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In Flight : The Guild of Book Workers¹ 2003-05 Triennial Exhibition

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  • Eric Alstrom
    PRESS RELEASE In Flight : The Guild of Book Workers¹ 2003-05 Triennial Exhibition. Many events, nationwide, have celebrated the December 17, 2003, centennial
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 16, 2004
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      In Flight : The Guild of Book Workers¹ 2003-05 Triennial Exhibition.

      Many events, nationwide, have celebrated the December 17, 2003, centennial
      of the Wright Brothers¹ first flight, but none as unusual as the Guild of
      Book Workers¹ 2003-05 Triennial exhibition featuring the theme: In Flight.
      Fifty-four book works, created by Guild members specifically for this juried
      show, will be on view from January 16 through March 5, 2004, at the Book
      Arts Program at the J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah, in Salt
      Lake City.

      The achievement of the Wright Brothers was a culmination of a long line of
      trials and errors, not only by themselves, but also by their predecessors¹
      attempts at finding a means to fly. The quest to discover the secret of
      flight, both in myth and science, has captivated man¹s imagination from the
      ancient Greek legend of Icarus, the boy who flew too close to the sun with
      waxed wings, to Leonardo Da Vinci¹s late 15th century diagrams of an archaic
      flying machine. The Wright Brothers¹ invention of a powered, ³heavier than
      air² biplane at the onset of the 20th century paved the way for unbelievable
      feats in aviation in the decades to follow.

      In Flight, as an exhibit theme, has offered a broad topic for
      interpretation, not limited to aeronautics, for GBW members to create an
      exciting exhibition through their craft of book related arts, including
      leather binding, box work, fine printing, calligraphy, broadsides, and, most
      popular in this exhibition, the creation of artists¹ books. Three jurors
      selected the works for this exhibition: Madelyn Garrett, curator of rare
      books at the J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake
      City, Utah ; Craig Jensen, proprietor of BookLab II, San Marcos, Texas; and
      Daniel Tucker, founder of the Ah Haa School of the Arts and The American
      Academy of Bookbinding, both in Telluride, Colorado.

      Some of the book works appearing in the In Flight exhibition have been made
      with original texts inspired by historic writings and speculations on man in
      flight, as tributes and recollections of W.W.II pilots in the Pacific, or
      the pilots who flew the Air Mail. Women aviators and other pioneers of
      flight are remembered. The myth of Icarus is a reoccurring subject; while
      the legendary bird, the Phoenix, and the romance of ballooning are
      represented in the exhibition. A century of flight is recognized, from the
      Wright Brothers¹ first lift off in 1903, spanning the first lunar landing,
      to the tragic end of the Columbia Space Shuttle in 2003; as well as a solemn
      memorial to the horrors of 9/11/01, when commercial airliners were used as
      weapons of mass destruction.

      But, the GBW In Flight exhibition is not limited to aeronautics or aviation
      history. The beauty of flight in nature, of birds and insects, can be seen;
      the whimsical illustration of flights of fancy and fantasy; or by contrast,
      the definition of flight as fleeing from danger, or escape. All of these
      texts are presented in diverse mediums, from hand lettering, printing with
      hand-set lead and wood type, to the adaptation of modern inkjet and laser
      printed text and imagery as a contemporary art medium. They are bound in
      tradition leather or cloth covers, or in alternative artist book structures
      incorporating handmade papers or other unusual materials. When viewing the
      GBW In Flight exhibition, questions may arise: ³Are these really books, or
      what defines a book?²

      It is appropriate that the Guild of Book Workers has chosen to celebrate the
      centennial of the first flight as an exhibit theme, as the organization
      approaches its own 100th anniversary in 2006. Founded in New York in 1906,
      by a group of forty book workers whose goal was to keep their crafts alive
      through exhibitions like this. It is one of the oldest book craft societies
      in continuous operation in the country. Today, there are nearly 900 members
      nationwide (both professional and amateurs) and ten regional chapters.
      A full color catalog has been published to document this exhibition ($25.
      plus $3.85 shipping). For information about the Guild of Book Workers, visit
      their web page at <http//palimpsest.standford.edu/byorg/gbw>
      or contact Priscilla Spitler, GBW Exhibitions, at prispit@....

      Eric Alstrom
      Publicity Chair & WebBinder
      Guild of Book Workers
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