I am always curious about how artists discover the book arts. What is that one event or person who sparked that inspiration to make them consider making books. Well, here’s my story: In April of 1997 I attended a talk by Diana Phillips, the owner of Two Hands Paperie at her much-too-short-lived store in downtown Denver. (Her Boulder store continues to thrive, even though she has passed the torch to new owners.)
That fortuitous April event was presented to members of the Denver chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Artists (AIGA). Diana presented a slide show of artist books and other types of paper arts. The photos from that slide show were all photos from Shereen’s book, Cover to Cover. Then Diana gave us all a few sheets of handmade paper and we sewed two books, a simple pamphlet stitch booklet and an easy side-bound ribbon binding. (Yes, I still have those books!) Sadly, Shereen passed away in 2003, after inspiring so many artists and a whole movement.
To this day I can go through Cover to Cover and tell you exactly which books were in the slide show and why they proved to be life-changing inspiration to me. That slide show is why I am where I am today. I like to say I that at that moment I was infected with this disease called book arts. After that night I started taking every book arts workshop I could find in Denver, plus I even traveled as far as Guatemala to take a workshop. Today, all these years later, I still make my own artist books plus have the great honor of owning my little gallery that specializes in all things book and paper.
Thank you Diana and thank you Shereen, wherever you may be.
BTW, at that little gallery of mine called 23 Sandy Gallery we carry on of Shereen’s original limited edition artist books. Click here to learn more about Historical Jewish Wedding Rings. This page also contains Shereen’s biography and her artist statement and if you are at all like me you’ll find it very inspiring.