October 2009
Undercover: 24 Books
Lehman/Mistovich SRMC
Photo Club Exhibit 2010
State of (the) ArtSpace
ArtSpace in Oaxaca
Rally In The Square
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6:30-8:30 PM




Not until the mid-1960s and through the 1970s did the collaborative tradition of making books expand to define books by artists as unique works of art. Today, colleges, universities and art schools offer an array of book-arts programs. The artist’s book has continued to gain prominence in the fine art world largely due to its ability to encompass virtually any other art form, providing the opportunity to create added meaning in an intimate structure.


Most books, in the traditional sense, have an illustrator, art director, writer, editor, typographer, printer and binder involved in their production. With an artist’s book, the artist often fills each of those roles. Today, the artist has many more technological elements at his or her disposal, allowing them to be more experimental in their choices of structure and medium.


On first glance, each of the artists participating in ArtSpace’s exhibit, Undercover, faithfully adheres to maintaining the anatomy of a book: text block, binding, and cover are clearly evident. What makes a book more than merely a collection of words and images is the relationship between form and content. What entices and engages is the way structure and text combine to create an experience that becomes greater than the individual parts.


This exhibit is a diverse sampling. The six participating artists are an extremely versatile, dedicated and talented group who continually push themselves and their craft to new levels.


Yes, a book can be an object that sits on a shelf. It can also embody what this exhibition highlights–in the hand of an artist, a book is an intimate vehicle for expression through words, text, time, space, sound, past, present and future.


Melissa Eddings-Mancuso

Exhibit Curator

Associate Professor of Art

Ohio Northern University






In The Ellen Nelson Gallery






Alice Austin





Alice Austin, from Philadelphia, takes everyday life as inspiration and adds her own twist to create books that are whimsical yet introspective.






Alisa Golden








Alisa Golden, from Berkeley, has been making books for over twenty years and is the author of three books on the creation of handmade books. Her artist’s books are wise and are a treat for the eye as well as the hand.






Bea Nettles


Bea Nettles, from Urbana, Illinois, combines a personal narrative with stunning photography. Her books often present foreboding content with intelligence and power.







Marian Runk








Marian Runk, from Chicago, has just received her MFA from Columbia College’s Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts program this past spring. Her understated graphic books are full of wry wit and astute observations.








Karen Hanmer







Karen Hanmer, from Chicago, has mastered the flag book structure and made it her own. Her books, combining historical elements with a dreamlike narrative, are captivating. Karen can find connections between seemingly disparate subjects with ease and willingly takes us on her journey.








Pati Scobey


Pati Scobey, from Concord, Michigan, creates books that come to life with text and beautifully layered images that burst with color and emotion.













Undercover: 6 Artists/24 Books

is sponsored by


The Book Club

Books in the Hood


The Argonne Literary Society and Adventure Club