It is a great pleasure to announce our award winners for Book Power Redux. Jane Carlin, library director at University of Puget Sound Collins Library and MalPina Chan, an independent curator based in Olympia spent hours agonizing over how to select just four of the 61 books in this “powerful” exhibition to be singled out for awards. Let me tell you–this was a very tough job!
Winning a Best of Show Award is Susan Collard, for her heartbreaking book, My Little Book of Suicides. In this very personal book, Susan works through the daunting grief of her brother’s suicide. The text of the book, scratched into black paint on the small wooden pages, reveals her feelings and emotions as she works through her grief. The book includes statistics about suicide by gun shot and it’s devastating consequences. Unwrapping the threads that wrap round and round the book with a sewing needle and unwrapping the canvas wrapper make you feel as if you are witnessing Susan unraveling the grief that pervades her days.
Our second Best of Show Award goes to Jaime Lynn Shafer for her book, Mix and Match Families. This innovative horizontal accordion structure is a brilliant take on the classic “exquisite corpse.” Acting like a flip book you mix and match four sets of photographs of mothers and fathers and children of all persuasions and ethnicities, creating and celebrating the many variations of our modern American family.
Also receiving Best of Show is Patricia Grass for her book, I Have a Name. While living in the Philippines, the artist grew weary of being called “that white woman” instead of by her name. This book has an unusually creative stitch that binds together pages that flex and twist in a slinky-like snake. The pages are made to look like paint chips colored with skin tones and each labeled with those silly names that paint companies give to paints. Contained in a terrific red leather covered box, the book is paired with the von Luschan chromatic scale method of classifying skin color. It is a terrific book about race and identity.
And last, but not least, Emily Chaplain receives the Collins Library Purchase Prize for her sculptured accordion book titled Amalgam, which is about what “inherent gendered brain difference could have on our lives and on obtaining gender equality in our society.” This compelling work will be purchased by 23 Sandy Gallery and donated to the artist book collection at the University of Puget Sound Collins Library.
Congratulations to these four very talented artists for their remarkable works. We are honored to have these works included in this very powerful exhibition.