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Culture Shock: Booking It

This version of ABBA doesn't sing, but they still rock

 by Stephanie Berger
 published on Thursday, September 15, 2005


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A miniature book opens to reveal three-dimensional paper inside, folded like origami, with the phrase "Am I dreaming a memory or remembering a dream?" etched across it in metallic text.

The book by Katherine Nicholson, a fine arts graduate student, is an example of an art form the ASU club A Bunch of Book Artists (ABBA) is exposing to the community.

Book art is any art involving books, including sculptures using altered books and books made with handmade paper and binding. Poetry collections with cover art and artistic works based loosely on the book form, but without a traditional cover, pages and text also fall into this genre.

"It's a book that an artist has total control over from concept to completion," says John Mayer, faculty adviser for ABBA and director of Pyracantha Press, an art books publisher on campus.

Fine arts graduate student and ABBA vice president Marcia McClellan says art books are interdisciplinary. She says students from all areas of study are welcome because art books incorporate art, writing and technical skills learned in many different classes.

Most members are fine arts students, but the club accepts alumni, guest artists and undergraduates.

ABBA offers workshops for beginners. McClellan says no experience is necessary. Beginners start with the simple form.

"Once you get started, it kind of hooks you and you're addicted," McClellan says.

Reach the reporter at stephanie.m.berger@asu.edu.



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