Art Books Cleveland and Octavofest Connect to the Community

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The annual Octavofest celebration of book and paper arts is preparing to kick off its 2016 season, featuring a line-up that’s more extensive and engaging than ever. As always, two major shows—a themed show, this year focused on the number 100, and an Abecedarium show emphasizing alphabet-related works—serve as centerpieces for the month-long event running throughout October.


Among the other exhibits are on tap to run through October are displays at the Shaker Heights Public Library Main Branch and the Cleveland State University Art Gallery.


A central goal of the celebration is community engagement. This year, a wide array of participatory activities is planned, including demonstrations and workshops.

Among these, a series of WatchART! events will be held at venues including Notre Dame College, Cleveland State University, and the Sterling Branch of the Cleveland Public Library (CPL). At these events, book and paper artists work on projects that show the incredible range of media that evoke the book form. Attendees can chat with the artists, inspect examples, and try their hand at small projects.


New this year is a project in the Cleveland Central area in collaboration with the Promise Neighborhood program. Throughout the spring and summer, DIY project ideas will be distributed through the area’s Little Free Libraries and the Sterling and Woodland CPL branches. These projects, using readily available materials, can be completed by young readers in their homes or schools. Artists will provide help at monthly sessions at the libraries. Teachers and parents will be encouraged to help students with these projects so that by mid-October, they have works to display at the two libraries.  Promise Neighborhood Engagement Manager Joe Black notes: “if a picture is worth a thousand of words, I can only imagine what this Book Art project will be worth to the children and families of the Central Promise Neighborhood.”


Further promoting engagement, students from the Notre Dame College Art Department will participate in the various Promise Neighborhood projects and displays. Rachel Morris, Associate Professor of Fine Arts notes she “is pleased to work with Art Books Cleveland and the Promise Neighborhood in their new initiative. We have many talented and dedicated young artists eager to share their creativity. Partnering with these community organizations provides the opportunity to serve a young student population, helping those youngsters gain creative and literacy skills while also giving our graduates important skills they can carry with them for a lifetime.”


Octavofest organizers are enthusiastic about spending another year promoting the book and paper arts, and to have the opportunity to continue to promote the love of books and art in the Cleveland community.


For more information about Octavofest, and a schedule of events visit:, or check out the Octavofest Facebook page.




Art Books Cleveland

c/o the Morgan Conservatory

1754 East 47th Street

Cleveland, Ohio 44103