Happenings at the Center for Book and Paper Arts

Happenings at the Center for Book and Paper Arts

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There is a great show happening right now in the Center for Book and Paper Arts, located on the second floor at 1104 S Wabash. The show is titled Structures for Reading, and its purpose is to turn the idea of reading structures on its head. Initially you hear “reading structures,” and you think it’s a book show. It is, and it is not. There are a few structures that can be considered books, like the $65/Yard piece, but mostly there are things that you would not think of.

There are contraptions for reading, like a strange harness chair apparatus. There is a whimsical lamp. I found that some of the most intriguing pieces in the show were blue prints depicting houses and apartments drawn from descriptions found in works of literature. They were really cool.

I really like this show. It’s nice because there is such a broad range of works displayed. There are enough different kinds of things to look at that it’s quite easy just get lost in the exhibition. Aside from the works that I mentioned above, there were video installations, paintings, drawings of people reading books, there were even a few desks that were made in reference to literature. All in all, it is a very interesting show that is very hard to be bored with. I highly recommend checking it out.

Once you’ve had your fill of Structures for Reading, you can head down the hallway toward the elevator to find another show in The Center for Book and Paper Arts titled Thinking Through Making. It is a student curated exhibition of work from last semester’s course by the same name. Once again, like the Structures show, there is a pretty good range of work. There are several books on display, a few handmade paper pieces, and a handful of prints. I even have a piece in the show—an artifact piece filled with a repeated binary text that is wrapped in a sleeve made from my son’s onesie. I am proud of the piece and am glad that it is on display.

My only small complaint with the Thinking Through Making exhibition is about something that doesn’t really work in this sort of show: all of the books on display are locked up under glass cases. I think that some of what makes book art great is sort of diminished by this. In a perfect situation, I think that they would be better displayed out in the open so that people could handle them, you know. . . like books. Being an unmanned show, however, that just couldn’t happen here. I do find it pretty funny, though, that my book is in a glass case. It’s meant to be an artifact from some futuristic place, and putting it in a case almost adds to that idea, as if it were being locked up in some museum.

Anyways, I think you guys should go have a look at the shows up now in the Center for Book and Paper Arts. There’s lots of different types of art to look at, and the Glass Curtain Gallery should be open downstairs, too. Go make an afternoon of it!