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Library celebrates the artistry of books

[Exhibition coordinator Margaret Lock]Margaret Lock prepares the Contemporary Book Arts in Eastern Ontario exhibition that is now on display at the W.D. Jordan Special Collections and Music Library.

A new exhibition at the W.D. Jordan Special Collections and Music Library highlights book arts, a discipline where artists create books and book objects as works of art.

“The Queen’s community has an opportunity to learn more about this art form, one not currently offered through our art programs,” says Barbara Teatero, Curator of Special Collections, W.D. Jordan Special Collections and Music Library. “There is a burgeoning interest in private printers and presses, and we hope the Contemporary Book Arts in Eastern Ontario exhibition attracts members of the Kingston community as well.”

Book artists draw from both traditional craft and fine art to create their works. Some examples of the practices within book arts include printmaking, papermaking, bookbinding, typography, and calligraphy.

The W.D. Jordan Special Collections and Music Library, with its dedication to showcasing print collections at Queen’s, is a natural home for the exhibition coordinated by Margaret Lock and Larry Thompson.

“Even in this digital age, there’s still something appealing about tangible books,” says Ms Teatero. “When classes visit the library to view the collection, the students are absolutely enthusiastic about the printed material. I expect a similar reaction when they see the works in this exhibition.”

Ms Lock has created book art for more than 30 years, founding Locks’ Press in 1979 with her husband Fred, currently a professor in the Queen’s English department. Ms Lock collaborated with Mr. Thompson, proprietor of Greyweathers Press in Merrickville, to create an exhibition that reflects the variety of practices and approaches within the artistic genre.

“There is not a good understanding of book arts,” she says. “You can’t appreciate the subtle details and intricacies that make book arts so unique and fascinating unless you see the works in person. Ideally, you need to hold them in your hands and read them.”

The exhibition continues until May 31. An opening reception will be held Thursday, March 7 from 5-6:30 pm. The public is welcome to attend. More information.