Lakeland, Florida

I have a love for classic Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, so whenever possible, I explore his iconic buildings. Once in Florida, I carefully researched if Wright ever built any architecture in the state and naturally found Florida Southern College. The most established private college in Florida and home to the largest single site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture in the world. I eagerly took a guided tour of this fantastic marvel.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Parked in front of the Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center, Lakeland, Florida. The Center provides a home for the permanent display of photographs, furniture, and drawings depicting Wright’s relationship with the College.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Parked in front of the Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center, Lakeland, Florida. The Center provides a home for the permanent display of photographs, furniture, and drawings depicting Wright’s relationship with the College.

In 1938, the Florida Southern College President, Dr. Ludd M. Spivey, approached Wright with the complex task of transforming the 100-acre lakeside orange grove into a modern campus. The president's grand vision for the school was a “College of Tomorrow” and the structures Wright designed are still considered unmatched and futuristic today. Wright's idea was to remove the "uninspired" buildings of the existing campus and replacing them with a campus that would "grow out of the ground and into the light, a child of the sun." Frank Lloyd Wright created a master plan that would combine glass, steel, and native Florida sand.

Frank Lloyd Wright left his distinctive mark on Lakeland with his incredible structure collection. Eighteen structures were designed by FLW, only 12 were completed during his lifetime.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The Watson-Fine Administration Building construction began in 1946 and was completed in 1949.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The Watson-Fine Administration Building construction began in 1946 and was completed in 1949.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The courtyard pool of the Watson Fine Administration Building is an example of Wrights’s use of organic design, employing a fundamental element of nature—water.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The courtyard pool of the Watson Fine Administration Building is an example of Wrights’s use of organic design, employing a fundamental element of nature—water.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The E. T. Roux Library is presently identified as the Thad Buckner Building construction began in 1942 and completed in 1946. Like many of Wright's buildings on the campus, this former library is composed primarily of reinforced concrete and concrete blocks, some with small openings filled with cubes of coloured glass.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The E. T. Roux Library is presently identified as the Thad Buckner Building construction began in 1942 and completed in 1946. Like many of Wright's buildings on the campus, this former library is composed primarily of reinforced concrete and concrete blocks, some with small openings filled with cubes of coloured glass.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The circular William Hollis Room of the E. T. Roux Library, is currently used for lectures. It contains the original desks, and features clerestory windows and “light wells,” that admits light from skylights all the way to the bottom floor.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The circular William Hollis Room of the E. T. Roux Library, is currently used for lectures. It contains the original desks, and features clerestory windows and “light wells,” that admits light from skylights all the way to the bottom floor.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The stained glass front door of the E. T. Roux Library.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The stained glass front door of the E. T. Roux Library.

A reflecting pool entitled the Water Dome was a central point in Wright’s concept of the campus and the largest water feature he ever designed. The appropriate technology to construct a dome of water did not exist in 1948, and for years it sat as an open pool. It was restored in 2007. View a video of the dome in full capacity here.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The Esplanades framing the Water Dome.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The Esplanades framing the Water Dome.

The Annie Pfeiffer Chapel was the first and the foremost Wright building on campus in 1938 and was completed in 1941. The concrete block walls of Pfeiffer Chapel consist of small squares of coloured glass embedded to generate a gorgeous lighting effect from inside or out.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The Annie Pfeiffer Chapel, considered by many to be a true paradigm of Wright’s work in that it exhibits all his trademark architectural elements.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The Annie Pfeiffer Chapel, considered by many to be a true paradigm of Wright’s work in that it exhibits all his trademark architectural elements.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The cantilevered wings of The Annie Pfeiffer Chapel give the impression the building is floating above ground.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The cantilevered wings of The Annie Pfeiffer Chapel give the impression the building is floating above ground.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Inside the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel, we can see the figurative rendering of the “bowtie” design in the chapel’s tower used as the college’s trademark symbol.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Inside the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel, we can see the figurative rendering of the “bowtie” design in the chapel’s tower used as the college’s trademark symbol.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The Annie Pfeiffer Chapel’s concrete block walls consisting of small squares of coloured glass show well with the light of the sun.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The Annie Pfeiffer Chapel’s concrete block walls consisting of small squares of coloured glass show well with the light of the sun.

William H. Danforth Chapel, the companion to Annie Pfeiffer Chapel was started in 1954 and was completed in 1955. Danforth, also designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is a worship space with a much smaller capacity than high-roofed Annie Pfeiffer, has its own organ and classroom space in the back. The chapel has and continues to serve as a place for small musical events, poetry readings, and lectures.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. William H Danforth Chapel is the only use of leaded glass on the campus. It is framed in native Florida tidewater red-cypress and still contains the original pews and cushions.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. William H Danforth Chapel is the only use of leaded glass on the campus. It is framed in native Florida tidewater red-cypress and still contains the original pews and cushions.

The Carter, Walbridge and Hawkins Seminar Buildings, were also completed in 1941. Originally three separate buildings with breezeways between, they were combined into a single administration building sometime after opening.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The seminar buildings feature skylights and pieces of coloured glass inset in the “textile” block system.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The seminar buildings feature skylights and pieces of coloured glass inset in the “textile” block system.

Over a mile of covered walkways that wind throughout the campus allow students to be sheltered from class to class were constructed in 1940. The supports are said to suggest the orange trees that were then numerous on campus. The Esplanades with their cantilevered roofs were to be the threads that bound Wright's separate building designs into an organic whole.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The esplanades are trimmed in copper, which Wright used to add its natural green patina to the appearance.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The esplanades are trimmed in copper, which Wright used to add its natural green patina to the appearance.

The Usonian house is one of the most recently-constructed Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in the world. Constructed in 2013 with the help of MIT engineers and with architect Jeff Baker overseeing, the Usonian house was originally designed in the mid-Twentieth Century by Mr. Wright for former Florida Southern President Dr. Ludd M. Spivey as one of a set of homes designed for faculty. This simple yet impressive building illustrates many of Wright’s ideals for modern American living. It is constructed of nearly 2000 interlocking “textile” blocks and also features nearly 6,000 pieces of hand-placed coloured glass.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The Usonian House was built in late 2013.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The Usonian House was built in late 2013.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The exterior of the Usonian House features cypress soffit and fascia, window and door frames, pergolas, and doors.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The exterior of the Usonian House features cypress soffit and fascia, window and door frames, pergolas, and doors.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Inside the living space of the Usonian House, the latest masterpiece to highlight the famed architect’s affinity for cypress.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Inside the living space of the Usonian House, the latest masterpiece to highlight the famed architect’s affinity for cypress.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Wright envisioned the Usonian-style home concept as a way to construct simple, affordable homes for American families, emphasizing the use of locally sourced brick, wood and other natural materials.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Wright envisioned the Usonian-style home concept as a way to construct simple, affordable homes for American families, emphasizing the use of locally sourced brick, wood and other natural materials.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Wright envisioned the Usonian-style home concept as a way to construct simple, affordable homes for American families, emphasizing the use of locally sourced brick, wood and other natural materials.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Wright envisioned the Usonian-style home concept as a way to construct simple, affordable homes for American families, emphasizing the use of locally sourced brick, wood and other natural materials.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Detail of the hand-placed coloured glass which cast colored light in the interior of the Usonian House.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Detail of the hand-placed coloured glass which cast colored light in the interior of the Usonian House.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Red cypress was used anywhere a finished wood product was required, including all of the interior ceilings, plank walls, built-in cabinets, tables, benches, trim, and even light fixtures. Inside we can see the exquisite use of Wright’s signature ‘textile’ blocks, which are indeed remarkable.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Red cypress was used anywhere a finished wood product was required, including all of the interior ceilings, plank walls, built-in cabinets, tables, benches, trim, and even light fixtures. Inside we can see the exquisite use of Wright’s signature ‘textile’ blocks, which are indeed remarkable.

We are informed that Wright sought to create a “truly American campus” and designed a network of buildings and covered walkways radiating from a central hub. Uniformly constructed of tan-colored concrete, Wright’s “Child of the Sun” integrates ornament within the patterning and texturing of each structure’s walls and stained glass.

The tour was incredibly informative and insightful. Child of the Sun, the Florida Southern College in Lakeland is not to be missed!


Austin.6

I wish you all a Happy New Year—create and be prosperous.

I’m in Florida at the moment, trying to catch up on organizing my databases, going through photos to make room on my external hard drives... You know the new year cleansing!

Will talk about clearing and cleansing later... For now let’s get back to business after a couple of weeks off for the holidays! Last Fall while in Texas, I visited Flatbed Press with Mary Braughman from Austin Book Arts Center.

© Louise Levergneux. I enjoyed the four legged creates of Texas.

© Louise Levergneux. I enjoyed the four legged creates of Texas.

Flatbed is located on Boggy Creek, near the University of Texas. This Spring, Flatbed will be moving to 3701 Drossett Drive in Austin. Flatbed is comprised of two divisions, the Flatbed Press, a publishing workshop collaborating with artists to produce limited editions of original etchings, lithographs, woodcuts and monoprints. And the second division is Flatbed Gallery—a private art gallery, which specializes in original prints.

I had the privilege of meeting Annalise Natasha Gratovich who was working diligently on her own new series, her largest series to date. The Villagers, Carrying Things From Home, is co-published by Flatbed Press. The remarkable series includes eight 3 x 5.5 foot hand-dyed chine collé woodcuts.

© Louise Levergneux. Annalise Natasha Gratovich working on her new series, The Villagers, Carrying Things From Home.

© Louise Levergneux. Annalise Natasha Gratovich working on her new series, The Villagers, Carrying Things From Home.

© Louise Levergneux. © Louise Levergneux. Annalise Natasha Gratovich at Flatbed Press.

© Louise Levergneux. © Louise Levergneux. Annalise Natasha Gratovich at Flatbed Press.

So, what does “chine collé woodcuts” mean, you ask? Chine-collé roughly translates from French as “chine” meaning tissue, and “collé” is glue or paste. The paper, usually in pre-cut shapes, is actually bonded to the heavier support paper of the print in the printmaking process. The over-all effect of collé is that the paper is actually bonded, not just glued, to the print. It can, at times, look like it is embossed. The word chine was adopted because the thin paper traditionally used was imported into Europe from China, India and Japan. One of the commonly applied techniques includes dampening the thin paper and placing it on the inked plate. What makes collé different from collage is that it is then run through a printing press where the pressure of the press adheres and bonds the collé paper to the print.

This process is how Annalise applies the colour to her work and she carefully hand dyes the coloured papers.

© Louise Levergneux. Annalise Natasha Gratovich’s chine collé woodcuts drying at Flatbed Press.

© Louise Levergneux. Annalise Natasha Gratovich’s chine collé woodcuts drying at Flatbed Press.

Annalise says thoughtfully of her creative work —

“The Journey. Searching. Longing/Belonging. Home identity. Personhood… Where are you? Where am I? Can we, will we, be together? My work explores themes of displacement, self and cultural identity, intention and accountability as well as burden and regret. The figures are based on matryoshka dolls (Russian stacking dolls) and the textile patterns are derived from Ukrainian embroidery, either in patterning or stylistic outline. This nod to the traditional and folk arts of the lands of my heritage, Ukraine and the American South, is important and used to invoke feelings of nostalgia- memories or fantasies of far away places lost or cannot be returned to. I consider my work most successful when a viewer is compelled to dream of these memories and places, when they relate to my characters, and in that way I consider my work a visual continuation of what is shared through the rich and important art of storytelling.”

© 2018 Annalise Natasha Gratovich. The Builder, part of The Villagers, Carrying Things From Home by Annalise Natasha Gratovich.

© 2018 Annalise Natasha Gratovich. The Builder, part of The Villagers, Carrying Things From Home by Annalise Natasha Gratovich.

© 2018 Annalise Natasha Gratovich. The Musician, part of The Villagers, Carrying Things From Home by Annalise Natasha Gratovich.

© 2018 Annalise Natasha Gratovich. The Musician, part of The Villagers, Carrying Things From Home by Annalise Natasha Gratovich.

Gratovich is the Associate Gallery Director of the fine art print publisher Flatbed Press and a member of the Board of Directors of PrintAustin, a month-long, city-wide printmaking event for which she has helped organize exhibitions and special events, curate the PrintAustin Invitational, and has participated in artist and curator talks, and panel discussions.

© 2018 Annalise Natasha Gratovich. To Awaken In Paradise an etching with hand dyed chine collé by Annalise Natasha Gratovich.

© 2018 Annalise Natasha Gratovich. To Awaken In Paradise an etching with hand dyed chine collé by Annalise Natasha Gratovich.


I’m around the Tampa area of Florida for the next 3 weeks, then I’m visiting The Florida Atlantic University Wimberly Library and the Jaffe Collection at the end of January in Boca Raton. If you are interested in a visit to your studio, please, let me know. I would love to be introduced to your artists’ books.

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.


Austin, Texas.3

While being in Texas, I communicated with Olivia Primanis at the Ransom Center. After a lovely French lunch and a visit, Olivia generously shared contacts of other binders in the Austin area.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. A Live Oak in Dripping Springs, Texas

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. A Live Oak in Dripping Springs, Texas

Being appreciative of Olivia’s suggestions, arrangements were made to meet with these binders. To begin with, I met with Linda Anderson a book creator, who creates artists’ books, art out of books, bind books, and design books. She equally makes book illustrations using traditional printmaking techniques. We met at the Austin Book Arts Center.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Linda Anderson at the Austin Book Art Center.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Linda Anderson at the Austin Book Art Center.

Linda has studied and achieved her MFA in printmaking. Later, she worked as an adjunct art instructor, and in book conservation at a university. Then as a fine binder at BookLab and finally Linda thought art in the Austin public school system and lately at the Austin Book Art Center.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Artists’ book by Linda Anderson.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Artists’ book by Linda Anderson.

At this point, Linda is focusing her creative activities on all things BOOKS —including reading — because that is what she loves most. The familiar images in her work come from the traditional folk tales and fairy stories she grew up with and still reads.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Artists’ book by Linda Anderson.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Artists’ book by Linda Anderson.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Artists’ book by Linda Anderson.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Artists’ book by Linda Anderson.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Artists’ book by Linda Anderson.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Artists’ book by Linda Anderson.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Artists’ book by Linda Anderson.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Artists’ book by Linda Anderson.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Artists’ book by Linda Anderson.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Artists’ book by Linda Anderson.

Linda is presently working on a recent installation; a hundred chatting books are at the core of this series.

Imagine a hundred books, a gallery full, chatting to each other. There’s Thor, an open painted book with a raven on his shoulder speaking to Scheherazade, made from a binding of Arabian Nights. The Green Man sits for tea with a child’s poetry book, flowers in her hair. Iron John stands partially open looking on. At times, objects spill from their pages. Their covers are faces carved and painted, the pages sewn or folded within. They communicate their stories. There is Rapunzel with her long hair flowing to the floor coming from leather-covered wooden book boards. The cover in a tall tower shape, and the Barber of Seville in deep conversation with Wordsworth.

© 2018 Linda Anderson. A hundred chatting books.

© 2018 Linda Anderson. A hundred chatting books.

In this current scenario, faces carved with a scroll saw, covers gessoed and painted, insides creatively enhanced or left to portray their story. Fine handmade art papers become new end sheets, and silk book cloth may resurrect their spines, giving them better “book action.” Audible whispers enhance the scene as gallery wanderers might mingle within the clusters of book friends. Discreet LED lighting could appear as a surprise center of focus within an open structure.


Ensuite, I connected with Lindsay Nakashima who works under the imprint Nakashima Books. Lindsay has a fully equipped bindery in East Austin.

Trained in paper making and bookbinding at the University of Iowa Center for the Book and the North Bennet Street school. Lindsay offers private instructions in coptic bookbinding, box making, and Japanese bookbinding.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Lindsay Nakashima’s bindery.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Lindsay Nakashima’s bindery.

I have been greatly influenced by my Japanese heritage in the “minguren” Lindsay Nakashima.

With deep roots in craft and art from her family, Lindsay also enjoys teaching the history of how books are made. Additionally, she instructs courses at the Austin Center for Books Arts.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. The equipment in Lindsay Nakashima’s bindery.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. The equipment in Lindsay Nakashima’s bindery.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Lindsay Nakashima’s bound book samples.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Lindsay Nakashima’s bound book samples.

We met at her studio during the East Austin Studio Tour, EAST is a free, annual, self-guided art event that spans two weekends in November.


Have you met any interesting artists, binders, papermaker lately?

Next week lets talk about the Ransom Center exhibition!