“Book Arts”


Friday, September 6, 2013

How many people exhibited objects?


How many people came but did not bring objects?



Posted by Pop Up Museum Intern, Lauren Benetua

What was it about?

Our First Friday Pop Up Museum on Book Arts, held in collaboration with Book Arts Santa Cruz (BASC) highlighted that books aren’t just for reading.  BASC is an organization for anyone interested in books arts, from calligraphy to paper-making, scrap books to marbling, printmaking to book collections. We invited visitors to share their love for the artistry of books by bringing a book, book arts, book parts, or simply viewing the work by BASC.

How did it go?

This month's First Friday Pop Up Museum on Book Arts brought along a new appreciation for the things we know as 'books'. Some people misread books as stuffy, educational apparati that, once consumed, crank out indoctrinated masses.

But it's not true!  As we featured beautiful, hand-made book arts, we were able to communicate to the public that books don't always have to be regarded as text.  As Peter from Book Arts Santa Cruz put it, "the book is the trojan horse of art."  This statement rang true, not only from our conversation about how crafting a book can (and should) be thought of 'outside the box', but also because of the reactions we saw from our visitors.  The amount of surprise we saw and heard that a book could look, feel, or be so awesome was very telling of our normal attitudes towards books.  Normally, a visitor can contemplate a work of art for several seconds before moving on.  With a book, once opened, a reader or viewer can revel in all it's beauty both literally and figuratively.

We featured books that were hand bound using various native techniques throughout South East Asia, accordion-style miniatures, altered books using collage, printmaking and more.  Just by taking a peak at our table, we brought to awareness that books are also artifacts of our society.  One work was created out of a ukelele which functioned as a book and an instrument simultaneously. The idea of a book as a square object full of text was constantly challenged.

This First Friday Pop Up also received a lot of foot traffic for obvious reasons.  Getting flashed mobbed three times surely affects the turn-out...Although this was a nice touch, it did not discourage visitors from coming up to say "hi" and ask us questions on how books were bound, or just to tell us how downright cool they are.  Said of one of the works, "This right here is my favorite book.  It happened.  Right now at this Pop-Up."


You can view more pictures on our Pop Up Museum Pinterest! and the MAH's flickr.