Laura is available to give the following Lectures


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Marketing 101 for Book Artists

Lecture Description: So, you’ve made a few artist books, now what do you do with them? Come learn how to send them out into the world and maybe make a little income to pay for future book ideas. Laura Russell combines her 15 years of professional experience in the world of marketing; her venture as the owner of 23 Sandy Gallery; and her experience making and peddling her own limited-edition artist books to talk about the art of selling artist books. She’ll discuss marketing plans, pricing, promotional materials, internet sales, book fairs as well as how to approach dealers, galleries, institutions and collectors. You’ll go home with a list of resources and some great ideas for promoting yourself and your books.

Length of lecture: Actual slide lecture is about 45 minutes. Time for Q&A varies depending on the audience.

Handouts: A two-page handout of resource listings accompanies this lecture. Venue is asked to print and distribute to attendees.

Equipment Needs: Digital projector. I prefer to bring my own laptop but will also bring the presentation on a jump drive as backup.


 

Pricing Principles for Book Artists

Lecture Description: Painters have it easy. The gallery world has a standard formula based on square inches that is used to calculate the retail price of paintings. Sadly, there is no such formula in the complex world of book art. How can a book artist be compensated for the untold hundreds of hours that go into the research, design, printing, binding and other countless processes involved in crafting a unique bookwork or editioned masterpiece?

Join us to learn pricing strategies, research, the market values of artist books, pricing pitfalls and formulas, how to raise prices, pricing ethics and offering discounts. This lecture will be based on Laura’s many years of experience selling artist books both as an artist and as a dealer plus a previous career as a professional in the field of marketing and advertising.

Length of lecture: Actual slide lecture is a full 60 minutes. Time for Q&A varies depending on the audience.

Handouts: A two-page lecture outline handout is provided. Venue is asked to print and distribute to attendees.

Equipment Needs: Digital projector. I prefer to bring my own laptop but will also bring the presentation on a jump drive as backup.


 

 

Photographing Artist Books Workshop

This four hour workshop is designed to help book artists take better photos of their artist books. We begin with a step-by-step demonstration of setting up an inexpensive photos studio and shooting photos followed by a demonstration of all the Photoshop work necessary to deliver clear, sharp, color-balanced and striking photos of books for use in jured show submissions, web sites and portfolios.

We will cover: how to set up a backdrop for photographing books; lighting techniques; camera settings and operation; transferring images to the computer; organizing images; Photoshop color correcting, sharpening, cropping and sizing; preparing images for print and web usage.

Laura will bring the following: A 4-foot rolled gray paper backdrop; tripod; set of 3 hot lights; DSLR camera; card reader; laptop with Photoshop installed; digital projector. Will demonstrate shooting first, then work on editing images walking through a step-by-step checklist.

Knowledge level: This workshop is designed for artists who have a basic knowledge of photo editing software. Artists who use other photo editing programs will be able to follow along, but only Photoshop will be demonstrated.

Length of workshop: The demonstrations run the full four hours. If time permits students will be invited to shoot photos of their own books using the lights and backdrops we have set up—if they bring their own digital camera. With two to four extra hours (extra fees apply) we can allow students time to Photoshop their own images on their own computers while Laura walks around the room to answer questions on images and procedures.

Handouts: Step-by-step handouts are provided. Venue is asked to print and distribute to attendees.

Workshop vs. demonstration: This event isn’t so much of a “workshop” as it is a “demonstration.” With only four hours we just won’t be able to have everyone working on their own computers. Plan on a demonstration of how to do the steps involved on a laptop computer, projected on a big screen. Most people will find it easiest to watch the demonstration and take notes on the handouts provided and then go home and noodle around later. Given the variety of software packages, versions, operating systems and oh, so many painful variations, it would be impossible to have everyone working along.


Book Power! Changing the World One Artist Book at a Time

Lecture Description: This talk, inspired by our two exhibitions of the same title, is an exploration of both historical and contemporary artist books that address social, political and environmental issues. We'll discover how artist books can be a powerful vehicle to shed light on the problems we face in the world and can also be a strong call for change. War, poverty, decay, politics, revolution, violence, feminism, environmental, economic and political upheaval are but a few of the issues that concerned book artists have used to engage their readers in an effort to raise consciousness, call for justice and provoke action. We'll highlight artists sharing their struggles, their vision and their hopes for a better world and see if artists really can change the world.

Length of lecture: Actual slide lecture is about 30 minutes followed by a hands-on viewing of powerful artist books from current gallery inventory. Total time, about an hour.

Equipment Needs: Digital projector plus one or two clean tables to spread out the books. Please no food or beverages in the same room if guests want to handle the books. Food would be fine after the hands-on event.


23 Sandy Gallery Trunk Show

Lecture Description: As the owner and director of 23 Sandy Gallery, Laura Russell has the great fortune to work with an amazing range of artist books and travels regularly to present books to libraries, museums and private collectors. While on the road she loves to expose both new and familiar audiences to the books in gallery inventory.

Length of event: 30 minute talk about the world of artist books followed by a show and tell of books from gallery inventory that usually lasts 40 minutes to an hour. Attendees are welcome to handle the books with clean hands and all books are for sale.

Equipment Needs: Clean tables to spread out the books. Please no food or beverages in the same room if your guests want to handle the books. Food would be permissible for a hands-off event.


Anna Atkins, 1843

The History of Photographic Artist Books: From Glass Plates to Ink Jet Prints

Lecture Description: Photographic artist books are defined as hand-bound, one-of-a-kind or limited edition books that use photography as their main image medium. They have a distinguished history, from Anna Atkins’ cyanotype photogram albums of British algae in the 1800’s to the ever-popular Twenty Six Gasoline Stations by Ed Ruscha, in the 1960’s. Add in a few contemporary photographic artist books and we have a fascinating history in books.

Length of lecture: Actual slide lecture is about 30 minutes. Show and tell and Q&A usually lasts about 20 minutes.

Optional Show and Tell: A show and tell of photographic artist books from gallery inventory plus Laura’s own photographic artist books can follow this lecture and slide show. Depending on the size of the audience there may be opportunity for hands-on exploration of the books presented.

Handouts: There is no handout for this lecture. An optional handout of book arts resources can be provided as PDF. Venue is asked to print and distribute to attendees.

Equipment Needs: Digital projector. I prefer to bring my own laptop but will also bring the presentation on a jump drive as backup. Also need a table for show and tell. A 6-foot folding table or larger works great.


I Am What I Need To Be © Stewart Harvey. Photographic artist book from Book Power, June 2010.

Contemporary Photographic Artist Books (Short Synopsis)

Lecture Description: This slide lecture features the work of photographers and book artists from around the world who are creating artists books to showcase their photographs. We’ll look at purely visual books that allow the images to tell their own story, and books that marry image with text to form a compelling narrative. The artist books presented use everything from paladium prints to ink jet prints to cyanoprints. We’ll explore structures from the simple stapled pamphlet to the traditional codex to sculptural books that challenge the viewer’s definition of a book.

Length of lecture: Actual slide lecture is about 40 minutes. Show and tell and Q&A usually lasts about 20 minutes.

Show and Tell: A show and tell of books from gallery inventory plus Laura’s own photographic artist books will follow the lecture and slide show. Depending on the size of the audience there may be opportunity for hands-on exploration of the books presented.

Handouts: There is no handout for this lecture. An optional handout of book arts resources can be provided as PDF. Venue is asked to print and distribute to attendees.

Equipment Needs: Digital projector. I prefer to bring my own laptop but will also bring the presentation on a jump drive as backup. Also need a table for show and tell. A 6-foot folding table or larger works great.


 

Contemporary Photographic Artist Books (Longer Abstract)

Photographic artist books are defined as hand-bound, one-of-a-kind or limited edition books that use photography as their main image medium. This lecture looks at photographers and book artists who use artist books to showcase their original photographs both in traditional and non-traditional book formats. Some photographic artist books are purely visual books that allow the photographer’s images to tell their own story, and some marry image with text to form a compelling narrative. Some of these intriguing books go even further by exploring innovative artistic structures and materials to reinforce the concept behind the photographs.

The world of “book arts” and the world of photography have seen a burgeoning collaboration over the last decade and that marriage makes perfect sense, especially in our digital age. Many photographers miss the satisfaction of working with their hands, an experience that has been lost since darkrooms have disappeared. Other photographers are looking for new and innovative ways of presenting their work. Artist books can become portable exhibitions allowing access to new audiences and venues. These books can be bound by the photographer themselves, if they are interested in learning about book binding methods; or the photographer can commission the binding to be completed by a trained book binder.

Photographers often think about their images in terms of sequence and narrative, which makes the book the perfect vehicle for presenting these bodies of work. Working with the book as a structure, photographers have the opportunity to form a compelling visual story where the context of the images can be reinforced by a comprehensive conceptual strategy.

Photographic artist books have a distinguished history, going back to Ed Ruscha’s coveted books, including titles such as Twenty Six Gasoline Stations, which he created as an inexpensive offset edition in the 1960’s. In today’s digital world—where cameras are ubiquitous and inexpensive digital printing can be extremely high quality—photographic artist books are more popular than ever.

This lecture is more visual inspiration and an exploration of possibilities rather than an academic history of the form and will be presented in two parts. The first part of the presentation will involve a digital slide show of photographic artist books starting with Ed Ruscha in the 1960s and ending with images of important contemporary works created by both book artists and photographers. The second half of the presentation will be a show and tell of photographic artist books from the inventory of 23 Sandy Gallery plus the presenter’s own limited-edition artist books that she has been making for over 15 years. Depending on the size of the audience there may be opportunity for hands-on exploration of the books presented.