The ARTBOUND Collection features contemporary works by students making books in book arts and/or fine arts programs across the United States. The works have been selected by renowned jurors who are accomplished artists, photographers, and book artists in their own right. The artists’ books are now part of the permanent collection at the University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries. The books were created using a variety of media such as letterpress printing, intaglio, inkjet, screen printing, and handmade paper. The books are all high quality, original works made by up-and-coming book artists.
Exposure to book arts is of great interest to many students in the disciplines of printmaking, painting, drawing, graphic design, architecture, and English/creative writing at The University of Florida. As the collection grows, so will the number of students using it. The importance and use of seeing work done by collegiate peers, in addition to seasoned artists, is the recognition that the goal of creating distinctive work is attainable.
Work that is done by master printers and experienced artists can be so refined and ideal that it seems unattainable. Professional work is often considered precious and can be physically restricted from tactile use (e.g. white gloves or glass vitrine). Student work is special and will be protected, but the intent of the ARTBOUND collection is hands-on use. When being introduced to a new medium, it is inspirational to touch and interact with work produced by contemporaries in conjunction with more complex, master work.
Long Live the Book!
The ARTBOUND 2011 juror, Bea Nettles, offered her gracious response to the submissions.
“It was a pleasure to select these books from emerging book artists. I was impressed by the high quality and sophistication of the work that was submitted to ARTBOUND. I chose a wide range of styles, from the codex, the accordion, to more complex presentations, paying attention to the craft of the books while looking for fresh combinations of form and content.
The judging was done from submitted digital images, and not the actual books. This is always a challenge for book artists, as the entire content, especially the text and sequencing of images, cannot be revealed. The three prize winners submitted consistently powerful work that was apparent even in the digital form. It seemed that in addition to the top prize winners, there should be several honorable mentions. This is an exciting group of new books that will become part of the University of Florida’s emerging artists’ book collection.”
The juror for ARTBOUND 2012 was Sarah Bryant of Big Jump Press. The following is her generous response to the submissions.
“It was a privilege to jury this show, and I enjoyed seeing the wide range of the work. Books present a peculiar problem in these circumstances. Photographs are simply not enough, particularly for text driven projects, and I am certain that some beautiful work was not selected for the exhibition because I could not get a sense of the project from the images.
This said, the books I was most drawn to were those that managed to show me how much was missing from my view; books that gave me a craving to see more of the project so that I could unlock some of the artist’s intentions. I attempted to select books that were content driven. Where unusual structural decisions were present, I looked for them to be informed and directed by the content. I attempted to select a group that was representative of the breadth of book arts.
It was a pleasure to spend time with all of this work. Congratulations to the prize winners & to everyone who was selected for the show. I hope to see many of these books (and artists) in person in the future.”
The ARTBOUND 2014 exhibition features contemporary works by students making books in book arts and/or fine arts programs across the United States. The exhibited works have been selected by the talented book artist and letterpress printer, Jessica Peterson of The Southern Letterpress.
Fourteen handmade artists’ books were selected for the exhibition from 30+ submissions. The books were created using a variety of media such as letterpress printing, lithography, inkjet, screen printing, and handmade paper. The books are all high quality, original works made by up-and-coming book artists.
The ARTBOUND Annual Student Book Arts Competition and Collection is supported in part by the Marjorie S. Coffey Library Endowment. This endowment supports the George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida with special attention to the donor’s interest in miniature books and livres d’artiste.