For my recent artist’s date, I visited CAFAM (Craft and Folk Art Museum) in Los Angeles. Although the museum has been in my backyard, I’d never visited. I hadn’t looked for special exhibits. I expected to typical crafts—painting, needlepoint, hand-made wooden items—nothing remarkable. Yet I thought colorful crafts would inspire me. And if not inspired, at least the technological cobwebs would clear.
“There’s a special exhibit on the third floor,” Ruby told me when I checked in.
“What’s it about?”
“Books. It’s called ‘Chapters’—all about books, printing, and how artists have used books other than to read them! Check it out!”
Books as art?
I hadn’t thought of that concept before. I headed up to the third floor to start the adventure.
Wow! What creative ideas!
- A multi-colored tunnel book
- One artist had used surgical scalpels to transform an entire book into a paper cut
- Newspapers used as the “canvas” for colorful prints
- Books made out of cloth and other media
Pièce de Résistance
Or the piece that I couldn’t resist! I found three hands-on editing activities on the first floor!
- Altered Book: Tear a small piece from the book and save it. Previous patrons had made circular tears, ripped out corner pieces, and removed sections with jagged-edged tears. I tore a small corner.
- Book Board: Add a phrase; remove a phrase; use any color index card, or even draw a picture. Edit as you please! Freedom from style guides! I inserted one of my favorite sayings on a bright pink card.
- Book to Edit: Cross out a word, phrase, a paragraph—whatever didn’t resonate with me. Whoa…no guidelines? W hat will the author think? Doesn’t matter—edit away! I felt uneasy at first. How could I edit someone’s work who hadn’t asked for my feedback? I read a few sentences on different pages. I settled on one long descriptive paragraph…and slashed away! Energizing!
Editors, looking for a way to re-energize?
Writers, searching for inspiration? Check out @! (But soon–exhibit changes in May 2017.)
Photos (c) Sherri Leah Henkin 2017