Austin.5

There is a considerable amount of art to see and visit in Austin, Texas. A few weeks ago I was at the Austin Book Arts Center located in studio #114 in Flatbed Press building. While I was meeting with Linda Anderson, Mary Baughman stopped by to say hello. We met last year, when she created introduction opportunities to other artists in the area.

© 2018 Linda Anderson. Michael Sutton, Louise Levergneux, Mary Baughman, outside the Austin Book Art Center, Austin, Texas.

© 2018 Linda Anderson. Michael Sutton, Louise Levergneux, Mary Baughman, outside the Austin Book Art Center, Austin, Texas.

Mary’s career spanned 40 years at the University of Texas, most of that time caring for unique books at the Ransom Center. Teaching book arts for children has convinced her that children who learn to love books continue to treasure reading and writing, and will support the libraries of the future. Mary is additionally a associate of the Lone Star chapter of the Guild of Book Workers, a founding member of Austin Book Workers, and one of the originators of the Book Arts Fair held for 20+ years at Laguna Gloria Art Museum.

If you are a conservator you might be interested in reading on how Mary spearheaded the effort at the Ransom Center by creating insect ID flashcards.

After my time with Linda, Mary accompanied me around Flatbeb Press, founded in 1989 by Katherine Brimberry and Mark L. Smith. The facility includes not only Flatbeb’s shop, offices, and galleries, but also eleven tenants. The mix of visual-arts professionals provides a "24/7" creative synergy in the building.

Gallery Shoal Creek, CAMIBA Art,

Austin Book Arts Center,

L_A_N D Architects,

Hubbard Birchler Studio,

Daniel Arredondo Studio,

Smith and Hawley, NJ Weaver Studio,

Recspec Design Studio,

Jacqueline May Studio and Troy Brauntuch Studio.


© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Ericka Walker, exhibition of lithographs and screen prints.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Ericka Walker, exhibition of lithographs and screen prints.

While walking around the galleries, I witnessed Influence an exhibition of recent works by Nova Scotia based artist Ericka Walker, who was born in Hartford, Wisconsin, US.

Her large-scale multi-color lithographs draw on the vibrant history of propaganda, printed ephemera, and advertising from twentieth century Europe and North America. Ericka's work exposes nostalgia as an ongoing rhetorical device in a contemporary sociopolitical climate that clings savagely to destructive birthrights and colonial residues. As a self described “Daughter of Colonialism,” Walker considers the history of her parent nation, her host country, and to her own family’s involvement in settlement, agriculture, industry, and military service as enterprises that are far more complex than any slogan or advertisement can acclaim.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Ericka Walker, lithograph and screen print.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Ericka Walker, lithograph and screen print.

© 2018 Ericka Walker, lithograph and screen print.

© 2018 Ericka Walker, lithograph and screen print.

© 2018 Ericka Walker, lithograph and screen print.

© 2018 Ericka Walker, lithograph and screen print.

© 2018 Ericka Walker, lithograph and screen print.

© 2018 Ericka Walker, lithograph and screen print.


As I roamed the hallways the exhibition Language of Flowers engaged my eye. This show presents Brooklyn based, West Virginia native, Martin Mazorra’s botanical woodcut and letterpress prints that maintain the Victorian tradition of the language of flowers. Historically, flowers were a means to send coded messages that were otherwise unspoken in public. Specific flowers communicated distinct postures or sentiments. In Mazorra’s Language of Flowers, the choices of particular flowers or bouquets, along with provocative text are a contemporary interpretation to this tradition of cautious exchange.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Martin Mazorra, woodcut with movable type.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Martin Mazorra, woodcut with movable type.

© 2018 Martin Mazorra, woodcut with movable type.

© 2018 Martin Mazorra, woodcut with movable type.

© 2018 Martin Mazorra, woodcut with movable type.

© 2018 Martin Mazorra, woodcut with movable type.

© 2018 Martin Mazorra, woodcut with movable type.

© 2018 Martin Mazorra, woodcut with movable type.

Martin Mazorra is a Brooklyn based artist originally from West Virginia. He works chiefly in the medium of woodcut and letterpress, in a range of scales from small books, prints on paper, and on canvas, to site specific print-based installations.

© 2018 Martin Mazorra, woodcut with movable type.

© 2018 Martin Mazorra, woodcut with movable type.

Whenever you can, join me in visiting exhibition in your area.


The Harry Ransom Center

The structure of the Harry Ransom Center building is alluring. My camera came out of my bag and I began shooting. I wanted to take photos of the etched glass images of the first-floor plazas—trying to recognize the images became a game!

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, right plaza etched glass of the Harry Ransom Center,  Gloria Swanson, Edward Steichen, 1924

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, right plaza etched glass of the Harry Ransom Center, Gloria Swanson, Edward Steichen, 1924

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, left plaza etched glass of the Harry Ransom Center, Austin,  Storyboard from Gone with the Wind, 1939

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, left plaza etched glass of the Harry Ransom Center, Austin, Storyboard from Gone with the Wind, 1939

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, right plaza etched glass of the Harry Ransom Center, Austin,  Horse in Motion,   Eadweard Muybridge, ca 1886

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, right plaza etched glass of the Harry Ransom Center, Austin, Horse in Motion, Eadweard Muybridge, ca 1886

Olivia Primanis invited me to a second French lunch. I enjoyed dialoguing thoughts and ideas in my native tongue. French conversations stimulate a different rapport. This get-together gave me the chance to visit the Conservation Departments of the Harry Ransom Center.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, we started with the  Book Conservation Lab  where we met the week before for my presentation of my artists’ books

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, we started with the Book Conservation Lab where we met the week before for my presentation of my artists’ books

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Olivia Primanis working at her station in the Book Conservation Lab

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Olivia Primanis working at her station in the Book Conservation Lab

Then we stepped into the Paper Conservation Lab where this year’s intern Kimberly Kwan was working. I met Ken Grant, Head of Paper Lab, Preservation and Conservation and Jane Boyd, Conservator of the Paper Lab.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Kimberly Kwan and Jane Boyd in the Paper Conservation Lab

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Kimberly Kwan and Jane Boyd in the Paper Conservation Lab

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Ken Grant and Kimberly Kwan in the Paper Conservation Lab

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Ken Grant and Kimberly Kwan in the Paper Conservation Lab

The third lab was the Photograph Conservation, I found it interesting to see the equipment used by the staff to accomplish assignments.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Photograph Conservation Lab

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Photograph Conservation Lab

Last, but not least, I visited the Preservation Lab, where I was introduced to the different collections that are maintained and kept. Genevieve Pierce, Preservation Technician, was informative and knowledgeable.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Genevieve Pierce in the Preservation Lab working on boxes for a specific collection

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Genevieve Pierce in the Preservation Lab working on boxes for a specific collection

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, the other side of the Preservation Lab

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, the other side of the Preservation Lab

This was a great exploration, I’m looking forward to perusing the Books Arts Collection in depth next year.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, my last gaze at the Harry Ransom Center before leaving Austin

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, my last gaze at the Harry Ransom Center before leaving Austin