weekend of Portland book arts


letterpress printed poster by the gorgeous folks at Em Space

Last Saturday, in between recovering from a migraine and acquiring a cold, I dropped by Em Space to see some friends and to check out the show "The Power of the Press," which Em Space is hosting since its closing at Portland Center Stage. The show looks great above all of their immaculate presses. I wish I remembered to bring my camera.

The show will be up until January 31 and is free and open to the public. To learn more about Em Space, check out their website.

The day before I also made it in just before the closing gate for the closing reception of "The Assignment" at the 23 Sandy Gallery. "The Assignment" was a show for and by the CBAA (College Book Arts Association) to celebrate the assignment as a valuable practical tool for book artists as students, teachers, and working artists.

This was one of the best shows I've seen at 23 Sandy, and one artist's statement jumped out at me as being just what I needed to read at that moment: Anna Bunting of Oakland, California talked about how her piece was an assignment to herself. That once a week she set aside time to be in her studio, to write, set type, print.

Between my work at OCAC, my commissioned work for Tiger Food Press, and the work I put into ephemera for my online stores, I am always at work in a bindery or print shop, either mine or the school's. But it continues to be so hard to carve out time just to write for the fun of it, or draw just for my self, or make a few experimental prints to get started on the book I've had germinating in my mind for so long. So to read this artist statement, and to see the finished book next to it was a jolt of inspiration to me.

23 Sandy brilliantly always includes an online catalog of every exhibition of work. "The Assignment" is now down, but the work, including artist statements is online here.