Constellation: Inspiration and the Artist Book

Image: Mapping the Storm Within by Sarah Shearer

Introduction from exhibit curator, Camellia El-Antably:


As we opened and placed each piece of artwork, the word that came was resonance. The shapes, the content, the colors, the imagery…the artwork gravitated together into cohesive groupings.

As Christopher Amend points out, a constellation is a grouping of items that humans use to make sense of patterns they perceive, which in turn helps them assign meaning. We humans are all of us obsessed with finding meaning, whether in the astrological import of star placement at birth or the collections we create, or the obsessions that drive us.

In this exhibition, we have a constellation of items which exhibit “bookness” to a greater or lesser degree. If we agree to move beyond the idea of book as vessel for information, opportunities open for artists. Every component of a book, from the construction materials to the methods of inserting content, can communicate about the intent of the artist. Consider, as you look at these pieces, why the artist might have made the choices they did. What does the choice of paper with plant inclusions, rougher to the touch, suggest? Or the creation of a box to hold multiple items?

Twelve artists, from Wyoming, California, the United Kingdom, and Poland/Arizona, responded to the invitation to show this year with pieces as diverse as they are. I hope you will find resonances as you look at these pieces and make your own meaning from the exhibit.

Exhibiting artists:

Christopher Amend  

Les Bicknell

Katie Christensen

Brittney Denham

Holland Dutton

Camellia El-Antably

Kirsi Engels

Leah Hardy

Karen Jenson

Linda Ryan

Sarah Shearer

Beata Wehr

To purchase the catalog for Constellation: