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!


Kansas

Every year, I cross the country via different highways depending on visits to friends and family. The goal of this eastward trip was a visit to my friend, Dana in Nashville, Tennessee, a conference Michael was taking part in Washington, and visiting artists. 

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Kansas

As we crossed Kansas, un séjour in Dodge City was in order. In Dodge City, like most tourists, I followed the Trail of Fame that leads you through the downtown? Twenty-nine bronze medallions and markers are found and comprise citizens who believe in the community. My collection of manhole covers came to mind. What could I do with my series, my collection? How do I continue the project, or do I?

The images below resurrected my project City Shields for a day.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Trail of Fame, Dodge City, Kansas

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Trail of Fame, Dodge City, Kansas

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Trail of Fame, Dodge City, Kansas

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Trail of Fame, Dodge City, Kansas

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Trail of Fame, Dodge City, Kansas

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Trail of Fame, Dodge City, Kansas

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Trail of Fame, Dodge City, Kansas

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Trail of Fame, Dodge City, Kansas


The action of collecting becomes an obsession for artists. Often the attraction to particular items grows parallel to our work. I found another artist who has a compulsion to remember and to be remembered by way of collecting.

Monica Holtsclaw is a book artist, quilter, and sewer of many things. Monica spends most days in her studio in San Rafael, CA, and also teaches at the San Francisco Center for the Book. Find out the dates of Monica's workshops by visiting her calendar page.

Monica’s artists’ book Memory Palace was insightful. The patience to wait and collect to create a book many years later is admirable.

The pages of Memory Palace are a storage place for a range of tokens representing experiences I saved over the last twenty years. In this way it is a vessel, holding objects I can retrieve at any time to awaken memories temporarily forgotten. Codified by color and arranged chronologically, each item signifies a particular time and place. The structure was chosen because of its resemblance to a series of rooms. A memory palace is a mnemonic device which helps a person to catalog and retrieve information. The creation of Memory Palace has allowed me to transform this mnemonic device into physical reality.
© 2015 Monica Holtsclaw, Memory Palace, 8 x 8 x 1.5 inches (closed)

© 2015 Monica Holtsclaw, Memory Palace, 8 x 8 x 1.5 inches (closed)

© 2015 Monica Holtsclaw, Memory Palace, digital prints on 90lb watercolour paper, Iris book-cloth over binder’s board, foil stamped title

© 2015 Monica Holtsclaw, Memory Palace, digital prints on 90lb watercolour paper, Iris book-cloth over binder’s board, foil stamped title

Another edition in the same genre is Monica’s Moving Forward created for the 2015 Hello Hedi Exhibition at 23 Sandy Gallery in Portland. 

I watched an interview with Hedi Kyle, in which she spoke about her background and gave a tour of her studio. It was a delight to see the objects and structures that influence her, and I saw many of my own interests reflected in what she shared. I found that Hedi is an inspiring collector. I have saved ephemera for years and have been reflecting on what I have saved and have been making work around the theme of these tokens of my past. For this book, I focused on my collection of ground transportation tickets, acquired from 2002 to 2014. I chose Hedi’s Crown Book structure because of the movement of the binding as it opens and its resemblance to spokes of a wheel. 
© 2015 Monica Holtsclaw, Moving Forward, 6.125 x 6.25 x .5 inches

© 2015 Monica Holtsclaw, Moving Forward, 6.125 x 6.25 x .5 inches

© 2015 Monica Holtsclaw, Moving Forward, digital prints on 90lb watercolor paper, Yupo watercolor paper, Fabriano Tiziano paper

© 2015 Monica Holtsclaw, Moving Forward, digital prints on 90lb watercolor paper, Yupo watercolor paper, Fabriano Tiziano paper

© 2015 Monica Holtsclaw, Moving Forward

© 2015 Monica Holtsclaw, Moving Forward

Read what Monica has to say in her own blog posts.


Next stop Tulsa, Oklahoma, what will I find? What will inspire my traveling studio?

 

Tasks...

Tasks at hand this week in my 1/2 Measure Studio... 

The gallery walls of Ming Studios are freshly painted and the pedestals are more or less prepared.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Ming Studio Space

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Ming Studio Space

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Ming Studio, pedestals being painted

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Ming Studio, pedestals being painted

I finished the volumes of City Shields, had a couple of boo-boos, re-print time!

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, City Shields oops!

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, City Shields oops!

Spent three days in Salt Lake City for business and pleasure. Taking some time off to relax.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, hiking in the Dimple Dell Gully Trailhead in Sandy, Utah

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, hiking in the Dimple Dell Gully Trailhead in Sandy, Utah

Received my prints from WhiteWall Photo Lab in Germany. They look great, it’s nice to see the pages of my artists' books in large format.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, prints for the show

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, prints for the show

I cataloged my books for the exhibition and I’m anticipating the big event at Ming Studios.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, six artists' books plus 78 volumes of City Sheilds

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, six artists' books plus 78 volumes of City Sheilds

Thinking of submitting to the MCBA Prize—an international artists’ book award. Here are the links for the submission guidelines and the Book Art Biennial. Good luck to all who submit!

Drafting text for a grant, eager for newer and better equipment.

Twittered for the first time!! 

An interesting and busy week filled with preparations.

Last, but not least, excited to finish a prototype of a recently developed artists' book. Will take photos next week.

 

Planning...

My first week of residency behind me, I’m contemplating the space, the books, the projection of images... 

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Ming Studios in preparation for my residency

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Ming Studios in preparation for my residency

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Ming Studios in preparation for my residency

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Ming Studios in preparation for my residency

There are many details and it’s not a good idea to keep details and lists only in one’s mind. Notes, many notes, are required when creating an on-going project or any edition. These instructions are important to keep around for future reference. Writing details, such as the type of paper, colours used in Photoshop, set-up of jigs, binding... because you will forget! I don’t care how young you are! I’m happy to create an edition at once, but when low on cash, printing when needed is the best way to go, and it creates less inventory.

After answering many emails and particulars for the show at Ming Studios, I took the time to finish another volume of City Shields—Illinois Vol US7 No2. 

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, City Shields—Illinois Vol US No2

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, City Shields—Illinois Vol US No2

When I started the project, each volume contained 18 manhole covers. Since 2006, I print and die-cut the manhole covers myself. With thinner paper, I added three more manhole covers to a volume. More manhole covers the better? Right. Now, I print a volume when I receive an order. It has become more complicated to print odd numbers of manhole covers. I could print three sheets of 13 x 19 inches. Voilà, two volumes printed with no math or a headache. With 21 manhole covers, I always have an odd number to keep track of printing without waste. It becomes a guessing game on what manhole covers to print. Aye! The dilemma of an artist! 

Needing a meditation moment, I cleaned my junk. Screw posts anyone? 

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, my many screw-posts

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, my many screw-posts


The National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives and the Centre Canadien d'architecture have purchased these new volumes. The volumes are in the mail today.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, eleven new volumes of City Shields

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, eleven new volumes of City Shields

A new week begins, must get ready for more conversations and planning. Check it out

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!

New Year, New beginnings!

Celebrating one year of blogging! It’s been a pleasure getting to know all of you through my posts. Thank you for the support.

Major changes are in the air for my 1/2 Measure Studio this year. The reasoning behind my books is on my mind these days. I’m questioning the trajectory of my work. Changing paths is a big moment and one I want to see bring forward movement to my work. 

For now, confusion! Why do this? Why do that? Why be an artist? 

Do you have questions that haunt you as an artist? 

In the last month, I have been working on a new artists’ book—a sequel to my book entitled Beside Me. Beside Me was a wonderful book on teams published in 2005.

How do your books come to life?

Mine usually start with a trip, a thought, an experience... This one started with an emotion.

Completely filled with emotion, my mind started to think of how to create this book and in what format. Thoughts raced through my mind.

Think, re-think, plan, images, dream, re-think, write, view it in my mind’s eye, dream of it, camera in hand, photograph, template, re-think, write, play in Photoshop, design pages, dream, cover? Binding! Think! Choose fonts, discussion, re-think, compose photographs, relate to book Beside Me, write, edit, paper size, size of book, re-design, Edit...

Ideas have gelled, cover and binding chosen. The real work starts and frustrations follow!

I had difficulties in ordering paper with the proper grain direction needed for printing the pages of my book. Was everyone in the companies I called asleep at the switch? After many phone calls, I’m hoping to receive the correct paper. 

Particular companies understand book publishing and grain directions. One of those companies is Moab papers by Legion. They are always happy to talk about the needs of their customers.

What type of difficulties do you run into with paper? Size, grain direction, thickness, durability...

This waiting period is giving me time to conceive the cover and how the new book will flow with the first book Beside Me.

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, cover of Standing Alone

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, cover of Standing Alone

I continue working on my files of manhole covers to create eleven new volumes of different cities across the Canadian provinces.

©2016 Louise Levergneux, Saskatchewan manhole covers in Bridge ready to action in Photoshop

©2016 Louise Levergneux, Saskatchewan manhole covers in Bridge ready to action in Photoshop

© 2013 Louise Leverghneux, Hotel Aloft, Minneapolis, MN, April 30, 2013

© 2013 Louise Leverghneux, Hotel Aloft, Minneapolis, MN, April 30, 2013


I hope happiness and prosperity comes your way in 2017!