Everyday Reader by Mary V. Marsh - SOLD OUT!


Drawings of people reading—sketched during the artist's daily commute—are translated into block prints on discarded library cards and newspapers. The commuters engaged in their own private world intersect with the book titles and names of past readers on the cards. In different postures of concentration, they are creating a mental space for themselves, an escape, or just making time pass. The office materials used to construct each book imply tasks the workers are bound for. The nostalgia of the old cards suggest a history of the changing methods of reading. An open edition variété, each Everyday Readers book is unique. Block prints on library checkout cards are combined and bound in pamphlet format and finished with a unique vintage book cover.

  Artist Statement Collecting and reassembling discarded library books and cards, I think about how they have been read and transformed by time into historical remnants. Books and cards discarded from a community library imply a shared history of people reading the same books. Combining the ‘found’ phrases of the book titles to form poems, I use the cards as pages and tape or sew them into unique artist books. Images made with gouache, coffee and block prints intersect with the words to create a narrative. Re-reading history, consumer culture, and the future of reading are some of the ideas explored

Artist Bio

Years of working in libraries have influenced Mary V. Marsh's materials and her process. She collects and categorizes images and discarded library materials to look at reading, consuming and propaganda. Images combined with found words on library checkout cards are made into one-of-a-kind and small-edition books. A shared love of hiking and journal keeping and practicing art together, has evolved into collaborative works with husband Tony Bellaver. Marsh was born in Portland, Oregon and has been living and making art in the Bay Area since 1982. She received an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1992 where she met her husband Tony Bellaver. She has exhibited in many venues in the Bay Area with solo shows at; San Francisco Art Commission at Grove Street, San Jose Museum of Art, Berkeley Art Center, and San Francisco Public Library. Currently a member of Mercury 20 Gallery in Oakland, she makes unique and small edition artist books under Quite Contrary Press.