Welcome to the Cincinnati Book Arts Society Blog

Please use and visit our blog!
Questions? Curious? Email CBAS at: cbasinformation@gmail.com

Sunday, September 29, 2013

New on the bookshelf...

Two new books arrived on our doorstep last week from Amazon. If you get a chance to look at either, you're sure to be delighted.
500 Handmade Books, Volume 2, (Lark, 2013) is just as inspirational as the first volume that came out a few years ago. Julie Chen was the juror for this one, so you can imagine the quality of the work. Every page is a visual treat. Don't miss the fine binding by CBAS member Karen Hanmer. In addition to Karen, who has taught workshops for us, you'll find books by other CBAS visiting artists Peter and Donna Thomas, Bea Nettles and Paul Johnson. There is also a book by NKU faculty member Julie Mader-Meersman.
Awake in the Dream World: The Art of Audrey Niffenegger (powerHouse Books, 2013) serves as the catalogue for the current Niffenegger exhibition at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC. Featuring prints, drawings, paintings and books, this is the first solo exhibition of the artist's work in a major museum; in case you're planning to be in the capital in the next few months, it will be up through November 10. The artist is perhaps best known to the general public as the author of the novels The Time Traveler's Wife (2003, later made into a movie) and Her Fearful Symmetry (2009). But she has also produced a number of artist's books combining her own words and images and is a founder of the Columbia College Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts.

And remember, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Avenue, NW, has an amazing and growing collection of artists' books, curated by Krystyna Wasserman. It should be on our pilgrimage route.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


A crowd of almost 80 gathered on Sunday afternoon, September 22, at Studio San Giuseppe, College of Mount St. Joseph (MSJ), to get a first look at the exhibition book/ARTS/book featuring 63 works by 33 CBAS members.
Visitors in hallway gallery
Everyone wandered through the installation to admire various interpretations of "the book" that included many non-traditional structures as well as easily recognizable forms.
Variety of book forms
An interactive book
At 2:30 the attendees moved to a classroom to hear Gabrielle Fox, a CBAS founder, share what she does as a fine binder and book artist. Next, Margaret Rhein shared her work as a paper artist, and Marianne Burke talked about her background in calligraphy.
SRO crowd for presentations
All three artists have work in the exhibition incorporating their specific talents in a variety of books. CBAS board member Kevin Grace introduced the panel and, following the presentations, moderated questions from the crowd that included thoughts about the future of the physical book in a world of rapid technological change.
Kennedy Heights Art Center group looks carefully
A group of novice book makers from the Kennedy Heights Art Center, who will soon be working with artist Jan Thomas on a collaborative book project, were a welcome addition to the afternoon and enthusiastic viewers of our work.
Diane Stemper shares her work with admirers Cran and Jack Campbell
Kudos for a beautiful installation and festive reception go to Velma Dailey, Gallery Director, to Jerry Bellas, Assistant to the Gallery Director and Art Department faculty member, and to MSJ student assistants. Thanks for making it possible for us to share our work at such a fine venue.

book/ARTS/book will be on view through October 25 and is well worth a visit...or two! For a MSJ press release about the exhibition, along with gallery hours and details, see http://www.msj.edu/about/facilities/studio-san-giuseppe-art-gallery/

Monday, September 23, 2013


Fourteen members of Study Group spent the afternoon of September 14 exploring possibilities for our planned collaborative book, inspired by a June field trip to the Vent Haven Museum. (See blog post of June 9, 2013.) One of this area's hidden treasures, Vent Haven is the world's only museum dedicated to the art of ventriloquism, and our visit is still the object of fascination.

First used by the French Surrealists in the 1920s as a writing exercise, the exquisite corpse process later developed as a book structure using pages divided into sections that flip back and forth. The resulting composite images can be humorous, eerie, absurd and are always just a bit unnerving. The figures at the Vent Haven Museum offer wonderful possibilities for using this book form.
Exquisite corpse examples
For September's Study Group, Peg Rhein and Janice Kagermeier brought in numerous examples of exquisite corpse books to generate discussion on how we might want to format and bind our collaborative book. Several members brought their own work to share, including Cecie Chewning who brought a portfolio of beautiful pastels and April Foster who showed photos of the magical marionettes built by her late father.
Cecie with pastel portrait of a Vent Haven dummy
April's photos of her father's marionettes
For the hands-on segment of the session, each member built a drum leaf book using prepared photos, cut the text block in half horizontally and added a cover.
Gluing up our drum leaf samples
Although we didn't finalize the details, the consensus seemed to be that the drum leaf structure would work for our final book, and the ability to incorporate text would add another fun dimension. Lots of possibilities were discussed, including distributing one basic image for each participant to color, collage or embellish in their own style. The next step will be to decide on dimensions and materials for the final book and to establish guidelines for submitting images. Stay tuned.

Thanks to Peg for guiding us through the process, and to Janice for her help.
Possibilities include adding text to images

And thanks to Janice for sending along this report and photos.

Monday, September 16, 2013

CBAS Exhibition at College of Mount St. Joseph

College of Mount St. Joseph's
Studio San Giuseppe Gallery
announces an exhibition of work by
Cincinnati Book Arts Society artists

September 22-October 25, 2013

Sabbath 2006 by Wendell Berry (Larkspur Press). Handbound in green & off-white leathers by Gabrielle Fox.

Artists' Reception: Sunday September 22, 2-4 pm
including a presentation & discussion: "What are the Book Arts?" 
Kevin Grace, University of Cincinnati Senior Librarian, Archivist and Head of the University's Archive and Rare Books Collection
Gabrielle Fox, bookbinder and author of The Essential Guide to Making Handmade Books
Margaret Rhine, handmade paper artist and owner of Terrapin Paper Mill
Marianne Burke, calligrapher and lettering artist

Studio San Guiseppe
Department of Art and Design, College of Mount St. Joseph
5701 Delhi Road, Cincinnati, OH 45233
Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday 10 am to 5 pm; Saturday & Sunday 1 pm to 5 pm