Artist Spotlight

Artist Spotlight

Roberta Lavadour

Roberta Lavadour has been making artist books since 1982. Her books come in all, and we do mean ALL, shapes and sizes. At, Mission Creek Press, her studio in Pendleton, Oregon, you might find Lavadour working on her own pieces, making paper, creating customized memories for someone else, or just enjoying the vast and glorious scenery of Eastern Oregon.

Some of you may remember Roberta Lavadour’s work from our Maternal Legends exhibit this past December. She will also be showing three magnificent books at our upcoming The Beautiful Book exhibit in June. Each of Lavadour’s books is unique and one could not be more different from the other. Diamondback, is an amazing example of twined binding, a laborious, woven technique. According to Lavadour, “twining is a slow process--at my fastest I can twine a five inch tall book at a rate of ½ inch per hour.” Relative Memory II, a tribute of sorts to her mother, is a glass book with the image of her mother running through the spine. Once you open this book and reveal the thin glass pages, you will wonder how she accomplished this. The non-adhesive binding technique of Bliss’ Sappho is the antithesis of the twined binding of Diamondback. Lavadour opposes the original use of papyrus for Sappho's writing by using red acetate for this piece. Inspired by the fragmented translations of Sappho’s poetry by Victorian men of the late 1800s, Lavadour presents her own take on the work of this ancient Greek lyric poet. The content and inspiration of these books will intrigue you, and the craftsmanship and technique will awe you.

Roberta Lavador was recently featured on OPB’s Oregon Art Beat. She has been the subject of many magazine articles and been included in numerous book art publications.

The Beautiful Book: Exploring the Allure of Artist Books will open on First Friday, June 5 and run until June 27.

Images: © Roberta Lavadour. Top: Relative Memory, Middle: Diamondback, Bottom: Bliss' Sappho