Book Arts Program, Marriott Library

Before leaving Salt Lake City, I printed all the pages and the cover of my book Shadow Me. I was having so much fun I continued to print the pages and images for Finding Home. The books are ready to cut, fold, and assemble. It is difficult to keep a working schedule on the road. First, I don’t have much space and often the everyday activities take precedence. That’s life when it interferes with art!

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, printed pages of Shadow Me

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, printed pages of Shadow Me

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, printed pages of Finding Home

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, printed pages of Finding Home


Last week, at the Book Arts Program Studio of the Marriott Library, I met with Emily Tipps, Program Manager, and Marnie Powers-Torrey, Head of the Book Arts Program and Managing Director of the Red Butte Press.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Marnie Powers-Torrey at the University of Utah

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Marnie Powers-Torrey at the University of Utah

I had the pleasure of seeing some of Emily and Marnie's artists’ books, produced during the last few years. They also demonstrated some of the books produced by the Red Butte Press. The conversation continued by sharing thoughts on structures and techniques chosen, favourite binding methods, typestyle and fine press. The type of substrate of various books was stimulating as I’m constantly looking to print on new papers.

The feel of paper for the fourth imprint of the Book Arts Program (In)visible Shores by Danielle Dubrasky was very tactile, sensual to the touch. BAP imprints are designed, printed, and bound in-house.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux,  (In)visible Shores  by Danielle Dubrasky

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, (In)visible Shores by Danielle Dubrasky

© 2018 Louise Levergneux,  Stranger and Stranger  by Katharine Coles The book  Stranger and Stranger  by Katharine Coles with images translated from the paintings of Maureen O-Hara Ure

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Stranger and Stranger by Katharine Coles The book Stranger and Stranger by Katharine Coles with images translated from the paintings of Maureen O-Hara Ure

Marnie shared three of her own artists’ books. It was delightful to see Marnie enjoying the feeling of renewal through production.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Cities & Justice by Marnie Powers-Torrey

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Cities & Justice by Marnie Powers-Torrey

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Nuts, Seeds & Heavier Fare (left) and Mama Self (right) by Marnie Powers-Torrey

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Nuts, Seeds & Heavier Fare (left) and Mama Self (right) by Marnie Powers-Torrey

Mama Self is an edition of 32, the age of the artist when she became pregnant and gave birth to her second child, realizing that she'd never be the same again.
Work on this book began in 2006 in a workshop with the brilliant Julie Leonard, just after the birth of the artist's third and last child. After nine years of gestation, the book was finally released into the world. Imagery is derived from circular ink washes suggesting the cyclical nature of being, the constancy of motion, revolving planets, ripe ovum and lactating breasts. The text is experimental and broken, collected in haste throughout the early years of motherhood. Stripped of formality and exposing raw, maternal femininity, the words string together a visual poem of primal and authentic language.

A short exposure with Marnie Powers-Torrey by KUEDCHANNEL7. "The visual book, as I like to call it, can be a mode of creative expression."


Emily Tipps is the founder of High5 Press. At the moment Emily has a new visual book in production with the working title of Amoral. I enjoyed the visual aspect, design, and composition of its pages. 

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Amoral, work in progress by Emily Tipps

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Amoral, work in progress by Emily Tipps

I aim to provoke energetic reader interaction with innovative texts, using letterpress printing, hand paper-making, and bookbinding to create limited-editions whose content and form are conceptually and interestingly related. Says Emily.

The most enjoyable part of traveling is meeting old friends and artists. I’m looking forward to having a space to create and express myself through these travels. Visiting artists and getting to know the productions behind the studios are absolutely invigorating! I welcome the next encounter.

Marriott Library, University of Utah

Last week, in Boise, I picked up from Unbound the 3D printed pieces of the houses incorporated in my book Finding Home. Unbound is a library and facility that experiment with emerging technology. I'm enjoying the sound of my printer as I print two copies of the pages of my book.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Finding Home house peices

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Finding Home house peices

It was a pleasure being back in Salt Lake City after a year of traveling, even though more time was spent with doctors, chiropractors, and my physiotherapist. I appreciated a visit to the J. Willard Marriott Library the main academic library of the University of Utah this week.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, entrance to the J Willard Marriott Library

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, entrance to the J Willard Marriott Library

The Book Arts Program has a fully equipped studio where artists utilize type, letterpress, photo engravings and bookbinding equipment as they combine traditional techniques with modern aesthetics and technology. 

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, the book arts studio as one walk through the door

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, the book arts studio as one walk through the door

The Program promotes involvement with the art of the book by facilitating Academic designations of Minor, a Certificate in Book Arts, and the MFA in Creative Writing & Book Arts, which are supported by classes exploring letterpress printing, bookbinding, artists' books and typography.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux,  Chris McAfee  in the book arts classroom, getting ready for a workshop on conservation

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Chris McAfee in the book arts classroom, getting ready for a workshop on conservation

At this time of year, the Special Collection Gallery found on the fourth floor at the entrance of the Book Arts Studio is filled with student's work in book arts.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Special Collections Gallery

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Special Collections Gallery

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, exhibitionon of students work

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, exhibitionon of students work

For you lovers of ABC books, I found one in the exhibition entitled Animal Alphabet. This artists’ book is an alternative take on a traditional abecedarian book that exposes the cruelty that animals experience every day and calls the reader to action by Sydney Porter.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Sydney Porter, Animal Alphabet

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Sydney Porter, Animal Alphabet

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Sydney Porter, Animal Alphabet

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Sydney Porter, Animal Alphabet

More books caught my attention:

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Box Sonata: at play with Plato, Quasha, and Chronostratigraphy by Mahala Kephart

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Box Sonata: at play with Plato, Quasha, and Chronostratigraphy by Mahala Kephart

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Tatiana Tyszko, Places I’ve Fallen In Love

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Tatiana Tyszko, Places I’ve Fallen In Love

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, another fascinating book by Hannah Harper Hansen entitled Book 3

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, another fascinating book by Hannah Harper Hansen entitled Book 3

I have taken many workshops and a full semester class on book arts with the Book Arts Program while living in Salt Lake City a few years ago. The next workshop, The Book Restructured: Wire-Edge Binding with Daniel E. Kelm is at the beginning of June. With my hectic schedule Eastbound, I will miss this wonderful workshop. Pretty shitty! But that is life!

Next week, I will have a look at some of the people in charge of the Book Arts Program and next year with no injuries to heal I will plan in advance to participate in a workshop.

Rochester, New York

I finally crossed the border back into the US on October 17th. I was hoping to be down south before it froze. It was getting colder every day, and the rain never seemed to stop.

On October 18th, in Rochester, New York, the sun was shining and it was a gorgeous day. According to the locals, the temperature was out of season. One of my goals in traveling is to meet with new collection contacts or renew old ones. I love to visit artist's studios, it's fantastic but I also need to distribute my own artists’ books. This is my usual six month of administration duties.

On the road, I emailed contacts of different libraries for a possible visit. I received a quick response from the Rush Rhees Library at the University of Rochester.

© 2017 Google Maps, Rush Rhees Library, Rochester University

© 2017 Google Maps, Rush Rhees Library, Rochester University

© 2015 Al Herms, Google Maps, Rush Rhees Library, Rochester University

© 2015 Al Herms, Google Maps, Rush Rhees Library, Rochester University

I met with Stephanie Frontz, Head of the Art & Music Library and Art Librarian. The Art and Music Library is home to various collections including over 300 artists’ books. On short notice and to my surprise, Stephanie agreed to meet with me outside on Wilson Blvd for an artist’s book tailgate event!

© 2017 Google Maps, Rush Rhees Library, Rochester University

© 2017 Google Maps, Rush Rhees Library, Rochester University

"With this kind of weather everyone wants to be outside, it will not last long,"—Stephanie replied.

Through our conversation, Stephanie showed me her sense of humour by presenting me with a “League of Librarians” trading card-style business card for the University of Rochester reference and liaison librarians.

This project helps students resolve concerns regarding choosing and finding materials. What a fantastic idea! Gamification is the way of the future!

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, I now possess this trading card. Will it grow in value as the years go by? HaHa! Do you have one? Which one?

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, I now possess this trading card. Will it grow in value as the years go by? HaHa! Do you have one? Which one?

After an interesting show and tell, the Art and Music Library acquired five of my artists’ books. Thank you Stephanie!

© 2013 Louise Levergneux,  Entre deux

© 2013 Louise Levergneux, Entre deux

© 2012 Louise Levergneux,  6:45

© 2012 Louise Levergneux, 6:45

© 2012 Louise Levergneux,  E arth.11 from the series  Outside the Studio

© 2012 Louise Levergneux, Earth.11 from the series Outside the Studio

© 2016 Louise Levergneux,  Xtraction

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, Xtraction

© 2016 Louise Levergneux,  Finding Home

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, Finding Home


The Hunt for Manhole Covers

WOW! another week flew by, a repetitive occurrence nowadays. The hours come and go without warning. Busy is good; but life is fleeting. Did you carry out what you intended to do this week?

I went hunting for more manhole covers in the town of Emmett, northwest of Boise on Wednesday. A quaint region at an elevation of 2,362 feet (720 m) above sea level and below Freezeout Hill—a steep terrain overlooking Emmett. Following the winding road constructed in 1919, we noticed a welcome sign to Gem County. The only gems we saw were dark red, soft and round, juicy and sweet. Cherry Festival! 

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, descending Freezeout Hill

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, descending Freezeout Hill

We drove around the streets till we came upon a manhole cover that might be the oldest manhole cover in Emmett. Most are run-of-the-mill, I call them ersatz. The hunt is part of the experience and we had a lovely afternoon. 

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, manhole cover at N McKinley Ave & E Main St, Emmett

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, manhole cover at N McKinley Ave & E Main St, Emmett

On our way back home passing trough Meridian, we found two manhole covers with stunning designs.

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, manhole covers designed for The Village Mall in Meridian

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, manhole covers designed for The Village Mall in Meridian

Friends viewing the volumes of City Shields often ask questions about the designs of the manhole covers and the reason for so many? Where or how I find the covers?  A manhole is used for many types of utilities: cable, sewer, telephone, sanitation...  So each design of the covers differentiates the use of the manhole. I find the covers wherever my life brings me. They are part of the city I live in or visit; and I’m obsessed with finding the most striking designs. I’m interested in bringing these entryways to the world beneath our feet to the forefront of city dwellers as art. At this point as an artist, I am more interested in the visual designs of the covers.


I had to stop my printing process till the delivery of more ink cartridges. Two printers are expensive to keep. Now, I buy separate ink cartridges when needed. My delivery arrived today, now I have no excuses. 

Except, I’m entertaining another excuse, I would like to photograph and document my book Finding Home in ample detail. Finding Home is part of the Wanderlust exhibition at 23 Sandy Gallery in Portland. Laura Russell, the owner, sold two copies last week. What wonderful news!

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, artists' book Finding Home

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, artists' book Finding Home

I took numerous photographs before mailing my last copy to 23 Sandy Gallery. The number of an edition is tricky. Will every copy sell or will my closet of inventory get bigger? I remember contemplating on the question and thought I may need to create one-of-a-kind books soon if my studio gets smaller and smaller. Well, I was wrong and should have made a bigger edition according to Laura.

It’s a crap·shoot!! Publishing and editions are an uncertain matter.

Download, copy, Photoshop, prepare, templates, print—it’s all waiting for me to publish more volumes.

Finding Home

Being alone.

Finding Home. 

I moved many times since 2004, my last move was last July to Boise, Idaho. I love our little house, It's cozy and simple, so simple we have no sofa. Why not you ask? Because someone miscalculated the moving truck's cubic feet!

I’m always reluctant to move and our new place still doesn’t feel like home. Though I have a sense of belonging in my half measure studio.

I can no longer ignore the challenges of this move. I compare the aspects of my life to the years before Idaho. Heck! let's face it before 30 years ago.

I dread the future and transitions are difficult. Right now as we say in Canada, “slow as molasses in January” but it’s March! 

I have not found myself or the essence of our home/city, I’m uncomfortable. With time and age, my way of life is different. What I want is different and how I want to express myself is different.

What’s next? Who knows! It’s getting to the other side that’s bumpy! Driving over a cliff, bumpy! How do you cope with change?

“Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting”—my motto for this month. While my husband goes by “Sometimes you just have to leap, and build your wings on the way down.”—Kobi Yamada

Michael has always built his wings as he travels. I hate that!!

Before the molasses came, I took my creativity and published an artists’ book that speaks of being alone, missing my country and missing my culture. I present to you Finding Home.

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, Finding Home

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, Finding Home

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, Finding Home

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, Finding Home

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, Finding Home

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, Finding Home

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, Finding Home

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, Finding Home

After taking a writing workshop with Paulann Petersen last summer, I wrote the poem for Finding Home.

 

At home, the sun kisses the foothills 

and transforms 

the horizon with vivid colours. 

 

Finding home...

Where do I belong?

 

Longing to be back home, 

where the maple leaf 

soars above the hills 

and 

la langue Française

de la belle province 

is recognized,

 

Dreaming of home, 

I wake to the sounds 

of coyotes 

and

live where the light shines till late

—the days are long, 

the country wild and free,

 

A sense of place, 

a sense of belonging, 

je me souviens

de la fleur de lys

my roots are deep, 

back and forth 

as a butterfly flitting 

across the miles. 

 

Finding home...

Where do I belong?—© 2016 Louise Levergneux


I have made two explosion boxes with the help of Susan Bonthron. I discovered Susan’s Adam’s Error, Only One Bite the day I was exploring 23 Sandy Gallery’s website. Soon after I emailed Susan to guide me to a tutorial. To my amazement, Susan emailed me her instructions. I made an 8 inches square box for my first explosion box. Never start big!!

© 2014 Louise Levergneux, Equinox,Time

© 2014 Louise Levergneux, Equinox,Time


Susan’s artist book Adam’s Error, Only One Bite is about the myth of Adam in Eden, the intersection of belief and reason, and the mathematical discoveries that represent the ‘bites’ each scientist or mathematician tastes of the whole mythical fruit that represents what can be known of our universe. Susan’s choice of mathematicians was inspired by Michael Guillen’s book, Five Equations that Changed the World: the Power and Poetry of Mathematics (New York: Hyperion, 1995).

© 2012 Susan Bonthron, Adam’s Error, Only One Bite

© 2012 Susan Bonthron, Adam’s Error, Only One Bite

© 2012 Susan Bonthron, Adam’s Error, Only One Bite

© 2012 Susan Bonthron, Adam’s Error, Only One Bite

© 2012 Susan Bonthron, Adam’s Error, Only One Bite

© 2012 Susan Bonthron, Adam’s Error, Only One Bite

Susan works under the imprint Otter Pond Bindery.

Does your art decode the passage of time?