Every Thursday I wake thinking about making a book. Today was no different. I woke earlier than usual -- 4AM -- and was wired thinking about today's book. But when I stepped into the studio/guest room, it hit me...MY BOOKS ARE IN A GALLERY.
That realization sat me down and forced me to be still for a moment. It was a good long moment. I sipped tea and thought about what that really meant. For me, someone who would not dare call herself an artist for many years, it's rather big.
Well, the gallery isn't that big, but the idea of my work being "featured" in a space where other humans will encounter it, pass it, maybe even stop and look at it, that's pretty darn BIG.
The other thing that is really BIG for me is that this gallery happens to be in the book art department of my alma mater -- Mills College.
Why is this a big deal? Well, the three women in that department (Kathy Walkup, Julie Chen, and Lara Durback) were the ones who got me hooked on making books as an art form and who ushered me into the world of binding and letterpress. After graduation, I worked for Julie at her press for almost a year and learned a TON from her.
So when Lara asked me if I'd be willing to show my work in the Pocket Gallery, I was thrilled and honored and proud. Let's face it, I put a full day of work into each of these books and while they are by no means perfect books, they are pieces of me -- each one an artifact of my mood that day, a glimpse into my creative process, and a little bit of my soul in full blown color. And of course I said, YES!
The young woman who installed the books, Keri, did an AMAZING job. I waited until after I taught my Wednesday afternoon class to visit the gallery. I walked over to the building and slowly entered from the side closest to the gallery. It was quiet. No students, no faculty, no staff, but the gallery door was open and the books invited me in.
The lighting was low and soft and as I made my way to each case, slow and silent tears streamed down my cheeks. It was perfect.
Thanks to Keri’s wonderful idea to include QR (quick response) codes for each book, the labels were printed beautifully so that viewers can access the videos as they look at the books.
I don’t know if anyone will ever ask me to exhibit my books in a gallery again, but it doesn’t really matter. This show feels important to me and now that I’ve seen what my books look like as works of art, I’m more energized to keep making them each week.
If you are in the local area, the books will be available for viewing until the end of the month (and maybe even until mid October). Head on over to the Mills College Book Art Department and have a stroll.
I'm Kiala, a student of life first and foremost. And I'm also a published poet, book binder, fountain pen collector, Life Alchemist & Intuitive Soul Guide. I make things, paint things, and write things. I love teaching & empowering women to live with intention. Please, grab a cup of your favorite warm drink, a fountain pen, and your favorite journal. Let's connect!
My Articles for the StencilGirl® Blog
i'm teaching here...
journal with me
my favorite supplies
my favorite classes
I participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.