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The 20th anniversary NJ Book Arts Symposium - Fri. Nov 7th

October 30, 2014
Lililand, by Beatrice Coron. Photo by Etienne Frossard

Lililand, by Beatrice Coron. Photo by Etienne Frossard

Members of the Rutgers community and the general public are invited to attend the 20th Anniversary New Jersey Book Arts Symposium (NJBAS 2014), which will be held on November 7th at the Alexander Library.

The New Jersey Book Arts Symposium is a daylong event (8:45-5:00) held on the first Friday in November to explore and celebrate all aspects of the book arts, from time-honored arts and crafts used in traditional book-making practices, such as calligraphy, printing, illustration, binding, typography and paper-making, to avant-garde explorations of the ontology of the book in its adaptation to artistic expression in artists' books. The NJBAS has customarily focused its activities on a specific theme. This year, 2014, our theme is the occasion of our own two decades of existence, looking back and looking ahead, remembering and forgetting, and oh, something else...

Following the book artists jam, at which attendees are invited to bring their own book works or works on paper to share with other attendees, three New Jersey book artists will talk about their own work within the context of the broad Symposium theme of remembering and forgetting. They will be introduced by Karen Guancione, the Artistic Director of the NJBAS:

Béatrice Coron, who spoke at the Sixth NJBAS, who studied art at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts of Lyon, and Mandarin Chinese at the Université of Lyon III, and who has had a variety of jobs including, among others, shepherdess, truck driver, factory worker, cleaning lady and a New York City tour guide. Coron has lived in France (her native country), Egypt and Mexico for one year, each and China for two years. She moved to New York in 1985 where she reinvented herself as an artist. Coron's oeuvre includes illustration, book arts, fine art and public art. She cuts her characteristic silhouette designs in paper and Tyvek. She also creates works in stone, glass, metal, rubber, stained glass and digital media. Her work has been purchased by major museum collections, such as the Metropolitan Museum, The Walker Art center and The Getty. Her public art can be seen in subways, airport and sports facilities among others.

Celeste Regal, a newcomer to the NJBAS,uses the codex format to blend the sensorial nature of elegant materials with strong narrative concerning women, violence and indifference. A recent graduate from Kean University, Celese studied metalsmithing and printmaking, and graduated with a Studio Arts masters degree. She completed her undergraduate work in architecture at the University of Minnesota in 1996. A papermaking class led to developing skills in book binding and letterpress through various workshops at the Center for Book Art and Women’s Studio Workshop in New York. Her thesis exhibition at Howe Gallery used photo intaglio prints, with text and image-filled bindings to starkly portray violence against women. The exploration began with a question about whether the terror of rape and other physical abuse could be conveyed through artwork and narrative. She has had careers in architecture and journalism before undertaking art full time.
Another newcomer to the NJBAS, Diane Savona is an artist, teacher and collector of domestic artifacts. After many years of teaching art, she says she is now well into her second life as a full time studio artist. Her work has been shown in many group shows (including Art Quilt Elements, several New Jersey Arts Annuals, and the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, MA), invitational shows (including the Perkins Gallery, Collingswood, NJ, the Pierro Gallery of South Orange, NJ; Rahway Arts Guild, NJ; Edna Carlsten Gallery, University of Wisconsin, and Bloomfield College, NJ), and in one woman shows (including Closet Archaeology, at the Hermitage Museum, Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ; Lambert Castle Museum in Paterson, NJ; St Peters Church in NYC; and at ETS, Princeton, NJ). Her art has been featured in FiberArts Magazine, Quilting Arts Magazine, Fiber Art Now and in 500 Art Quilts, by Lark Books. She won a Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation scholarship and residency at Peters Valley Art Center in Layton, NJ. As a committee member of FiberPhiladelphia 2012, she helped organize city-wide exhibits and curated Mending=Art. She has run workshops, presented digital shows of her work and helped people see the stories contained in ordinary objects.

Following lunch and an open mike at which everyone will have a chance to announce exhibits, upcoming exhibits, and other book-related events of public interest, the program will take a slightly unusual turning with a presentation by a collaborative team, Rachel Hadas and Shalom Gorewitz, whose artists' books take the form of video presentations. They will be introduced by Lynn S. Mullins, who, as the Director of the Dana Library, convened the first NJBAS in 1995.

Shalom Gorewitz has been working with video and computer technology since the late 1960s to create poetic, philosophical, and politically charged art videos relating to faith, relationships, and social issues. He now uses computer, iPad, iPhone, and other small cameras to collect, transform, and edit sounds and visuals. The results are lyrical contemplations of mundane realities in which the background becomes the landscape for imaginary scenarios. In addition to single channel videos, he has created and has collaborated on many installations, art documentaries, and telecommunication art events. Gorewitz has continuously created paintings, drawings, and computer prints. His work is in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, NYC, and The Reina Sofia, Madrid. A Guggenheim Fellow, he has received support from the National Endowment from the Arts, Asian Cultural Foundation, and the Fulbright Foundation.  His video has been shown often on PBS and cable television.  During the past ten years his work has been exhibited at the Jewish Museum, NYC; the Cheekwood Museum of Art, Nashville; and the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, NYC as well as festivals in Madrid, Berlin, Paris, Tel Aviv, and Geneva. Shalom Gorewitz is a professor of Video Art and New Media at Ramapo College.
Rachel Hadas is the author of over a dozen books of poetry, essays, and translations.  Her most recent books are "Strange Relation: A Memoir of Marriage, Dementia, and Poetry" (2011), and a volume of poems, "The Golden Road" (2012).  She co-edited "The Greek Poets: Homer to the Present," a compendious anthology of Greek poetry in translation, published by Norton in 2010.  A new book of her prose, "Talking to the Dead," will be published in 2015 by Spuyten Duyvil Press, and a new book of poems, “Questions in the Vestibule," is in preparation.   Rachel is a regular columnist and book reviewer for the (London) Times Literary Supplement. Her honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Ingram Merrill Foundation Fellowship, the O.B. Hardison Poetry Prize from the Folger Shakespeare Library, and an Award in Literature from the American Academy-Institute of Arts and Letters.  A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she has been a Fellow at MacDowell, Yaddo, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.  Some of her academic and literary interests include Greek poetry through the ages,  classical and African mythology, literature and medicine, and children's literature.  Hadas has taught writing at Columbia and Princeton Universities and at the Ninety-Second Street Y, the West Chester Poetry Conference,  and the Sewanee Writers' Conference. She is currently translating Euripides' play "Iphigenia in Aulis."  Rachel is the Board of Governors Professor of English at Rutgers-Newark.

Following their presentation, there will be a presentation by Michael Poast, acomposer/fine artist. Michael's musical compositions take the form of visual art works--paintings, drawings and sculptures--a genre he founded and named Color Music. "Color Music" he writes "is an alternative notation method comprised of brilliant visual colors and shapes used for musical expression," which he created in 1980. While a student at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, Michael was already questioning the connection between sound and color, attending art classes as well. Receiving a Masters in Fine Art from the City University of New York, he also studied electronic-computer music composition in CCNY’s Sonic Arts Dept. Poast lectures on his Color Music concept and has given workshops at the Juilliard School working with student musicians and dancers. Michael is director of the InterMedia Ensemble and has performed his visual operas and produced avant-garde festivals at such venues as Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the Knitting Factory and the American Museum of the Moving Image. Michael is also Composer-in-Residence at the Players Theatre in Greenwich Village, and Artist-in-Residence at metalmen sales, inc., in Long Island City, Queens, NYC.

Following Michael Poast's presentation, which will feature excerpts from performances of his art works, Judith K. Brodsky, Founder of the Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions, will sum up the day's proceedings, and then she and Michael Joseph, Founding Director of the NJBAS, will collaboratively present John Ross and Clare Romano with the highly coveted Rutgers Medal--which John will be on hand to accept.

John Ross and Clare Romano are artist/printmakers and writers, internationally known for book,The Complete Printmaker, often referred to as " the printmaker’s bible." They have substantively strengthened the Libraries’ rare book collections and brought international acclaim to The New Jersey Book Arts Symposium, helping to establish it as one of America’s premiere annual meetings for the discussion of book arts and artists’ books. Through these avenues of influence, Ross and Romano have enhanced the University’s reputation as a center of creativity within the arts and humanities.

Following the presentation of the Rutgers Medal, everybody is invited to celebrate twenty years of book arts symposia with refreshments, while copies of one of John and Clare's illustrated trade publications will be made available for purchase, the proceeds of which will be donated to support book arts programs at the Rutgers University Libraries.

In addition to the program, the Twentieth Anniversary New Jersey Book Arts Symposium will feature two artists in residence, Marcia Wilson, who will create a photo-document of the Symposium, and Asha Ganpat, will work with attendees to create a "memory piece" that will become part of Special Collections and University Archives.

Also, Anna Pinto, the NJBAS Scribe, will create unique multi-colored calligraphic nametags for the attendees, and Amanda Thackray, the NJBAS Curator, will coordinate the accompanying exhibition that will include works by Béatrice Coron, Asha Ganpat, Shalom Gorewitz, Karen Guancione, Rachel Hadas, Michael Joseph, Anna Pinto, Michael Poast, Celeste Regal, Clare Romano, John Ross, Diane Savona, Amanda Thackray, Marcia Wilson, and others.

Registration for the conference is $45 (includes a catered lunch), $15 for Rutgers faculty and staff, and free to students who register in advance. To register, send a check (payable to 'Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey') to:  Nancy Martin, Special Collections and University Archives, c/o Alexander Library, 169 College Ave., New Brunswick, NJ 08901. Nancy Martin can be reached at 848.932.6156.

For more information on the New Jersey Book Arts Symposium, contact Michael Joseph at or 848.932.6163.