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VT Book Arts Guild “MailB.A.G.” February 2021

2021 February 5

Next Meeting: Wednesday, February 10, 2021, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

This month’s meeting will once again be held via Zoom, an online conference program. If you’ve never attended a Zoom meeting before, check out this video – it will go over the basics of how to join a meeting.

Stay safe!

The B.A.G. Board

Text Me!

Text Me logoText is an important consideration when creating a piece, just as imagery, structure, and materials are. Our members often tell us that they struggle with incorporating text in their work.

We’ve heard you!

Our 2021 series of themed meetings – Text Me! – will focus on how to approach text in the book arts.

We’ll look at how to choose text, methods for adding text to the page, and determining where to put it. We’ll also be visiting Special Collections at both UVM and Dartmouth to look at how other artists approach text in their work.

We hope you’ll join us as we journey into the world of text!

Program: Text Me, Part 1 – Visit to UVM’s Silver Special Collections

Artists book by Candace HicksPrudence Doherty from UVM Special Collections has graciously offered to present to us again as we kick off our series of meetings focusing on text in the book arts.

She has selected examples from the collection that illustrate the many creative and different ways artists have used text in their books. We are sure this will give us many ideas to use in our own books.

If you plan to attend the meeting, please contact Elissa so she can send you the Zoom meeting details.

January Meeting Reflections

Mail ArtWhat a great way to spend an evening with you all. I just loved seeing the mail art exchanged for the Winter Mail Art Swap, and sharing the wonderful artwork that was sent to me. It’s kind of addictive, and I hope you will join me in continuing to send cool stuff to friends and relatives just for fun.

And thanks to Debra Kraemer, we all know how to make a Mennonite Foldnote, from Creative Correspondence (2003) by Michael and Judy Jacobs, so we can send a note and envelope all in one! Brilliant and more fun than a plain ole white envelope. I’ve been making mine with used 2020 calendar pages (not that I had written anything on most of the pages).

Thanks for spending the evening with us, and we hope to see you again at the next meeting.

B.A.G. Library Corner

The Decorated Page book coverThis month, we’re starting a new section to feature a part of the B.A.G. library! As the pandemic wears on, we’re looking for new inspiration and a new way to connect with the library resources as we remain physically distant from it. In the coming months, if you have ideas for books to feature or if you have a library book in your possession you’d like to share something from, email Sally at

In connection with the February meeting’s theme of text, this month’s library selection comes from The Decorated Page by Gwen Diehn. A guest writer, Ann Turkle, takes us through some ideas for including writing within a book or art journal project. Some of her suggestions include list making, making collections of observations, micro-journal entries, and more.

You can check out and download the article here.

B.A.G. News

*** Support the Book Arts Guild of Vermont by becoming a member!

Big News!

Our 2021 dues have been reduced from $35.00 to $25.00 for one year’s membership since we are saving on meeting rental space.

The Book Arts Guild of Vermont is supported by its members and you have kept us going for fifteen years. Our organization is solely run by volunteers and we do what we do because we love the book arts and we love B.A.G.. We continue to be inspired by our community, and the enthusiasm and talents that you bring to our meetings.

Membership dues are our main source of income and we hope that you will show that you value what we have to offer – quality programming, future exhibits, and more – by becoming a member. You get so much value out of your $25.00 and attending just one meeting can give you your full money’s worth.

Just to give you an idea of where membership dues go, here’s a breakdown of B.A.G.’s annual expenses:

  • Zoom subscription: $149.90 per year
  • Rent: $50.00 per month when we can return to in-person attendance
  • Presenter honorarium: $35.00 per meeting
  • Website and email newsletter: $100.00 per year
  • Presenter reimbursement for supplies: Varies

We hope that you will renew your membership to help us with our annual expenses. You can download our membership form and send it in with your payment by check of $25.00 made out to the Book Arts Guild of Vermont:

Book Arts Guild of Vermont
c/o Ann Joppe-Mercure
10 Brookwood Dr
South Burlington, VT 05403

Thank you so much for your continued support of the guild. We wouldn’t be here without you.

Book Arts News

Kalamazoo Book Arts Center logo*** The Kalamazoo Book Arts Center (KBAC) announced a call to artists for the non-juried exhibition The Illustrated Accordion, which will be held in the KBAC Gallery, April 9 – June 18. The exhibit will be both in-person and online.

Open to all emerging and established artists, this 13th annual exhibition focuses on books created in the accordion form. All media, variations, and interpretations of this style of book will be accepted and included in the exhibition.

The deadline for submission is March 26. For more information, check out the prospectus.

Unseen exhibition logo*** 23 Sandy Gallery has a call to artists for their upcoming juried show Unseen. The exhibition will be at form & concept in Santa Fe from August 11 – November 20.

When imperceptible phenomena burst into view, revolutionary change may follow. We learned this in 2020, as an invisible but deadly virus spread across the world, an urgent racial justice movement illuminated dark societal realities, and humanity’s long-simmering crimes against the environment unleashed fires and floods.

Unseen forces can shape our lives and surface in unexpected ways, often altering our behaviors and worldviews if and when we are made aware of them. This call for entries invites artists to submit work exploring the idea of the unseen – physically, psychologically, philosophically – and encourages artists to consider the theme through concept, structure, and material.

Deadline for submissions is June 3. For more information, check out the prospectus.

Content exhibit logo*** The Artery Art Gallery in Davis, CA has a call to artists for CONTENT: An Artist Book Exhibition, which will take place April 2 – May 3.

Artists Books typically defy classification, definition, and expectations. They are vessels and containers for an artist’s vision. To understand what an artists book is you have to forget your definition of a book. Whatever way your intent has led you to make an artist book, that’s the kind of book we are looking for.

Deadline to enter is February 28. For more information, check out the prospectus.

*** The University of South Dakota University Libraries is seeking entries for their sixth international biennial altered book exhibition, Bound and Unbound VI: Altered Book Exhibition, scheduled for display August 23, 2021 – January 3, 2022.

Bound and Unbound VI features an exhibit of altered books, which are a mixed media artwork that changes a book from its original form by altering its state or meaning. Books from any source utilizing any medium are eligible. All work must be original and executed within the last three years.

Deadline for entries is March 5. For more information, check out the prospectus.

*** Dedicated to ancient, modern and contemporary movable books, the POP-APP, International Conference will take place virtually from February 16 – 19. Sessions will be in both Italian and English, with slides available in English.

Thirty Italian and foreign speakers from the academic world and national institutions working in the field of bibliographical description and conservation will discuss the themes of the conference. Enhancement/use of such books will be explored by highlighting their didactic-educational potential, digital experimentations, the achievements of contemporary pop up designers and – on a historical level – their relationship with pre-cinema.

For more information or to register, please visit the POP-APP website (it’s in Italian, so give Google Translate a try).

*** From February 26 – 28, the 2021 Contemporary Artists’ Books Conference (CABC) will take place virtually, free to attendees. The conference will be presented as part of Printed Matter’s Virtual Art Book Fair.

The conference will focus on The Temperature of Art Book Criticism and Scholarship. As the scale of participation in and range of approaches to artists’ books and publishing have blossomed in recent years, now is a key time to develop new critical tools for assessing artists’ books and their broader impact on the cultural and artistic practice. Artists’ book criticism in the 21st century must contend not only with the book as an artistic medium, but also art books’ engagement with a range of cultural histories and publishing traditions.

Across 7 panels representing artists, scholars, writers from across the globe and from a wide range of backgrounds, the conference will explore these questions and look to progress the conversations on what artist book criticism and discourse can be. The subjects covered will include the roles of institutions, how artist books are functioning in times of crisis, perspectives on insider vs. outsider makers and marginalized communities, and the book in the face of oppression and censorship.

For more information or to register, visit the CABC website.

Stay-at-Home Fun

*** The Minnesota Center for Book Arts is offering Intermediate: Building Narrative in Artist’s Books with Radha Pandey on the following Saturdays (6 sessions total): March 6, 13, 20, 27, April 3, &10. This virtual workshop will focus on the juxtaposition of text and image, page layout, and pacing to create a narrative artist’s book.

Participants should have an idea of what they would like to work on. This can be something in progress that is stuck or an idea they would like to turn into a book but are not sure how to start. Depending on ideas and related discussions, book structures and writing exercises will be taught and assigned.

In addition, methods of low-tech image-making – hand-printing linoleum blocks, gelatin printing, pochoir, trace monotypes, and papercutting – will be demonstrated as needed.

Participants should have some binding experience.

For more information or to register visit the MCBA website.

*** The Center for Book Arts is offering Bookbinding for Teachers: Simple Bookmaking for ages 7+ with Stephanie Krause on February 18.

In this two-hour course, participants will learn how to make a few simple books that are kid-approved, low-mess, and high-impact, along with tips to teach in the classroom. This workshop is designed for teachers of 7 to 12-year-olds, with methods and techniques that may be modified to accommodate other age groups. We’ll be looking at non-adhesive bindings created by folding and stitching.

Using simple materials, the instructor will go over single-sheet origami pamphlets (how to make, modify, and connect them); simple pamphlet stitch with a wraparound-style paper cover; and beaded pamphlet stitch with a pocketed paper cover.

For more information or to register, please visit the CBA website.

*** The San Francisco Center for the Book is offering Roll-Up: Pop-Up Books (Level 1) with Shawn Sheehy on March 5 – 7.

You have explored the pop-up how-to books. You’re ready to make your own pop-up project. You are stymied by the question: “How do I adapt these classic, foundational structures to make MY OWN structures?”

This workshop will help you think through that problem by exploring three different structures at three levels: foundational, transitional, and transformational. To add to the fun, you will employ an innovative roll-up binding approach (think scroll rather than codex) for the pop-up folios. In the end you will have a tidy bound collection of study models that will propel you to the next step of pop-up invention. All are welcome!

For more information or to register, visit the SFCB website.

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