivalence.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, spread of Ambivalence artists' book

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, spread of Ambivalence artists' book

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, spread of Ambivalence artists' book

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, spread of Ambivalence artists' book

WhiteWall Photo Lab will print large prints of certain pages of books, these will adorn the walls. I’m anxious about the proofing—there goes that obsession again! Kristen Cooper the Program Director at Ming Studios is overseeing the printing in Berlin, Germany, where she lives and works. Cooper is a conceptual artist, her work is exhibited internationally, Kristen must know about the printing process. I hope the surprise will be good.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, spread of A Day Filled with Onomatopoeias artists' book

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, spread of A Day Filled with Onomatopoeias artists' book

Set-up of pedestals begins next week—a good start to figuring out the gallery space. I am contemplating on the look of the show, the books, the prints... Stay tuned, here I go!

A Studio Muse

Tools, equipment, papers, cloth... and most of all inventory fills an artist’s studio. We fail to remember a precious piece—our muse that sits in a corner or in front of the printer table so you notice their presence—our pet. 

This furry friend disturbing my concentration with a favourite toy, a nod for food or a walk, wonders why I don’t always jump at her demands. With index finger extended, I whisper “just a minute, mommy's almost done”. In a few minutes, this bundle of joy comes running tail wagging with no criticism. Dragging a new toy and a bigger smile inviting me to play again. My four-legged family member relieves frustrating moments in the atelier with a carefree attitude whether I’m printing, cutting, writing or binding. I believe the unconditional love inherent of my devoted companion permeates my artistic spirit. 

Do you have a muse in your studio helping with your productive energy? My little Sheltie Topaz has inspired me to create these artists’ books:

© 2003 Louise Levergneux, Topaz made her debut in my series   Equinox  , the albums explore the repetitiveness of quotidian life

© 2003 Louise Levergneux, Topaz made her debut in my series Equinox, the albums explore the repetitiveness of quotidian life

© 2005 Louise Levergneux, Topaz was the inspiration for   Beside Me  , a collection that comprised teams

© 2005 Louise Levergneux, Topaz was the inspiration for Beside Me, a collection that comprised teams

© 2006 Louise Levergneux, Topaz participated in the artists' book   Ambivalence  , a photographic documentation of Ohio cemeteries provoking a feeling of ambivalence in the viewer

© 2006 Louise Levergneux, Topaz participated in the artists' book Ambivalence, a photographic documentation of Ohio cemeteries provoking a feeling of ambivalence in the viewer

© 2012 Louise Levergneux,   obsession   is a documentary that portrays Topaz's obsession with her daily routine

© 2012 Louise Levergneux, obsession is a documentary that portrays Topaz's obsession with her daily routine

© 2012 Louise Levergneux, Topaz was very willing to act on command and be photographed for   A Day Filled with Onomatopoeias  , an interactive book based on the word onomatopoeia and it’s definition

© 2012 Louise Levergneux, Topaz was very willing to act on command and be photographed for A Day Filled with Onomatopoeias, an interactive book based on the word onomatopoeia and it’s definition

Topaz was also part of my series Outside the Studio, below is the video of the flip book entitled week 11 - AIR.2

In loving memory of

Imperial Topaz

January 20, 2002 - November 21, 2016