Beyond Text and Image: The Book as Art opens on February 25 in Staniar Gallery, Wilson Hall, at Washington and Lee. Wilson Hall is connected to the Lenfest Center for the Performing Arts.
Curated by humanities librarian Yolanda Merrill, the exhibition showcases thirty works by nationally known book artists. Merrill will give a curator’s talk and slideshow on Wednesday, March 3, at 6pm in the Concert Hall facing the Gallery. The lecture will be followed by a reception and is free and open to the public.
Merrill herself has many years of experience as a bookbinder and bookmaker, and has co-taught a course in the book arts at Washington and Lee. A selection of the student work made in the course is on display in the Lykes Atrium, adjacent to the Gallery.
The focus of the exhibit is on sculptural books. However, there will also be photographs and other two-dimensional works in the show. In addition, Larry Stene, professor of studio art at W&L, created a large book sculpture specifically for this exhibit. The show will “give an overview of the kinds of work created in the field of artists’ books”, says Merrill. “This should be an enjoyable show for all ages.” Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, which has a vast collection of artists’ books, generously provided thirteen books for the exhibit.