Art of the Book Comes to Porterville College

The public is invited to see the exhibition of book art by artists Kim Elia, Diane Gomez, Justine Light, Mona Selph and Martha Widmann. Art of the Book runs through March 31 in the Porterville College Art Gallery.

This show is of artists’ approaches to making books, which are handmade, one of a kind pieces that stem from the artist’s own individual inspirations and open an unexplored world. Each artist in this show produces book art from widely different perspectives and backgrounds.

Artist Diana Gomez stated her approach, “I use my art like Alice’s rabbit hole, to open an unexplored world, a place of curious self-expression, but also a world of new relationships, new chances, new beginnings and most importantly, new stories.”

Artist Mona Selph’s background as an artist and art teacher has influenced her art studio experience.

“I have practiced and taught many media, genre and approaches to art-making, but until a few years ago (except for producing children’s book dummies or models), I had never tried art book making,” Selph said. “I have had a lot of fun exploring new approaches and a new kind of art-making of late, especially for this show.”

Martha Widmann’s work for the show, “Cleaning Houses” involves combining photography and bookmaking to create a personal narrative journal. She first started this piece back in 1996, but left it unfinished.

“I have brought it out to work on at various times over the past 20 years,” Widmann said. “I am amazed at how this piece still speaks to me after all this time and, while I feel almost embarrassed, it has become one of those evolving pieces that has made me feel I am collaborating with that previous version of myself as a 37-year-old.”

Justine Light’s approach to bookmaking or any other media is “to make beautiful that which others find disturbing, to take a simple concept (good and evil) and mold it into something complex and magnetic.”

Kim Elia’s approach is much more direct, “Handmade books are a fun way to capture all the little bits of paper in our lives, photos, recipes, a good article, etc.”

The exhibition will run through March 31. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 12-2pm and 4-6pm. For parking, contact the front desk when you arrive to visit the show for a free temporary parking permit.

The Porterville College Art Gallery is located on campus at 100 East College Avenue in Porterville. Please contact Jim Entz at 791-2257 for more information.

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