A New Year, and New Initiatives for Art Books Cleveland

Nancy Halbrooks, Floating Leaves, accordion book.

In keeping with its initiative to expand and enhance its activities, Art Books Cleveland (ABC) has a busy agenda for 2023.

Artist books explore the history, structure, and content of books as more than simply containers for words. They are exemplars of the many ways books can go beyond straight text to reflect artistic meanings. Book artists use a wide range of media to reflect the form, structure, and content of books. While book art has existed for generations, it is not as well-known as other visual art forms even though many artists use its processes and products to express their visions. The mission of ABC is to “explore, encourage, and teach both contemporary and traditional artistic practices of the hand-made book.”

The images demonstrate just a few of the many ways book artists use a variety of forms to modify existing books and create new and innovative book-related structures.

Gene Epstein, 4 Seasons, books altered by cutting.

But you don’t have to be a book artist to belong to or benefit from ABC. Our members include conservators, collectors, calligraphers, fine binders, fiber and collage artists who sometimes use book forms, as well as people who just like books and enjoy hanging out with a group of creative, collaborative, and curious artists.

Last year, ABC turned the page on the pandemic with a highly-successful group show at the Beachwood Community Center. It is now focused on expanding its reach through additional exhibits, and also through monthly member meetings/workshops, collaborations with related organizations, and an expanded membership.

While work on scheduling new exhibitions and collaborations is in progress, ABC is enhancing its activities to appeal to a broader audience of prospective members. Workshops offered at this year’s monthly meetings will include paint pouring, paper embossing, book folding, and many others.

To receive meeting information and stay connected with ABC, contact the organization by mail c/o Strong Bindery, 13015 Larchmere Boulevard, Shaker Heights, OH 44120, or by email at artbookscleveland@gmail.com.

Phyllis Brody, Life Cycle, altered book collage

c/o The Morgan Conservatory
1754 East 47th Street

Cleveland, Ohio 44103

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