Artist Statement

My goal as an artist is to open our minds to the urban landscape we look at every day but never really see. If we pay attention, we find that our landscape has a story to tell about our culture and our communities.

Shooting daily on my morning walks or during frequent travels near and far, I consider my work both documentary and preservation of our visual and social landscape. Subjects I photograph include: burned-out houses, vacant retail spaces, trailer parks, vintage neon signs, brick wall ghost signs, homeless signs, graffiti and other forms of language in the environment.

Eventually, a body of work emerges from my wanderings and a story evolves to supplement the photographs. I then create limited edition, hand-bound artist books that are either an examination of a social issue or a celebration of the vernacular. All are my own small effort to preserve our social, cultural and commercial landscape.


laurarussell-mug-cas-sq-500wLaura Russell is a photographer and book artist who creates hand-bound, limited-edition artist books that incorporate photographs of our urban landscape and tell a story about our culture and our communities. She has participated in national and international book arts and fine art exhibitions. Her books are collected by individual collectors and are in major collections at museums, libraries, universities and corporations. Laura is also the owner of 23 Sandy Gallery, a fine art gallery in Portland. She lectures frequently on various topics related to the book and paper arts, click here to learn how to have talk to your group.


Museum of Modern Art, New York
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California
The Tate Collection, London
The University of Washington, Seattle
Scripps College, Claremont, CA
The University of Oregon Architecture and Allied Arts Library, Eugene, OR
Colorado College Library, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Ringling School of Art & Design, Sarasota, Florida
Portland Art Museum, Art Insight Resource Center, Portland, OR
StorageTek Corporation, Broomfield, Colorado
The Newark Public Library, Newark, New Jersey
The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
The New York Public Library, New York
The Denver Public Library, Denver, Colorado
The University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado
The Lockton Corporation, Denver, Colorado
The University of North Texas, Denton, Texas
Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
University of Miami, Florida
University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida
Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida
California State University, Hayward, California
Scripps College, Claremont, California
Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA
University of California, Berkeley, Environmental Design Library
Cerritos Public Library, Cerritos, California
University of California, Santa Barbara, Davidson Library Special Collections
Otis School of Art & Design, Los Angeles, California
Dartmouth College, Baker-Berry Library, New Haven, Connecticut

Exhibition History


  • Click! Photography Festival Photobook Exhibition, Horse and Buggy Press, Durham, NC, **Purchase Prize Award from UNC Sloan Library**
  • Rising Together | an Exhibition of Zines, Artists’ Books and Prints with a Social Conscience, College Book Arts Association, various locations, 2018-2021
  • Women’s Work, Samek Museum at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA
  • Unrestricted: An Exploration of Artist Books, Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, Port Angeles, WA


  • Focus on the Book Arts, Faculty and staff exhibition, Forest Grove, OR
  • Reader’s Art: Control/Alt/Shift, Curated by Susan Hensel and Jeff Rathermel, Cowles Literary Commons, Minnesota Center for Book Art, Minneapolis
  • Northwest Musings, Puget Sound Book Artists, Collins Library, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA
  • Relics & Ruins, 3rd Biennial International Artist Books Exhibition, A6 Gallery, Bend, OR
  • In Remembrance: People, Times, & Places, Curated by Lucy Childs, San Francisco Center for the Book, CA


  • In, On, Of Paper, Paper Circle Center for Paper and Book Arts, Columbus, OH
  • Art of the Book, Rochester Public Library, Rochester, NY
  • Just One Look, invitational exhibition in conjunction with the Women’s Classical Caucus Conference, curated by Lauren Dudley and Sandra Kroupa, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, Spring
  • Paper Chase, Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts, Lake Oswego, OR
  • Puget Sound Book Artists Members Exhibition, Tacoma, WA
  • Bridging the Water: Puget Sound Book Artists on display at the Bower Ashton Library. Centre for Fine Print Research, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK.


  • Unhinged: Book Art on the Cutting Edge, Invitational Book Art Exhibition, Whatcom Museum of Art, Bellingham, Washington
  • About Books, Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery, Pima County Community College, Tucson, Arizona
  • College Book Arts Association 2015 Members Exhibition, Scripps College, Claremont, CA
  • Artists Books from the Baylor Book Arts Collection, Crouch Fine Arts Library, Baylor University, Waco, TX


  • Stories That Women Tell, Pacific University Cawein Gallery, Forest Grove, OR
  • Design Book Art 2, University of California, Berkeley, Environmental Design Library
  • RiTUAL, 110 CHURCH Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
  • College Book Arts Association Members’ Exhibition, Present(ation) Public(ation) Install(ation), J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Puget Sound Book Artists Members Exhibition, Tacoma, WA **Collins Library Award**


  • Under the Wings of Artemis: Scholars, Artists and the Places Between, University of Washington Special Collections Library. Curated by Lauren Dudley, Seattle, WA
  • An Inventory of al-Mutanabbi Street, The John Rylands Library, Manchester, UK (Project travels through 2016)
  • Photo Book Works, Abecedarian Gallery, Denver, CO
  • The Art of the Book, Ridderhof Martin Gallery, University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA


  • DIY: Photographers & Books, Cleveland Museum of Art, OH
  • Puget Sound Book Artists Members Exhibition, Tacoma, WA
  • Interplay: Photographers Focus on the Book, 23 Sandy Gallery, Portland, OR
  • College Book Arts Association Members Exhibition, San Francisco Public Library


  • The Un[framed] Photograph, Center for Book Arts, New York, NY
  • Urban/Urbane, Readers Art 11, Susan Hensel Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
  • Puget Sound Book Artists Members Exhibition, Tacoma, WA
  • Design Book Art, Environmental Design Library, University of California, Berkeley


  • Book Arts Invitational, Bright Hill Literary Arts Center, Treadwell, NY
  • Photo Book Works, Abecedarian Gallery, Denver, CO
  • The Book as Art: Hand2Hand, Columbia City Gallery, Seattle, WA


  • Beyond Words, The Long Beach Island Foundation for the Arts and Sciences, Long Beach Island, NJ
  • Turning the Page, VisArts/Pyramid Atlantic, Silver Spring, MD


  • Off the Page, The Greenhouse at Guernsey, Channel Island, England
  • Tango, Onda Gallery, Portland, Oregon
  • Keep Portland Weird, Juried Exhibition. Portland City Hall
  • Peripheral Vision, Inner Light Photographic Society, Newspace Center for Photography, Portland
  • Photography in Book Arts and the Book in Photography. New Image Gallery, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia
  • Photoworks, Solo Show, Abecedarian Gallery, Denver, CO


  • Urban Decay, Solo Show, Saginaw Valley State University, Saginaw, Michigan
  • The Book Ever After, College of the Mainland Fine Art Gallery, Texas
  • The Art of the Book, Bainbridge Arts Center, Seattle
  • Road Trip, Minneapolis Center for Book Arts


  • Mutilated/Cultivated Environments, The Center for Book Arts, New York


  • Book + Art = ?, Core New Art Space, Denver, Colorado
  • Miniature Book Society, Miniature Book Exhibition, New Orleans
  • Photographic Artist Books, Art Books Press, Seattle, Washington
  • The Intensive Spirit, Steamboat Springs Art Council, Colorado
  • Reader’s Art 5, Susan Hensel Gallery, Minneapolis


  • Pyramid Atlantic Book Arts Fair and Conference, Silver Spring, Maryland
  • Art Books Press, Annual Juried Artist Book Show, Seattle
  • Guild of Bookworkers NWxSW Exhibit, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa and Emory University, Atlanta
  • BookFest, New York City
  • The Second Annual Book Arts Lounge, Curator & Exhibitor, Denver
  • The Veil: What Remains Hidden, Women’s Caucus for Art, Colorado State University Curfman Gallery


  • Creativity Unbound: Artists’ Books from the Special Collections Department, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Book Forms: Form in Reform, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art
  • National Book and Language Juried Show, CORE New Art Space, Denver
  • Miniature Book Society, Miniature Book Exhibition, Toronto
  • Guild of Book Workers Midwest Chapter, Stone Eye, Traveling Exhibit
  • Round Up 2003, Guild of Bookworkers Rocky Mountain Chapter Show
  • Miniature Book Society, Miniature Book Exhibition, Toronto


  • Craft USA 2002, National Juried Exhibition, New Canaan, CT
  • Seconda Mostra Internazionale di Legatura d’Arte in Italia. Art Bookbinding Exhibition in Macerata, Italy. Set book exhibition of Il Canticle Delle Creature.
  • Spark Gallery, The Painted Book, Curator, Denver
  • Bright Hill Press National Book Arts Exhibition, Treadwell, NY
  • University of Indianapolis, Art of the Book, National Juried Exhibition
  • Oregon Book Arts Guild Biennial Juried Book Show, Portland


  • Nine Gallery, Annual Juried Exhibition, Denver, Colorado
  • Women’s Caucus for Art, Group Show, Edge Gallery, Denver, Colorado
  • Book Buffs, Artist’s Books Exhibition, Denver, Colorado

Teaching and Lectures

Laura lectures frequently on various topics related to the book and paper arts, click here to learn how to have talk to your group.

  • Panelist, Artists’ Books as Agents of Social Change, Race & Pedagogy National Conference, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA, 2014
  • Keynote Lecture, Marketing 101 for Book Artists, Focus on the Book Arts, Forest Grove, OR, 2011
  • Photographic Artist Books, Puget Sound Book Artists, Tacoma, WA, 2010
  • Photographic Artist Books Workshop and Lecture, San Francisco Center for the Book, 2006
  • Digital Artist Books Workshop, Guild of Bookworkers NW Chapter, 2006
  • Photographic Artist Books Lecture, Pacific Northwest Center for Photography, 2006
  • Marketing 101 for Book Artists Lecture, British Columbia Book Arts Guild, 2005
  • Photographic Artist Books Workshop, Art Books Press, Seattle, Washington, 2005
  • Visiting Artist Lecture, University of Central Florida, Orlando, 2005
  • Colorado Wall Dogs Lecture, Society for Commercial Archeology Annual Conference, Seattle, 2004
  • Visiting Artist Lecture, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, 2002


  • 1000 Artist Books, Quarry Books, 2012
  • 500 Handmade Books, Lark Books, 2008
  • Portrait of a Dying Community, The Oregonian Newspaper, February 2007
  • Southeast Examiner, Portland Open Studios Review, October 2005
  • The Crafts Report, Article, Marketing 101 for Book Artists, September 2005.
  • Bellingham Weekly, Women in the Arts, March 2004
  • Crafts Report, Insight Section, February 2003
  • Dog Eared Magazine, Issue Six 2002, Miniature Books


  • College Book Art Association, Member
  • Guild of Bookworkers, Member
  • Portland Art Dealers Association, Past Vice President
  • Photolucida, Portland, Oregon, Past Board Member
  • Art Source Portland, Co-Publisher, Board Member
  • Colorado Chapter Women’s Caucus for Art, Past President

Education & Professional

  • B.B.A., Northwood University, Midland, Michigan
  • 23 Sandy Gallery, Portland, Oregon, Owner/Director –