Saturday, March 31, 2012

Reader's Art 12: Lisa McGarry

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home  Lisa McGarry, an American living in Italy, sent Four Rooms of One's Own, an original text by the artist exploring the Hindu proverb that says we are each like a house with four rooms: emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual. Four Rooms of One’s Own takes the form of a varied-fold accordion book, with the individual rooms each assuming a different color and unfolding in a unique way that reveals its degree of publicness/intimacy. 

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home
March 12- April 26, 2012

Friday, March 30, 2012

Reader's Art 12:China Marks

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home  China Marks

I draw with an industrial sewing machine, using thread and fabric to make drawings and one-of-a-kind books. I construct complex narratives from appropriated imagery and text. Process is the transformative agent, synthesizing and subverting the forms and stories contained in the original sources.

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home
March 16- April 26, 2012

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Reader's Art 12: Meredith Laura Lynn

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home    Meredith Lynn 's work is based on drawing.  One of her History Books is in Reader's Art. These books are mostly handmade leather bound portfolios that open into drawings of historical events. The structure forces the viewer to touch the drawings and interact with them in an intimate way.

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home 
March 16- April 26, 2012

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Reader's Art 12: Mary Ellen Long

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home

Mary Ellen Long was born in Los Angeles, California and lived in the North San Diego County for 22 years.  A multi-media artist  who now lives in Durango, Colorado, her work includes mixed media drawing and assemblage, collage,  indoor and outdoor environmental installations, and artists’ books. 

"I live in a mountain setting and work directly in nature on surrounding lands, intervening in subtle ways with what is found and observed;  using handmade paper to mark, wrap, and expand natural form and elements;  burying paper under winter snows to document process and transition;  and arranging indigenous elements in symbolic forms. "

 Her environmental art projects can be seen at and
The artist has exhibted widely for over thirty years and her collage and artists’ books are in numerous public and private collections internationally.
Her blog is a good way to find out her current projects.

She had a solo show at Susan Hensel Gallery in 2007

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home
March 16- April 26, 2012

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Reader's Art 12: Sun Young Kang

Reader's Art 12:Longing for Home   Sun Young Kang

Most people experience the situation of being a “fish out of water.” As a foreigner far from my country, the meaning of this phrase has become painfully evident to me. In my experience, homesickness has not merely been a feeling of melancholy but something more like the suffering a real fish out of water might experience. I have struggled with my identity as an outsider, lost the ability to express myself because of language barriers and struggled in a different culture. The fish in this book represents me: I have not been able to escape the feeling of being an outsider badly missing my home. However, the true focus of this book is that if we have patience and are willing to make an effort, there is always hope in even the most desperate of situations. For fish, water is their home and gives them life. Although the fish out of water could not survive, at the end of this book it creates its own water. We can never permanently leave or lose our home because our true home is what we create throughout our life no matter where we are.

Reader's Art 12:Longing for Home
March 16- April 26, 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

Reader's Art 12: Cathy G. Johnson

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home  Cathy G. Johnson is an artist who creates drawings, watercolors, texts, comics and artists’ books that work with sentimental thought, humor and sincerity. She draws inspiration from personal journals as well as philosophy and critical theory. She explores themes of legitimacy, youth, fear, and the calm, chaotic desire for everything to just be okay.

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home 
March 16- April 26, 2012

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Reader's Art 12: S. Arden Hill

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home  Canadian artist S. Arden Hill has sent a mysterious book

Cover: modge podge, gel medium, aerosol, dry transfer letters, and thread
Pages: mystery.
This book was inspired by a conversation with Joe Kalturnyk about Peter Eisenman’s theoretical house in which you could not enter. Like Foucault notion of what you can not see being more exciting/interesting than what you can see, Eisenman space is expected behind the walls of the house, hinted at by a small visible space. The Skin I Live in, being Japanese stab bound and transparent suggests something is locked with the cover but what is “the pages” is left a mystery.

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home
March 16-April 26, 2012

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Reader's Art 12: Karen Hanmer

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home  Chicago area artist, Karen Hanmer, has said about her piece in the show:

"This is the  painting that hung over the bookmaker’s childhood sofa; photographed, digitally printed actual size, deconstructed, and bound using the drum leaf structure.The pocket-size format references travel guidebooks. Fragmented glimpses of the painting may also function as metaphor for memory, and the unanswered questions that elude memory.What importance does a painting hold when it is the only work of art a family owns? What role does that painting play in one’s consciousness when it has become so familiar it is an unnoticed part of the household landscape. What clues about the family’s history might the painting hold? Where, when, why was it acquired?
Or maybe, to paraphrase Freud, sometimes a painting is just oil on canvas…

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home
March 16- April 26, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

Reader's Art 12: Carolyn Halliday

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home  local artist Carolyn Halliday has said,"The Nested Book work is from an ongoing nest series begun in 2008 related to home and sparked by the continual, inexplicable appearance of nests in my life (falling on my head;  sticking to my leg, etc).  When explaining to a friend that I had no idea what this was about and why nest kept appearing in my life, she pointed out that I had just been talking about the transition of my son having left home for college."

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home
March 16- April 26, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Reader's Art 12: Amy Pirkle and Bill Hall

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home

Artist Statements

Before this book project, it had been many years since my artwork dealt with realistic imagery.  My abstract prints and drawings explored concepts of time and chance among other issues, usually in a geometric format. However, I often thought of producing a series of prints using the processes of my favorite medium, aquatint etching, with the subtle light qualities it affords.

When Amy and I began collaborating on Close To Home, the Hudson River was the obvious and natural choice for subject matter. Observing the river during my daily commute from Ossining to New York became an infatuation. The train runs parallel to the river so the view is unobstructed and dramatic. Sky and water sandwich a strip of land, unchanging but never the same.

In making the plates for these prints, I wanted to give the viewer a sense of time and place without being illustrative, so photographs were referenced for landforms while sky and water were my own inventions. In this way, I could show the majestic changes that are so compelling. In the end, I understood how an artist could take one view of nature and spend a lifetime creating unrepeated interpretations.

As a book artist, I am most interested in creating a narrative for the viewer. Books are intimate; they demand a one-on-one interaction with the reader. Because my work is often about intimate moments or memories from my own life, I feel that the book structure is the most appropriate form for my work.

Relationships and memories are the primary inspirations for my books and prints, particularly those I share with family members. Memories are often just fragments of images combined in our minds to create an entire picture. In many ways, my own memories about my family are just flashes of moments that I’ve blended together over time. Most of the imagery in my books is derived from photographs, emphasizing the notion that a fleeting moment can be captured and remembered.

I often print books to better understand my family members and the relationships I have with them. Close to Home is no exception. While reflecting on the word “home,” I was not able to disassociate my twin sister from my thoughts, and therefore, she became the subject of my reduction relief portraits.

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home
March 16- April 26, 2012

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Reader's Art 12: Kendra Greene

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home  Texan, Kendra Greene, comes with a story: "When my sister bought her first house, its sale came on the condition that she take everything in the house. There were still clothes in the closet, food on the counter, dentures in the bathroom—everything just as it was when someone came to evacuate the 87 year old owner from the life he’d been living alone. There were also messages. Throughout the house: a veritable ledger of oil changes scrawled on the garage door; the words “cold backward” written on the wall above a faucet; and 93 pieces of paper scattered in the shelves next to a black rotary phone.

These notes were written on the back of manila envelopes, grocery bags torn into pages, a receipt, white envelopes opened at their seams and pressed flat. They read like transcripts or monologues. They remark variously on the quality of Australian wine and the cost of Chinese dinners, but mostly they chronicle the writer’s failing faculties, his fears about aging, and an intense loneliness. After four decades in one place, his home has become something to escape. In his notes he longs for a new place, a new home, and a life once more among people.

This book, Noteworthy, represents a selection of the 93 notes. The original notes have been scanned and reproduced as photocopies on Bellbrook, Mohawk, and Hammermill papers, with hand-set stamping, red ink, and grocery bag covers."

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home
March 16- April 26, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Reader's Art 12 : Patricia Dahlman

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home  New Jersey artist, Patricia Dahlman, embroiders her story. Her piece in the show,"Why?", is a humorous but tragic story of suburban clear cutting in the artist's hometown of Lyndhurst, New Jersey. 

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home
March 16- April 26, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

Reader's Art 12: Rita Collins

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home  Montana artist Rita Collins  is an explorer,"At sixty, I am putting more focus on my own art. I find myself making lists of collages I want to create or books to write and bind. Many of these themes are from my daily experiences as an older woman trying to find her place in the 21st century."

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home
March 16-April 26, 2012

Reader's Art 12: the opening

Reader's Art 12 opened, Friday, March 16 to good crowds and good sales.  The evening was the first lovely, dulcet evening of our extremely early spring.  Today the elm  trees are spewing pollen and the daffodils are poking up through the soil, eager to bloom .

The evening of the opening was busy enough that I forget to get photos of all the people reading the books.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Reader's Art 12: Irene Chan

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home  Washington, DC artist Irene Chan is continually confronted by stereotypes concerning Asians: Her book,  The Asian American? Project is made from business cards with text that respond to comments and questions that strangers ask Asian Americans. Every week since age 12, I am asked one to ten of the same questions. Since these questions and comments are common to other Asian Americans as well, I created a set of business cards to flash or hand out for the appropriate moments. Through the interaction of questions and answers, lasting racial stereotypes and myths of the concept of the “Asian American” are revealed.

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home
March 16- April 26, 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Reader's Art 12: Kristi Casey

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home  local artist Kristi Casey:

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home
March 16- April 26, 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

Reader's Art 12 : Stephanie Carpenter

Reader's Art 12: Longing for HomeI  Stephanie Carpenter wants to challenge the viewer to interact with the book through more than the text by engaging the physical presence of the book itself. Through deliberate physical action with the entire piece, the viewer is asked to slow down while in- teracting with my work. Thus each book is a tangible reminder of how the journey is an important and relevant part of any interaction. Each printed piece was created with handset type, hand-cut illustrations and traditional bookbinding methods. The time that it takes to create the piece is then mirrored in the action the viewer must take to reach the entire content of the book.

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home
March16- April 26, 2012
opening reception, Friday, March 16, 7-10 pm

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Reader's Art 12: Elizabeth Carls

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home South Minneapolis artist Elizabeth Carls has a deep love of literature that, over the years has expressed itself in richly layered, experimental letterpress books. While the love of narrative and the history of the book remain, lately she has been drawn to more wordless forms, using mixed media to create mutable experiences of story.

Changing Landscapes is a series of 4 one-of-a-kind mixed media works designed to engage their audience and encourage a physical interaction between the viewer and the piece. On the surface the idea is simple—you can change the landscape. On another level, Changing Landscapes presents an un-sequenced narrative. A narrative about our individual sense of place and the ephemeral nature of the world we live in.

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home
March 16- April 26, 2012
Opening reception, Friday, March 16, 7-10pm

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Reader's Art 12:Mary-Ellen Campbell

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home New York artist Mary-Ellen Campbell is no stranger to Minnesota.  I met her when she was doing a residency in Red Wing, Minnesota.  Mary-Ellen did a lot of residencies that year while she was taking a sabbatical from teaching.  One of the hallmarks of Mary-Ellen's work is her ability to come into a new environment with few materials and few pre-conceived notions.  It is a creative challenge that seems essential to her work practice.  She gathers materials and ideas from her environs and allows them to tell the story that needs to be told.

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home
March 16- April 26, 2012
opening reception, Friday, March 16, 7-10pm

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Reader's Art installation in process

Today was installation day.  WIth the able help of Dale Kennedy, a great friend who works for the Bell Museum, we got the show installed.  There are futzy things left to do...changing light bulbs, printing labels.  Lots of contented puttering ahead.

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home opens this Friday, March 16, withva reception from 7-10pm.

Reader's Art 12 :Mary Bergs and Beth Dorsey

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home  Mary Bergs and Beth Dorsey are Minneapolis artists who collaborate. For the Reader’s Art Exhibition they are creating a collaborative book. Using the structure of an accordion book they plan to visually explore the concept of home as: 

·      A place
·      A state
·      A building
·      Something within us
·      A memory
·      A history
·      A facade
·      An emotion
·      Something familiar

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home
March 16- April 26, 2012
opening reception, Friday, March 16, 2012

Monday, March 12, 2012

Reader's Art: The current chaos

Installation begins with boxes, upon boxes, piles of paperwork, email, condition reports...and chaos!

Reader's Art 12:Fran Beallor

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home  New York artist Fran Beallor is well established as a painter but of this work she says, "This is my first altered book. When I think of books, I think of a warm, cozy room. So I put my warm, cozy room inside the book and above, a skylight to see the stars. I call it "Home.""

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home
March 16- April 26, 2012
opening reception Friday, March 16, 7-10pm

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Reader's Art 12: Lindsey Beal

Reader's Art 12:Longing for Home  Lindsey Beal, from Providence Rhode Island, says:

"The two body problem is a physics problem where two bodies orbit around the same point but never meet.  This definition is now used to describe a common situation where couples are failing to find employment in the same geographic location, often leading to long-distance relationships in order for them both to pursue their careers or education.  This is a flip book depicting my own two body problem by displaying how my relationship often used text messages in order to continue.  Whether it was everyday trivialities or serious statements, we used texting to stay in touch while apart.  We both looked forward to the day when our separate homes, locations and lives came together and became one and the same.  The thoughts were always present for the day in which we no longer had to describe our lives through texting but could do it in person again."

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home
March 16- April 26, 2012
opening reception Friday, March 16, 7-10pm

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Reader's Art 12: Aileen Bassis

Reader's Art 12 : Longing for Home  Aileen Bassis:

"In 2006 I discovered that my mother was developing dementia.  It was a devastating and overwhelming shock.  The person that I knew my entire life was dissolving before me.  As an artist, I make work about subjects that disturb and concern me and so I made art about mom and indirectly, me.  All of the texts are from my conversations with her.  Since I made this work, my father has passed away, and mom is now in assisted living.  I visit often and listen to her rambling words and mourn the loss of the person she used to be.  I no longer make art about her. "

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home
March 16-April 26, 2012
opening reception, Friday, March 16, 7-10pm

Friday, March 9, 2012

Reader's Art 12: Alicia Bailey

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home  Denver artists Alicia Bailey says, "The phrase “home is where the heart is” is one that confounded me in childhood. Others seemed to think that home was a house somewhere.

I asked my mother about it once, or maybe more than once. Her response to my idea, if my home is where my heart is, then my body must be my home, was an exasperated “Where do you come up with these ideas?”

The conviction that my home is the one that I carry with me everywhere, my physical body, has stayed with me and continues to make sense. I find comfort in the notion of my home as something that is wholly mine. A thing while it can be shared, used or abused by others, exploited even, belongs to no other. A place that will cease to exist at the same moment that I do.

The five books here reference the physical (Shedding), the sensual (Burning Me Open), the psychological (Two Hearts), the spiritual (Mercy) and all the above (Ab)."

Reader's Art 12 : Longing for Home
March 16-April 26, 2012
opening reception Friday, March 16, 7-10pm

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Reader's Art 12: LaThoriel Badenhausen

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home  New York artist LaThoriel Badenhausen wrote: "Paper dolls!  Growing up poor in rural Minnesota, my paper dolls were wrinkled, faded dolls culled and cut from the Christmas Sears Roebuck catalog.  Every year, I received a bounty of new paper dolls in the mail.  (Montgomery Ward’s “dolls” were inferior).  My paper dolls were constant friends during days spent indoors waiting out a blizzard. Schiaparelli Fashion Paper Dolls remind me of that place, those days.  Just as a child I pasted new dresses to a doll when I became bored with her fashion presence or posture, I have transformed the dated Schiaparelli paper dolls by giving each doll a face evident in the currently fashionable art context.  Yoko Ono, Pamela Lehman, Nara, Cattelan, Warhol, Jesus and his disciples and McCarthy’s “Tomato Head”." 

Reader's Art 12 : Longing for Home
March 16-April 26, 2012
opening reception Friday, March 16, 7-10pm

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Windows on Cedar: Sharol Nau

Sharol Nau is a Northfield artist who is obsessed with mathematics. She is NOT a mathematician, but attended a math and art conference on a whim and found the confluence of art and mathematics fascinating.  Her work can be seen in the windows and in the gallery during Reader's Art 12.

My artwork develops from doing.  Inspiration may arise from a location, a sheet of good rag paper, a block of Styrofoam, a stack of books or more. I begin by experimenting with materials until ideas and techniques come together.  Progress demonstrates adjustments along the way but I know when it is finished because it is successfully filled with my visual ideas.
Making art for more than thirty years gives me an abundance to draw from.  However there are periods in development when a diversion from my usual practice is required to keep the work fresh and interesting.  Even though it is not readily apparent in this collection of recent book sculptures they are influenced indirectly by visual memories of my trips to a local creek that runs slowly at a bend where trees and rocks block the flow.  The creek is transformed from a stream to a wavy pond as the flow—not completely blocked—stagnates just enough for waves to bounce off the banks and obstructions to form wonderful patterns.
The best books from which to shape engaging sculptures are gently used with good quality paper bought by the bagful at an annual book sale.  Methodically folded pages hinged to a book spine take on unexpected, graceful structures.  Shapes can be prescribed mathematically; others are freely formed.
My first attempts at creating small sculptures by folding the pages of recycled books were experimental.  Mathematics came into play only after I had folded a set of encyclopedias.  Being material conscious, I switched to novels constructed of higher quality paper with deckled edges.  The performance of waves from the resulting series of folds is beautiful as I use variations on a classical math problem, the so-called Paper Creasing Problem.  More recently the waves are popping up due to parabolic curves.  Each page is folded to a common point, the focus, with the edge serving as the straight line.  Thus the collection of folds forms an arch-curve.  Abounding waves emanate as the book is opened and spread out.  I am discovering more waves as I delve into the problem of creating works that represent a perfect shuffle, as in playing cards. In mathematics a perfect shuffle is when a set of cards is divided into two equal piles and shuffled to interleave them perfectly.

Reader's Art 12 : Philip R. Luoma Anderson

Reader's Art 12: Longing for home covers a lot of territory.  Over the next few weeks I will be featuring images from the artists who are participating from close to home and as far away as France.

Pictured above is an image from Changing Face of a Nation  by Philip R. Luoma AndersonIn the book Adult Basic Education students who are learning English wrote a personal narrative. They wrote about their lives in their home countries, coming to the USA, their current lives, and their hopes for the future. Philip was their instructor. He wrote about demographic change in the USA and Minnesota, language acquisition, and the loss of heritage language and the factors that influence language acquisition, language maintenance, and language loss. 

Reader's Art 12: Longing for Home
March 16- April 26, 2012
opening reception Friday, March 16, 7-10pm