Minnesota Center for Book Arts presents “Mimic: Modern Marbled Objects”

July 26, 2019

On view August 9 – October 13, 2019
Public reception and visiting artist talk: October 3, 2019, 6-8 pm
MCBA Main Gallery

Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) presents Mimic: Modern Marbled Objects, an exhibition that examines the history and craft of marbling, from book arts origins to present day sculpture, fine art, and other decorative objects. This exhibition was co-curated by Torey Erin (MCBA Exhibitions and Artist Programs Manager) and Heather RJ Fletcher (visual artist and innovator of HRJ DesignStudio). Connecting the local community to national masters of the form, MCBA’s marbled-themed exhibition and educational programs engage, inspire, and focus attention on contemporary applications of this vibrant traditional craft.


Dating back to the 12th century in Japan and 15th century in Turkey, the art of marbling involves floating paint on water mixed viscous with carrageenan, a seaweed extract; creating intricate patterns and designs using unusual, handmade tools; and then laying paper, fabric, wood, or other porous materials onto the surface of the bath, where the image is immediately and permanently transferred to the desired surface.


The exhibition includes local, regional, and international artists Sue Bjerke (Minneapolis, MN), Maeve “Maisie” Broome (Queens, NY), Antonio Velez Celemin (Madrid, Spain), Heather RJ Fletcher (Minneapolis, MN), Karli Frigge (Gelderland, Netherlands) Mary Holland (Richmond, VA), Dan and Regina St. John (Amherst, MA), Jemma Lewis (Wiltshire, UK), Diane Maurer-Mathison (Spring Mills, PA), Iris Nevins (Johnsonburg, NJ), Sheryl Oppenheim (Brooklyn, NY), Sally Power (St. Paul, MN), Jana Pullman (Minneapolis, MN), Christin Ripley (Catskill, NY), Barb Skoog (South Pasadena, CA), Natalie Stopka (Yonkers, NY), Sevim Surucu (Elk Grove Village, IL), and Robert Wu (Ontario, Canada).


Visiting masters of marbling Regina and Dan St. John of Chena River Marblers will give an artist talk at the Mimic closing reception on October 3, 6-8pm. Based in Massachusetts, Regina and Dan specialize in book edge-marbling, miniature marbling, custom marbled papers, and teaching marbling workshops around the country. MCBA will host a series of master marbling workshops led by Regina and Dan including Watercolor Marbling, Acrylic Marbling, and Enhanced Paper Decoration.


Minnesota Center for Book Arts is a visual arts nonprofit organization that supports creative expression through traditional and contemporary book arts, including papermaking, bookbinding, and letterpress printing. MCBA’s philosophy and artistic vision challenges its artist community to think beyond the traditional notion of “book.” Today, books can be bound and unbound, fabricated into sculptures, interpreted as metaphor, experienced as installation or performance, and interacted with virtually. What unites this varied work is a focus on the interdisciplinary expression of narrative. To learn more, visit our website at https://www.mnbookarts.org.