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Re: [BKARTS] Drucker Article

As both a "book artist" and a teacher of art (book arts included), I can say
that my initial attraction for the form was in part due to its openness. My
first encounter with book arts was of two artists whose works were so widely
divergent in medium, style, craftsmanship, content and form that, had I not
been told by the respective gallery sitters they were both "artist books," I
would not have known what to call them. My internal response ran to "I can
do anything!"

Both before and during graduate school, I sought ways to bring my written
work and visual work into some kind of harmonious, simultaneous place. The
"artist books" I was aware of came nowhere near what my own work demanded.
My discovery of the newest incarnation of the genre was exciting and,
ultimately, permissive, and it came at just the right point in my creative
development when I was most able to explore and make use of its

My knowledge of the "how-tos" of fine binding is slim, though I do make the
best effort to create works that have elegance, meaningful content and are
not likely to fall apart from normal handling. I certainly fall into the
category of "book artist" and my interest is primarily visual, so my books
are structural and, more often than not, contain no text. They are visually
sequential, however, and that is text enough much of the time.

As a teacher, I am very sensitive to the need to combine permission,
excitement and discovery with the best technique I am able to pass on. I try
by example to emphasize that any art pursuit requires discipline and
personal standards that, eventually, will need to be tested in the larger
context of art criticism and practice. Having said that, I would hate to see
book arts begin to be defined in any narrow, exclusionary way. I'm quite
sure, if that were to happen, that I would fall outside the margins and so
would many of my students who, in studying the form with me, found something
expansive and wonderful. Barbara Harman

Edelpappband / ?Millimeter? Binding Bind-O-Rama, Entry Deadline - October 1, 2005

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