It's been a whirlwind of a couple of weeks (I know, per usual), but I'm happy to report that the Fiber/Book opening was a great success. We saw more than 125 people come and go over the course of five hours, which is no small feat for little, football-obsessed Tuscaloosa. Everyone seemed to enjoy the work; there was a lot of reading of handmade books, some broadside purchasing, and lots of questions. Most people who came didn't really have much of an idea of what good handmade paper could look like, or what it could be used for. I was really happy that the work on show spanned the spectrum of possible uses, from prints, books, and broadsides, to sculpture, lampshades, and vases.
Call me a glutton for punishment, but even though it's a lot of work to put together a show, I'm ready to do it again. The response was enough to convince me that all the pain of nagging people for work, rallying together a core of co-curators, and stressing over installation is worth the effort.
Here are a few pictures from opening night. The space was the perfect backdrop for our work, with it's clean, white walls with some exposed brick. I especially loved our display of handmade paper samples and broadsides hanging from clothesline. I also really liked our reading area. It was a bit of a contrast from the clean, organic feel of the paper display, but it was a center of activity throughout the night.
There will be many more book arts/ONO collaborations in the future! But for now, I'm busy preparing for other events, including tomorrow's Druid City Drinking Club craft fair. It's being held in conjunction with the local aroboretum's annual plant sale, so we should have a good turnout. I'm hoping that plant sellers like books as much as I like plants, because I'd really like to trade for some heirloom tomatoes and peppers. I'm going to be spending the better part of today preparing the 10 ethiopian-style link stitches (most of them embroidered) that are in various stages of completion. I would have more inventory, but I'm now one of the regular artists selling at the One Night Only Artique, so some of my work is now in their stock.
And since everything happens around the same time here, next weekend is the Alabama Festival of the Book in Montgomery. If you're in the area, you should stop by the book arts table and say hi and check out all the great things we've been working on recently.
I'm off to assist some papermakers, do some printing, and brave the alumni-day football game crowds now. Wish me luck, and I'll write a new post soon.