Off the Shelf

Off the Shelf

JoAnne McFarland, Cotton Gin Dress, 2021, collage on paper, 16 1/4" x 12 1/4"

The Sunday Paper #428

September 4, 2022

I’m honored to be in a book arts exhibition that just opened in Fort Collins, CO. Off the Shelf: Contemporary Book Arts in Colorado exhibits artists that innovate and defy our conceptual framework of the book and its contents. The artist book, a medium spanning the public and private sphere of creators and viewers, reflects on issues intimate and grand. The diversity of works represented in this exhibition demonstrate the breadth and depth of the book as a potent artistic device. I’ll be attending the opening and a panel discussion this coming Wednesday, September 7th at 5pm.

Sammy Seung-Min Lee, Mammorial, 2017. Image courtesy of the artist.


I had the pleasure of speaking with Sara Garden Armstrong on Paper Talk. Sara Garden Armstrong is a visual artist whose decades-long practice embraces a wide range of scales and techniques, from large site-specific sculpture to artist’s books. Lyrical, nature-based biomorphic abstraction characterizes the work, focusing on life processes and systems. It addresses organic change and transformation, while exploring properties of materials. Armstrong received her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Alabama and a Master of Art Education from UAB. After living in New York City for 36 years, in 2017 she returned to Birmingham, where she currently lives and works.


Art on Paper begins at the end of this week in NYC. Accola Griefen Fine Art is exhibiting works on/with paper by women artists from 1970 to the present.

JoAnne McFarland, Cotton Gin Dress, 2021, collage on paper, 16 1/4″ x 12 1/4″


Matt Leedham explores who he was before the pandemic and who he is after it in the exhibition Recto / Verso at Multiple Exposures Gallery in Alexandria, VA.

“Going Somewhere / Going Nowhere” by Matt Leedham


The Renwick Gallery’s 50th Anniversary Acquisition Exhibition represents a range of craft mediums, including fiber, (paper weaving!!) ceramics, glass, metal and wood.


Paper Tidbits:


I’m featuring one-sheet wonders here on the blog, since the projects my new book, The Art of Papercraft, fall into that category. I’d love to feature your one-sheet wonders!

California-based visual artist Andie Thrams uses watercolors in wildland forests to create paintings and artist’s books that explore mystery, reverence, and delight, while grappling with the vanishing habitats of our era. Merging the lineages of illuminated manuscripts and natural history field journals with a contemporary art and science awareness, her paintings weave intricate botanical detail into rich layers of shape, color, and hand-lettered text to evoke the complex interconnections within ecosystems of the Greater West.

This is a G-fold single sheet book of 24 pages housed in folding paper case. Original images were scanned from hectograph prints made with ink and watercolor on kozo, with additional drawing, painting, and writing applied using ink, watercolor, gouache, and tree resin. Text by Andie and anonymous contributors. Edition of 32, with 6 artist proofs, digitally printed in Andie’s studio using pigment ink on Awagami kozo paper. Folding case of Cave paper.

HOPE? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot; One of twelve artist’s books included in the collaborative project, HOPE? by Andie Thrams, Donna & Peter Thomas, and Susan Lowdermilk.. 4-1/8 x 4-1/8 inches (folded), 16-1/2 x 12-3/8 inches (open)

In the Studio:

Here’s a 5-minute video featuring the participants who attended the recent Red Cliff Paper Retreat. Enjoy!


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  1. Hi Helen, We used your paper in many ways for this book and the final outcome, 20 BAG members and myself, worked on this pandemic project for 3.5 years! It was shown for a month at El Zaguan in Santa Fe, Canyon Road and we had a great turnout, review from our mayor and we are regrouping to move it to its next site. Here is a short 16 minute film of the entire book in video segments. Thank you for your BEE paper and abaca for this project.

    • Helen Hiebert says:

      Sally, how fantastic!! The pop-ups, the lights, the history, the pull outs, the books within the book, the tortillas and the PAPER! What a feat. Congrats on this wonderful book, and I’ll share the video on the blog.