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Students viewing Shelter artists' books

Students viewing Shelter artists' books

Compilation: Three Exhibitions on Books

Concurrent exhibits feature handmade artists’ books and rare Transcendentalist writings
Wednesday, Jan. 28 through Tuesday, March 31

 

Shelter: Unique Visions of a Universal Subject through Artist’s Books and Anik Vinay: Les mots de l'écrivains, les images de l'artiste, Collaborative Books from the Atelier des Grames, Giogondas, France will both focus on handmade artists’ books. The third part of the exhibition series, Imprint: From Walden to Graceland, 200 Years of Asian Spiritual Traditions in Western Thought, is a unique collection of books and letters belonging to Kent Bicknell, an educator and principal of the Sant Bani School in Sanbornton, N.H.

Shelter focuses attention on a universal subject and one of humanity’s most basic needs—in all its manifestations: the home, the psychology of personal space, current issues in the housing market such as homelessness, the mortgage crisis and loss of historic fabric. Forty three artists have been chosen to participate in Shelter, an exhibition of artists’ books juried by Janine Wong, faculty member in the College of Visual and Performing Arts at UMASS/Dartmouth.

Artist Veronica Morgan conceptualized the Shelter exhibition. She has worked as a housing planner and developer and says “One of my favorite books is Gaston Bachelard’s Poetics of Space. “The house shelters dreaming” is perhaps his most oft-quoted observations. How do you dream if you have no shelter? In conceiving this exhibit, I hoped to call attention to the subject of homelessness and, through the sale of book works, support a homeless charity, chosen by the director at each exhibiting venue.”  A 30 percent commission on sales from the Holy Cross exhibit will benefit Abby’s House in Worcester, an organization that is committed to providing emergency shelter to homeless women and their children and to ending the cycle of homelessness.

Shelter includes the work of Susan Schmidt, associate professor of visual arts at the College of the Holy Cross, who is co-teaching a handmade book projects course during the spring semester along with Susan E. Sweeney, associate professor of English at Holy Cross. A complete list of participating artists is available on the gallery’s website at holycross.edu/cantorartgallery.

Anik Vinay: Les mots de de l'écrivains, les images de l'artiste, is a selection of collaborative books produced from 1979 through 2008 at the Atelier des Grames, Gigondas, France.  The Atelier des Grames has been producing limited edition handmade books since 1968. Artist Anik Vinay joined the studio in 1976 and has been the principle artist for the last 10 years. She is a graduate of Ecole des Beaux Arts of Valence, France and has exhibited widely and received numerous awards throughout her career.

Vinay invites contemporary writers and poets to collaborate with her in her studio, giving their unpublished works a visual form. The text serves as inspiration for each piece and the results have been described as “theatre” for the written word. Vinay’s works incorporate a variety of techniques and methods such as engraving and typography and make use of an array of materials including handmade paper, ceramics, wood, glass, plastic and metal. François Aubral, a writer whose work is represented by several pieces in the exhibition, has said “Writers, visual artists…the important thing is the encounter between the two and the impact it has; from this something unexpected will emerge from both worlds…Art becomes a creature with several heads.”

Imprint: From Walden to Graceland, 200 Years of Asian Spiritual Traditions in Western Thought, a selection of rare books and letters from the collection of Kent Bicknell, traces the influence of Eastern philosophy on Western culture through Transcendentalist writers and thinkers such as Emerson, Thoreau, and the Alcotts to contemporary cultural figures such as Elvis Presley. Bicknell’s passion for collecting goes back as early as his high school years with Civil War artifacts, continuing through college, and on to the present with an emphasis on books that were read, pondered over, and sometimes written by this small group of 19th-century authors.

Bicknell, an educator, helped to found the Sant Bani School in Sanbornton, N.H. in 1970, and continues today as its principal. He holds degrees from Yale University, Goddard College and Boston University. He is an independent scholar whose work has been published in a variety of journals, with a main interest in the Transcendentalists. In 1995, he acquired and edited an unpublished manuscript of Louisa May Alcott that became a New York Times best seller, A Long Fatal Love Chase.

Gallery Events

A series of lectures and events will be held at Holy Cross in conjunction with the gallery exhibition.  All events are free and open to the public.

    * Wednesday, Jan. 28, 5 – 6:30 p.m., Cantor Art Gallery
      Opening Reception

      Note: The Opening Reception for the Compilation exhibition will be held as scheduled, but due to the weather the gallery will add a second opening on February 26 following the Artist's Talk by Anik Vinay.
    * Wednesday, Feb. 4, 5 – 6 p.m., Cantor Art Gallery
      Gallery Talk, Veronica Morgan, Shelter
    * Thursday, Feb. 12, 5 – 6:30 p.m., Seelos Theatre
      Lecture, Kent Bicknell, Imprint: From Walden to Graceland, 200 Years of Asian Spiritual Traditions in Western Thought
    * Wednesday, Feb. 18, 5 – 6 p.m., Cantor Art Gallery
      Gallery Talk, Susan Schmidt, associate professor of visual arts at the College of the Holy Cross, Shelter
    * Thursday, Feb. 26, 5 – 6 p.m., Stein 129
      Artist’s Talk, Anik Vinay, Anik Vinay Les mots de de l'écrivains, les images de l'artiste
    * Wednesday, Apr. 1, 5 – 6 p.m., Cantor Art Gallery
      The Last Word...Open Mic Poetry Reading, Poems about Books as Objects

 

 Shelter Participating artists include:
Barbara Barnes Allen, Libby Barrett, Jackie Batey, Laura   Blacklow, Heather Blume, Jennifer Brook, Lora Brueck, Elsa Campbell, Lin       Charleston, Rosemarie Chiarlone, Marcia Ciro, Cristina  de Aleida, Dianne Smith  Dolan, Martiza Cantero Farrell., Lynn Feldman, Ruth Ginsberg-Place, Shirley Greer, Mary W. Hart, Connie Hershey, Karen Hohler, , Sherrill Hunnibell, Barbara Hunter, Elizabeth A. Jabar, Dorothy Simpson Krause, Margo Lemieux, Stephen Livingstone, Marlene MacCallum, Marian Macken, John Magnan, Siobhan Martin, Veronica  Morgan, Leah Oates, Tara  O'Brien, Dr. Maureen O'Neill, Anne Pelikan, Sumi Perera, Jessica Peterson, Eleanor Rubin, Laura Russell, Susan Schmidt, Gail Smuda, Marilyn Stablein, Mary L.Taylor, Tore Terrasi, Susan Viguers, Tom  Virgin, Frances Watson, Beata  Wehr, Dawn  Wilson and Philippa Wood.
Please note: pieces by Shirley Greer and John Magnum are not being shown at the Cantor Gallery.