Artists’ Books: A Handmade Journey 2019

February 16 – March 29, 2019

Reception for Exhibit Saturday, February 16, 2019 • 6-8 pm

Featuring works by book artists:

Karen Bean, Amber Blackwood, Anne Cowie, Susan Doggett, Laura Gardner, Janet Kaufman, Bill Mason, Sandy Mason, Pam Perkins, Jewel Reavis, Deborah Rogers, Jean Silver, Lore Spivey, and the late Bonnie H. Price.

About the book artists:

Artists’ Books: A Handmade Journey
The Bookies — The First 12 Years

A little group of book making enthusiasts came together at Stillwater Studios in McAdenville in early 2007. Anne Cowie and Dana Endsley had begun teaching bookmaking classes there the year before. There was so much interest that it seemed like all would benefit from a regular exchange of project ideas, tools, and looking into some of the many new books published on bookmaking. Among that original group were several current members: Susan Doggett, Pam Perkins, Laura Gardner, and Anne Cowie. Bonnie Price was also in that group and we were all deeply saddened to lose her generous and delightfully creative spirit in May of 2013. Different names for the group came up, but “The Bookies” seemed to best describe our rag-tag group of interested individuals and has stayed with us.

Workshops continued at Stillwater on book related topics like Paste Paper making and journal keeping. Each member also expanded her knowledge through personal study and participation in workshops offered in other places. We traveled together or individually to book exhibits locally and regionally.

After Stillwater Studios closed in 2009, the group met in various places. Several times we were at the Southern Arts Society in Kings Mountain. We were invited to individual studios for particular programs and when Anne Cowie’s studio was complete we met in Belmont for a couple of years. In the spring of 2013 we began to meet regularly at Southern Arts Society, and we continue to be grateful for the wonderful and welcoming space that it provides.

Some original members went on to focus on other things. Others brought in a friend or two who expressed interest. Current membership is at 12 and includes Karen Bean, Amber Blackwood, Anne Cowie, Susan Doggett, Laura Gardner, Janet Kaufman, Sandy Mason, Pam Perkins, Jewel Reavis, Deborah Rogers, Jean Silver, and Lore Spivey.
Claudia Lee, book and papermaker from Tennessee, came in March of 2009 to teach a two-day workshop at Stillwater and created lots of excitement sharing her own work and guiding us to create several interesting book forms. Eight years later, Claudia returned to our area with her assistant, Matthew English, to lead us in box making, paste paper preparation, and bookmaking during a very full week at Southern Arts Society.

As we continue to broaden our knowledge of making books by hand, we also continue to be family to one another and to walk together through life’s ups and downs. Over the years, in addition to losing our fellow member Bonnie Price, we have mourned the loss of family members and friends and have dealt with injuries, surgeries, and illness. We have also been thrilled to celebrate the many joys and accomplishments of our members. Always we look to our group for connection and support as well as shared learning and creativity.

Prior to this show, we have been honored to share our work with others. The Bookies and the Slow Book Salon of Asheville joined together for a show at the Cleveland County Arts Council in Shelby in June/July of 2009. “Between the Covers” was coordinated by Susan Doggett. In November of 2010, The Bookies showed work at Gallery Up in Rock Hill. This show was coordinated by Laura Gardner.