Exhibition Dates June 10 – July 30, 2022
Curated by Cindy Bartosek
Sponsored by Elizabeth Reilinger
“Beyond Words: Celebrating Books as Art” opened June 10 at Florida CraftArt with 10 artists receiving awards. The show was judged by Robin Perry Dana, curator of ARTicles Gallery. She said, “The exhibition is a wonderful delight of the book arts field with works large and small, serious and playful.”
Ms. Dana awarded Best of Show to Robert Barancik, of St. Petersburg, for “Torn Asunder,” a letter-size, leather-bound book consisting of 34 mixed-media collages on 17 rag paper sheets. She commented, “This is a collection of exquisite pieces of artwork. Each page is a treasure with powerful compositions, filled with collage, stunning drawings, woodblock prints featuring Mr. Barancik’s signature mark-making of striking black and white tones.”
Tennessee-based artist Rima Day received First Place for a bound book with embroidered organza pages entitled “Scriptum XIV.” The judge said, “The red thread seems like a reference to blood vessels, growth and change. The translucent organza pages allow one to experience the layers of imagery with delicate needlework and how the thread flows out and down the book.”
Second Place went to St. Petersburg artist Rose Marie Prins for a six-foot-wide book called “As each moon passes.” The handmade paper has deckled edges. Bamboo rods create a piano hinge. The artist made nature prints using leaves from plants and trees. She hand-lettered a poem that was written by her late son, Jaro Majer.
A metal office file holder has been transformed into a sculpture piece by Dunedin artist Harry Bower who was awarded Third Place. The black, white, and red series of books, called “Buddha’s Phone Book,” were made with small bamboo rods using the piano-hinge method.
Honorable mentions were given to Neverne Covington, Christine Di Staola, Jack King, Polly Perkins, and Shelly Steck Reale. Watch the video below with the curator and judge’s comments.
The exhibit was a call to artists that challenged them to submit inventive and intriguing works that represent a broad interpretation of the concept of “book” in new and unexpected ways. The jury selected 77 pieces by 38 artists from Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee that highlight the diversity of contemporary book arts through work that demonstrates not just technical proficiency but also innovation and self-expression in the design, as well as the choice and use of materials.
“This exhibition celebrates the book as art through a varied collection of inventive works. that challenge preconceptions of what a book is and can be,” says Cindy Bartosek the exhibit curator. “For an artist, ‘book’ can be a medium of artistic expression. It is a space for experimenting with innovative combinations of images, text, and formats to address topics ranging from politics to poetry, from whimsy to deeply personal narratives that explore and communicate important themes and visual ideas in a very individual way, limited only by the imagination of the maker.”
“Each book represents a personal story, a reflection of cultural heritage or international sensibilities,” says Bartosek. There are thought-provoking pieces and conversation starters around social justice and state-of-the-world issues. Some are pieces that stretch the imagination or relate personal joys and sorrow; others remind us of the beauty and wonder of the world around us and its peril. Others take the book structure beyond everyday expectations, challenging our preconceptions of what a book is and can be.”
Beyond Words: Celebrating Books as Art, June 10 – July 30, 2022, is made possible by a sponsorship from Elizabeth Reilinger, City of St. Petersburg, and Florida Department of State Division of Arts and Culture. Docent tours are available upon request.
Showing in the exhibit are artists Kathy Arrowood Oates, Kingsport, Tenn., Robert Barancik, St. Petersburg, Fla., Barbara Beyhl, St. Petersburg, Fla., Kim Borowy, Tequesta, Fla., Harry Bower, Dunedin, Fla., Karen Brown, Tampa, Fla., Bonnie Bruner, Lake Worth, Fla., Lisa Co, Gainesville, Fla., June Colburn, Largo, Fla., Mary Correa, Lakeland, Fla., Neverne Covington, St. Petersburg, Fla., Liliana Crespi, Port St. Lucie, Fla., Rima Day, Thompsons Station, Tenn., Katie Deits, St. Petersburg, Fla., Christine Di Staola, Clearwater, Fla., Lauren Dykes, Tampa, Fla., Helen Ensign, East Point, Ga., Melissa Fair and Emily Hashagen, Tampa, Fla., Judy Flescher, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Eric Folsom, Gulfport, Fla., Kristina Gintautiene, Holiday, Fla., Carla Golembe, Delray Beach, Fla., Mary Grieco, St. Petersburg, Fla., Kally Harvard, St. Petersburg, Fla., Andrea Huffman, Sunrise, Fla., Kianga Jinaki, Riviera Beach, Fla., Jack King, Tampa, Fla., Ryan Lutz, Cape Coral, Fla., Elizabeth Neily, Gulfport, Fla., Polly Perkins, St. Petersburg, Fla., Rose Marie Prins, St. Petersburg, Fla., Robyn Roberts, Stuart, Fla., Stephen Sidelinger, Venice, Fla., Rebecca Skelton, St. Petersburg, Fla., Shelly Steck-Reale, St. Petersburg, Fla., Jacob Wan, Orlando, Fla., and Kathy Wood, Port Charlotte, Fla.
Mark your Calendar
Opening reception and award announcements: Friday, June 10, 2022, 6 p.m.
Sunday, June 12, 2 p.m.: Artists’ talk: Barbara Beyhl, Mary Correa, Christine Di Staola, Melissa Fair, Eric Folsom, Emily Hashagen, Kristine Gintautiene, and Kally Harvard.
Saturday, June 25, 2 p.m.: Roy Peter Clark talk: “Please judge my book by its cover.” How do collaborations between writers and visual artists create works that readers keep for a lifetime?
Tuesday, June 28, 5:30 p.m.: Author Deb Carson, multimedia presentation based on her book, “Becoming FLO, A Mostly True Story”
Saturday, July 30, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.: “One Sheet Wonders: Folded Books from One Sheet of Paper,” Workshop with curator Cindy Bartosek
Saturday, July 30, 4 p.m.: Artists’ talk: Karen Brown, Lauren Dykes, Mary Grieco, Andrea Huffman, Kianga Jinaki, Elizabeth Neily, Polly Perkins, and Rebecca Skelton; and closing reception.
Art Pick-up: July 31 – August 1, 2022, by appointment
For general exhibition information or questions related to the call to artists, contact: Florida CraftArt Gallery Manager Liz Cooper at (727) 821-7391 or email [email protected].
Do you know someone or a business that would like to sponsor an exhibition?
Please call Katie Deits at 727-821-7391 or email [email protected].