MCBA/Jerome Book Arts Fellowships Series XIII
November 8, 2016 – February 19, 2017
MCBA Main Gallery
Paper artist Eric Gjerde
Book artist Dana LeMoine
Artist Aki Shibata
Opening reception Friday, November 11; 6-9pm.
Remarks at 7pm
Since 1985 the Jerome Foundation has helped artists push the boundaries of contemporary book arts by supporting the creation of new book works. Through the MCBA/Jerome Book Arts Fellowships, Minnesota artists of diverse disciplines — including printers, papermakers, binders, painters, sculptors, poets, photographers, essayists and others — have created projects ranging from exquisitely crafted fine press volumes to documented performances to one-of-a-kind installations that “break the bindings” and redefine conventional notions of book form and content. This exhibition marks the culmination of the thirteenth series of Book Arts Fellowships.
Jurors for Fellowship Series XII were Wendy Fernstrum , Elaine Rutherford and Todd Thyberg. These three jurors, reflecting diverse perspectives and considerable expertise, reviewed 28 applications and selected the recipients.
Eric Gjerde is a paper artist who explores shape and structure using complex folding techniques he developed through years of experimentation. He began his journey into the world of paper 10 years ago, returning to a childhood love in an effort to restore his creative spirits. This led to a deeper appreciation for the beauty of origami, resulting in the publication of his popular book, “Origami Tessellations: Awe-Inspiring Geometric Designs.” His main focus lies in tessellations — repeating patterns and forms that extend infinitely — and most recently in the development of new biological “living” paper mediums.
“Specimens is the first of its kind: a book created with a new bio-paper medium made entirely from bacterial cellulose. Its pages were once alive.
“The quality of this new paper, which I developed over the past seven years, is its unparalleled strength and transparency. Each sheet is grown in a vat and harvested after several weeks. After processing, many layers — five or more — are laid on top of one another with the text block carefully placed within. Then the entire stack is pressed. The act of pressing these sheets is what gives them their strength.
“Trapped forever within the thin lamina of Specimens’ pages is the poetry of e.e. cummings. The challenge of retaining the poet’s complex typographic wordplay required a new approach for placing text. Drawing upon my fascination with Voronoi tessellations — the natural pattern of cell structures in all living things — I created custom software to generate a Voronoi framework that would hold the text in place. The text block was then laser-cut from Korean hanji.
“I would like to thank the Jerome Foundation and Minnesota Center for Book Arts for the opportunity and support to explore this exciting new medium.”
Aki Shibata was born in Tokyo, Japan. She moved to the USA for her art education, and graduated in 2007 with a BFA in Photography from the College of Visual Arts, St. Paul, MN. Shibata states that she “creates more places and ways to let people meet their fear, honesty and peace.” Her artworks are an examination of her body and mind in public and gallery spaces. In many cases she incorporates the essence of regular life into her artistic process and practice. She has shown works in galleries in Tokyo, the Twin Cities, Milwaukee, Madison, and practiced street dance in New York, Chicago, Tokyo and the Twin Cities. She has worked as an assistant education programing coordinator Public Art Saint Paul, and taught and programmed bookmaking, printmaking, and papermaking at Minnesota Center for the Book Arts. She has also taught at Perpich Center for Arts Education, Saint Paul and Minneapolis Public Schools, Walker Art Center, White Bear Arts Center and Lebanon Hills Nature Centers. Currently Ms. Shibata teaches science, technology and art classes at Science Museum of Minnesota. She loves to watch a river with people, dance on the street with her music, cook, talk, and live honestly.
“This is a work of art to promote letter writing. It is a work of behavioral art.
“I interviewed eighteen strangers who are connected to each other in that they are immigrants to the Twin Cities. In the interview, each individual was asked to share about one letter that meant a lot to them. Quotes from the letters and stories shared in the interviews make up the text of this collection of prints. I created the prints to inspire myself and others to write letters.
“On June 5th, I hosted a papermaking workshop with the individuals who shared their letters and stories with me. The paper we made is the paper you see on the table. The handmade paper is here to encourage letter writing. Everyone is invited to write a letter here. Please pick up a pen, think of someone who is important to you, and write them a letter now.
“I extend many thanks to the individuals who agreed to participate in this project by sharing their letters and stories.
“Special thanks to:
Pa Na Lor
Anabel DeJuan Gomez
Joo Hee Pomplun
Mary Anne Quiroz
Dana LeMoine received her BFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with an emphasis in Printmaking. She went on to earn her MFA from Arizona State University, focusing on Printmaking and Artist Books. She currently pursues these art forms in Minneapolis, dividing her time between Highpoint Center for Printmaking and Minnesota Center for Book Arts. LeMoine is interested in collaborative printmaking and has worked on numerous community-based projects. Dana also has a passion for teaching art and has taught courses at ASU as well as the Mesa Art Center in Arizona. She currently teaches printmaking classes at Highpoint.
“Twin Cities Transplants is an exploration of who is moving to the Twin Cities and why they have decided to call this area home.
“This is the fourth city I have lived in and I have encountered more people who moved here and stayed than in any other city. This is a big reason why I wanted to begin the project. I moved to Minneapolis for the supportive arts community and I met a lot of artists who moved here for the same reason. However, people have moved here for many other reasons. I was interested in finding out more about them and in doing so also become closer to my community.
“In order to research this topic, I sought out strangers who moved to the Twin Cities. I conducted interviews to find out where they lived previously, why they decided to move, and how long they have lived here. I also asked about their favorite things to do in the Twin Cities, and how these activities compare to where they are originally from. Most of the people I interviewed have fallen in love with this community and have decided to stay for the foreseeable future. The Twin Cities are very welcoming and have a cornucopia of things to offer people with a wide range of ages, backgrounds, and interests.
“The book itself tells the stories of the strangers I met. It carries their portraits and bits and pieces of our conversations. The stories and portraits are printed on handmade paper made with the interviewees’ clothing. This was a way for each of the interviewees to share a piece of themselves with each other and with you, the viewer. I invite viewers to turn the pages of the book to get “a feel” for each individual, and how they came to the Twin Cities and together in this project. They represent a small portion of the larger Twin Cities community.”