Open Studios at the Morgan Conservatory

The Open Studios program allows professional and emerging artists and students access to studio space and equipment, and provides them with an opportunity to create art in the areas of papermaking, letterpress printing, bookbinding and book arts.

Robert Cmarik, Soul

Robert Cmarik, Soul

Robert Cmarick, a regular of the Open Studios program at the Morgan is originally from Cleveland, and most of his family still lives here. In 1977, he graduated with an undergraduate degree in sculpture and glassblowing from Cleveland State, where he also taught glassblowing for three years after graduation.


Robert drifted away from making art, got a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture in 1993, and ultimately settled in Silver Spring, Maryland where he has lived for the past twenty years. Robert was introduced to the Morgan in the summer of 2013 while taking a workshop at Penland School of Crafts, through Mason Milani and Aimee Lee. After attending a Morgan workshop, Robert began coming in for Open Studios.

Although his poetry led him to letterpress printing, Robert is currently working on studies for a sculpture – they are lines from songs, or poems that he prints on fabric to use as prayer flags. They aren’t finished works, but provide a way to explore process and materials. Robert enjoys our well-maintained presses and extensive type selection, including wood type, which fits his project well. He appreciates that the Morgan is able to accommodate his unusual schedule of short visits from 350 miles away.


Currently in our galleries are two exhibitions by accomplished artists working in the world of book, print and paper arts:


Matière: Denise Bookwalter

Denise Bookwalter works in a range of print media including traditional and digital processes, artist’s books, installations and dimensional prints. Her artists’ books utilize old and new print technologies. Matière is the surface quality of a material, a tactile and intimate experience between a material and the body. The body interprets and absorbs information through touch like it receives color through sight.

Dark Rebus #2, 200718" diameterhandmade paper, abaca fibre, pigment, thread

Dark Rebus #2, 2007, 18″ diameter, handmade paper, abaca fibre, pigment, thread

Opening Pages: Susan Warner Keene

Susan Warner Keene approaches papermaking as both process and metaphor. The physical labor of transforming plant fiber into a sheet of paper offers seemingly endless opportunities to consider the material requirements and possible strategies for image making. Focused attention is essential, with all the senses attuned to what is happening from moment to moment, as pulp becomes paper.


Both exhibitions are on view October 14 through December 10, 2016.




Matière: Denise Bookwalter and Opening Pages: Susan Warner Keene: October 14 – December 10

Ethiopian Binding with Kerri Harding: November 19, 10 am – 4 pm

Letterpress Printing with Legos with Bob Kelemen: November 19–20, 10 am – 4 pm

Make Your Own Treasure Box with Betsy Begue: December 3–4, 10 am–4 pm

Build a Book! Bookbinding for Kids with Fran Kovac: December 10, 10 am–4 pm

The Case for Making Your Own Bookcloth with Cris Takacs: January 14–15, 10 am–4 pm

No Sewing Required: Tacketed Bindings with Fran Kovac: January 21, 10 am–4 pm

Monika Meler Artist Talk: January 21, 4:30 – 5 pm

Encaustic on Paper with Clare Murray Adams: January 28–29, 10 am–4 pm

Softcover Journals and Sketchbooks with Kyle Holland: February 4–5, 10 am–4 pm