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Artists Books: A Handmade Journey now at Southern Arts Society in Kings Mountain

"Artists' Books: A Handmade Journey" opens Saturday February 16 at Southern Arts Society in Kings Mountain. This unique exhibit features handmade books from "The Bookies" a collective of local artists that grew from a shared love of making books, creating papers and making marks. The public is invited to a reception Saturday February 16, 2019 from 6-8 pm, to meet the artists and learn more about the art of bookmaking. The exhibit will be on view through March 29.
In 2007, a small group of bookmaking enthusiasts came together at Stillwater Studios in McAdenville. Anne Cowie and Dana Endsley had begun teaching bookmaking classes there the year before. There was so much interest that it seemed like all would benefit from a regular exchange of project ideas, tools, and looking into some of the many new books published on bookmaking. From there, "The Bookies" were formed. Among that original group were Susan Doggett, Pam Perkins, Laura Gardner, Anne Cowie and the late Bonnie Price.
Workshops continued at Stillwater on book related topics like Paste Paper making and journal keeping. Each member expanded her knowledge through personal study and participation in workshops offered in other places and travelling to book exhibits in the region. After Stillwater Studios closed in 2009, the group met in various places, different artist's studios (including Anne Cowie's) and at Southern Arts Society in Kings Mountain. In the spring of 2013, The Bookies began meeting regularly at Southern Arts Society.
Books in the exhibit "Artists' Books: A Handmade Journey" are all made by hand, using a variety of methods and materials. Many are made from handmade paper or papers decorated by the individual artists. Some books are left with blank pages for future use, but most are filled with ideas, personal stories, memories or mark making to express the individual artist. "Signatures" or "choirs" in the books are sewn together with plain or decorative stitches in colorful threads, some left visible and some hidden by the book cover. There are very fine books, time consuming and carefully made; to fun books (still made with care) using recycled Jello boxes or cardboard for their covers. As with any process in art, it can be as simple or complicated as you want to make it. The books in this exhibit are all works of art, made with methods as old as books themselves, but brought into another realm made with expressions of personality and creativity from each artist.
Current members of The Bookies and exhibiting their work are Karen Bean, Amber Blackwood, Anne Cowie, Susan Doggett, Laura Gardner, Janet Kaufman, Sandy Mason, Pam Perkins, Jewel Reavis, Deborah Rogers, Jean Silver, and Lore Spivey. Also featured in the exhibit are works by the late Bonnie Hartford Price.
The public is invited to a reception Saturday February 16 from 6-8 pm, to meet the artists and learn more about the art of bookmaking. This is a free event. Dress is casual. The exhibit will be on view through March 29.
In addition to the exhibit, Anne Cowie will teach a workshop on Handmade Books at Southern Arts Society (SASi). This two-part workshop is Thursday evening Feb 21 from 6-9 pm for making paste paper and Saturday Feb 23, from 10 am to 3:30 pm to make books. Cost is $50 for SASi Members and $65 for non-members. Registration is required. Details at www.SouthernArtsSociety.org or call 704-739-5585.
Southern Arts Society (SASi) Gift Shop & Gallery is located at 301 N. Piedmont Avenue in the historic Southern Railway Depot, at the intersection of Piedmont and Battleground. SASi offers a gift shop, ongoing exhibits, programs and classes in a variety of media for artists of all levels. Hours: Tues - Sat, 10 am to 4 pm. Admission is Free. For more information please visit www.SouthernArtsSociety.org, or their Facebook page. Contact 704.739.5585 or email SouthernArtsSociety@gmail.com.
Submitted by Jewel Reavis

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