August 11, 2010

Northwest Chapter News

Susan Collard
Portland, Oregon

First of all, belated thanks to those were able to attend the Northwest Chapter meeting held in Portland in January. Paula Jull, our chapter chair, was in town from Pocatello, Sophia Bogle came up from Ashland, and we had good representation from those of us in the Willamette Valley as well. We all agreed it was great to get together, as this has been one of the challenges of our far-flung chapter.

There was a spirited consensus at the meeting that we would all like to see more guild-sponsored workshops. In 2010 that has really started to happen. Marilyn Mohr did a fabulous job of putting together a workshop with Don Etherington in April. The limp vellum binding workshop was so popular that Don arranged to stay in Eugene an extra day in order to teach two sessions. There are a couple of brief reviews of the workshop following.

Our workshop chairs, Shu-Ju Wang and Katherine Shiver Pomeroy, have arranged with Jim Canary to teach a two-day workshop this fall. Basic info is posted above, with more to follow as details are finalized. I’d like to encourage you all to mark your calendars, and to sign up when registration becomes available!

Of course there is also the Standards of Excellence Seminar in Hand Bookbinding coming up in Tucson, October 14-16. For the past couple of years I’ve announced Standards with a feeling of envy for those who would be attending. Not this year, since I’ll be there myself. I look forward to spending time with other Northwest Chapter members while I’m there. I was a grad student at the University of Arizona in the early 1990’s, so I’m kind of excited at the chance to see what has and hasn’t changed in Tucson in the intervening years. If anyone is interested in out-of-date travel advice, I’d be happy to oblige.

Outside the GBW umbrella, this newsletter includes notices of upcoming book arts events in the region. For one thing, it's the season to celebrate letterpress printing, with big gatherings coming right up in both Portland and Seattle. Patricia Grass, an accomplished and popular teacher who for years has made Forest Grove an "accidental" mecca for book arts, has shared her schedule of fall classes. Janice Healy has a review of an OCAC workshop she took recently with Daniel Kelm.

Laura Russell has given us a sneak preview of book arts shows coming up at 23 Sandy Gallery. I know she is especially excited by the quality of entries received for the Pop Up Now! show, so please don't miss that one. And, while I pause for a moment to reflect on how fortunate I feel to have this extraordinary gallery about a mile and a half from my house (please don't be resentful if you have to travel further), I need to mention a couple of standout shows from earlier in the year. The first was Karen Hanmer's show, Deja Vu: History, Memory, Place in March. The second was Roberta Lavadour's show, Finding Home in May. It's one thing to admire a book in a juried show, but it's even more wonderful to be able to interact with a whole room full of a book artist's work. For me, it's akin to the difference to running across a poem in an anthology and being able to sit down with a book-length collection of a poet's work. One finds connections and resonances among the individual pieces; experiments stand out; one starts to get a real sense of what the artist is up to. And since both Karen and Roberta were able to come to Portland and give gallery talks, that was a marvelous chance to meet them and hear their perspectives. Congratulations and thanks to both these chapter members for sharing their work with us this year.

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