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Re: what to do with 'em?

I hear some people saying they are tired of educating
the public, and certainly I empathize. I have a parent
who cannot for the life of him see any
use/value/interest in book arts and he is chagrined
that I actually pursued a masters degree in it.
nothing I can say will help him understand, so I have
given up. I merely show him my work, and others if I
have it and display my own enthusiasm for it and
discuss it as if he can appreciate it in hopes that
someday that will be true in even a minor way.
however, I think our attitiude towards the question
and our answers affects greatly how people see it.
because of this, and because we are fighting the term
"dying art" and we are a relatively unknown art field
(relative to painting, for example) I think it
imperative for us to answer courteously and
enthusiastically. people's perceptions of our work are
inevitably colored by their interactions with the

myself, I try to express my fascination with the book
form, with how it has been used for centuries and
changed, with how the binding or paper or type or
other elements convey something about the text.

 I really liked Richard Miller's response because he
rambles on like a true enthusiast, which everyone on
this list is:

"What does it mean?"

Well, its a book.
It doesn't actually mean anything.
I made it because I wanted to
(or it was better than not making it).
I enjoy making things.
I respond to colours and textures and shapes,
especially intimate, hand-held things.
I like the way books fit in my hand, and the way the
pages turn, and each speaks to me.
To me it is truly amazing to contemplate the evolution
of humanity through the vehicle of the book.
And the variety of colours and shapes and sizes and
materials and images and binding methods ...
I could go on but you must be bored by now.
Well, in this one I ...

personally, if I met an artist who said something
engaging like this, I would be inclined to buy his or
her work.

I also heard another strain, which is that if it isn't
sellable, it is valueless. if the public doesn't get
it, it isn't worth doing. I disagree. we argued a lot
about this in my masters classes. I myself see no
reason to cater to the public but then again I don't
care at present if I sell or not. my favorite teacher
had a compromise in which he made some things that he
knew from past experience would probably sell and he
also made work that he figured probably wouldn't
because it satisfied him. he had to make money, he had
a family. but--this old arguement, if no one ever did
anything the public wouldn't like, the public will
never come to like it. after all, no one much like the
Impressionists when they began, but now look at how
much they sell for!

anyway--this discussion is food for thought and I
appreciate a great deal the wildly varying responses


leilx@yahoo.com  leil lucy alexander   Malka, Irbid, Jordan

I walked in a desert.  And I cried: "Ah, God, take me from this place!"
A voice said: "It is no desert."
I cried: "Well, but--The sand, the heat, the vacant horizon."
A voice said: "It is no desert."
        --Stephen Crane, who never came to the desert
Do You Yahoo!?
Bid and sell for free at http://auctions.yahoo.com

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