Formal reception to meet the artists on Sunday, Sept. 9

Camden Public Library hosts a spellbinding show of beautiful book art

Sat, 09/08/2018 - 5:15pm

    CAMDEN—“A book is a magical thing that lets you travel to far-away places without ever leaving your chair.” This quote by author Katrina Mayer has taken on a whole new meaning with a book arts exhibition currently running the month of September at the Camden Public Library.

    The event, which started September 1, features the unique and one-of-a-kind works of 14 Maine artists in the Picker Room of the Camden Public Library until Sept. 30. There will be an opening reception for the artists on Sunday, Sept. 9, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., which is free and open to the public.

    Sandy Weisman of South Thomaston, one of the book artists involved, started this group with two other artists, forming a local collective known as Midcoast Maine Book Arts on Facebook.There are many artists in Maine and quite a few in the Midcoast who love this medium and out of that common interest, we thought the best place to have our first exhibit was a library, naturally,” said Weisman.

    The exhibit, which features at least two works from each artist takes the structure of a traditional book and through sculptural formats, transforms each piece into stunning art that incorporate images, calligraphy, experimental bindings, and/or mixed media. “The show ranges from a one-of-a-kind handmade book to letterpress, collaborations on original editions with other writers and one altered book,” said Weisman.

    The Book Arts: Maine Artists exhibition was curated by Cynthia McGuirl of Thomaston, Abbie Read of Appleton, and Sandy Weisman of South Thomaston. All three artists will have books in the show. Other participating artists include Sissy Buck of Cumberland Foreside, Isobel Gillian of Rockport, Rebecca Goodale of Portland, Stu Kestenbaum and Susan Webster of Deer Isle, Sharon McCartney of South Thomaston and Belchertown, MA, Jan Owen of Belfast, Richard Smith of Camden, Walter Tisdale of Bangor, Anastasia Weigle of Caribou, and Dudley Zopp of Lincolnville.
    As part of the exhibition, there will be an interactive artist talk at the library on Thursday, September 13, at 7 p.m., entitled “Ask Your Bookmaker!” Several of the participating artists will talk about their work and answer questions from the audience. “About half of the artists in the show will be on hand to show some of their works that the audience can actually handle,” said Weisman. “We’ll talk about binding and how to make these books and any questions the audience wants to ask. It’s kind of crazy that in a book show there is a ‘do not touch’ sign when all you want to do is touch the pages, so in this workshop, we do want people to be able to touch and handle the works.”

    Apart from the artist reception, Weisman said the collective will meet every other month at Maine Media to share work and ideas and talk about their process.

    For more information visit: Camden Public Library

    Related: Bound and determined: The gorgeous art of ancient bookbinding

    Kay Stephens can be reached at