The Hope of a Thick Rope exhibit is an exhibit about rural China brought to ZSR by WFU student, Eagle Jin ’16. This photography exhibit focused on the social customs of the Chun’an mountainous region in China. It attempts to draw attention to the socioeconomic disparity and ecological issues on this region. The photographs are placed between the bookshelves and also in the window well of the east side of the atrium. There will be an Opening Reception on Monday,September 29th from 4 – 5:30 pm in the atrium, with remarks and refreshments. Please come.
The Sustainability Office has a Fall Speaker Series which is exploring the farming and food we eat: how it is grown, who grows it, and issues surrounding this topic. I worked with Program Coordinator for the Office of Sustainability, Hannah Slodounik to put up an exhibit in ZSR to promote the series called “Make Every Bite Count” and this provocative subject which affects all of our lives.
There will be three events in the series:
- Wednesday, September 10 – a panel discussion called Make Every Bite Count will include Orchardist, Eliza Greenman of Foggy Ridge Cider; Eric Hallman of The Livestock Conservancy; April MacGregor, of The Farmer’s Daughter brand; and will be moderated by Jeanette Wesley, Regional Slow Food Governor.
- Tuesday, October 2 – GMO OMG: Documentary Film and Discussion- This film made by director and concerned father Jeremy Seifert, explores the issues around GMO’s and how they are affecting our diet.
- Tuesday, November 4 – Keynote speaker, Vandana Shiva. In November 2010, Forbes Magazine identified Dr. Shiva as one of the Seven Most Powerful Women on the Globe. She will speak on issues relating to women in the Third World and Navdanya, a national movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources – especially native seed – and to promote organic farming and fair trade, which she founded.
I encourage you to check out the library exhibit and these fascinating speakers.
Mail art? It sounds made up, but it is a real, though niche art movement. Mail art grew out of the Fluxus movement during the 1950′s and has grown ever since. Mail art can be envelopes, postcards, found objects, rubber stamped and collaged images or virtually anything that can be mailed.
The mail art in the current exhibit is from the collection of Winston-Salem resident, Jon Foster.
This work includes letters, envelopes, handmade paper and stamps, and artists’ books.
This exhibit of mail art makes this familiar form accessible to anyone. Please visit the exhibit and enjoy these creative pieces of mail art.
“The purpose of mail art, an activity shared by many artists throughout the world, is to establish an aesthetical communication between artists and common people in every corner of the globe, to divulge their work outside the structures of the art market and outside the traditional venues and institutions: a free communication in which words and signs, texts and colours act like instruments for a direct and immediate interaction.” – Loredana Parmesani
Preservation Week is celebrated by libraries all over the country. Libraries present events, activities, and resources that highlight what we can do, individually and together, to preserve our personal and shared collections. Preservation Week was created in 2010 because some 630 million items in collecting institutions require immediate attention and care. Many libraries have no one responsible for the preservation of their materials, so this event helps focus attention on best practices in the field for both individuals and institutions.
This year for Preservation Week, I worked with our Digital Initiatives Librarian, Chelcie Rowell, to spotlight obsolete media and explore the preservation challenges they present. Together with Rebecca Petersen, Chelcie and I gathered quite a collection of obsolete media both from Special Collections & Archives and from the personal collections of resident ZSR geeks. On the digital preservation side of the exhibit, we have a large collection of formats of the White Album by The Beatles, as well as a laser disc of The Lion King and VHS tapes of Star Wars. On the analog preservation side of the exhibit, we have a collection of care and handling advice and old photos demonstrating the hazards of light and humidity to these items. Chelcie and I also collaborated to design a Preservation Week poster about the proliferation of storage media.
This semester, I’ve been working with Dr. Sharon Raynor whose Writing 111 students have been using war letters from Special Collections for the past year. There couldn’t be a better advocate for including Special Collections materials in the classroom than Sharon Raynor. After hearing Tanya speak about our collections during New Faculty Orientation, Dr. Raynor began using letters from our collections for her Writing 111 classes. Dr. Raynor’s father served in Viet Nam and she used some of his letters with the class. The war letters housed in Special Collections were written by veterans of the Civil War, World Wars I and II and Viet Nam. Both of the exhibits which used war letters focused on Laurence Stallings, a Wake Forest alumnus and veteran of World War I. Stallings wrote a play called What Price Glory, later made into a film and an autobiographical novel, Plumes about his war experiences.
This semester, I worked with groups from three different classes, two of which used the war letters as research. In January, I met with each group, showed them examples of good exhibits from the past and helped them devise a rough draft of their individual exhibits. During the early part of the Spring Semester, these students researched the text, photographs, reference books and other exhibit elements using Special Collections primary sources and the ZSR General Collection.
It is always fun to see these projects take shape and come together, Each group has a vision for the final exhibit and they work to make their vision take shape. I invite you to see these exhibits in Room 410 of ZSR Library when you have the opportunity.
Recently, I have been working with Phoebe Zerwick to install an exhibit called “The Story of My Life” which Phoebe created along with photographer Christine Rucker and journalist Michelle Johnson. The exhibit follows the lives of six adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, telling their stories through photographs, written and spoken word, and various visual art forms. The exhibit was on display at the Sawtooth School for Visual Art in the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts and is currently on display in the ZSR Library. I encourage everyone to take a look at this engaging and compelling exhibit featuring biographies, photography and original art pieces.
In addition, there will be an accompanying round table discussion in the ZSR Auditorium on Monday, January 27, 2014 from 4-5pm, presented by the WFU Humanities Institute. The round table discussion will feature the creative team behind the project: Phoebe Zerwick (WFU Writing Program, Department of English), Journalist Michelle Johnson, Photographer Christine Rucker, JoAnne Vernon (Executive Director, Sawtooth School for Visual Art), and Charlene Warren (Executive Director, Group Homes of Forsyth, Inc.). A screening of the documentaries that tell the stories of each artist/resident will follow the discussion.
I had to write about this. This book, with a lengthy title: The natural history of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands containing the figures of birds, beasts, fishes, serpents, insects, and plants: … with their descriptions in English and French. To which is prefixed, a new and correct map of the countries; with observations on their natural state, inhabitants, and productions, is a larger than life literary work. I mean this literally because this book weighs in at 45 pounds if it weighs an ounce. It is almost two feet in height (53 cm). It was printed in London in 1771 and is one of two volumes (we only have the first volume).
I am writing only about the preservation of this volume, not its history (Rare Book of the Month?). I’ll just say that the author, Mark Catesby (1683-1749) was an English naturalist. The “Catesby” had a detached board on the front (ie. the front cover fell off). It took some time to get it back onto the book. I first lifted the end sheets inside the book and attached a piece of Japanese paper to the board and the text block of the book. This repaired the interior hinge. On the exterior hinge, I also lifted the leather and attached a piece of Japanese paper to the board and then under the leather of the spine.
I also had to repair both the interior and exterior hinges (or joints) on the rear of the book. These repairs take time: tearing the Japanese paper, glueing it up, attaching it to the book and smoothing it down with a bone folder, then allowing it to dry. I also did some small paper repairs on the inside pages where there was damage. When I had completed the repairs, I added several coats of Klucel-G, which is a leather consolidant composed of methycellulose dissolved in ethyl alcohol. This solution keeps the leather from getting too dry and rubbing off on everything it touches. The Catesby is now back in Special Collections and is well worth a visit. The 220 illustrations in the Catesby are hand-colored and amazingly vibrant after 243 years.
In the next few months, ZSR will host several exhibits I wanted to mention. In addition, I was invited to participate in the Letterforming exhibit at Scales Fine Arts Center.
Currently, there is an exhibit based on the classwork of Lynn Book called Everyday Innovations. Lynn’s class on Entrepreneurship & Social Enterprise uses journaling to come up with innovations to improve everyday life. “One of the main course goals is to expose the students to the creative process and the associated forms of experimentation that come with the innovation and design process.” The exhibit has examples of the students journals-many of which are out for exploration by the Circulation Desk. In addition, Book and co-editor David Phillips compiled a book on creativity entitled Creativity and Entrepreneurship : Changing Currents in Education and Public Life which is in one of the cases. The book grew out of two creativity symposiums at Wake Forest.
Paul Bright and Marcus Keeley, who manage the Hanes Gallery at Scales FAC, asked me to contribute some letterpress work to this Letterforming exhibit, which runs from October 21-December 8. This exhibit expires the evolution of letters and type through history and covers everything from hand-made letterforms to conceptual use of letterforms in contemporary art.
Over the holiday period, we will install an exhibit put together by Phoebe Zerwick, Senior Lecturer at Wake Forest along with Michelle Johnson and photographer, Christine Rucker.
The exhibit called The Story of My Life follows the lives of six adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The exhibit tells their stories through photographs, text and their artwork.
I encourage everyone to take a moment to see and experience these exhibits right on your doorstep.
Like the little gnome in the movie, Amelie, our graffiti wall moved from ZSR to the Mag Quad today for a few hours. The Gender Equality Allies group on campus supports positive body image, positive role models and other issues on inequality. Last year, we partnered with this group, headed by Amy Shackelford to do the Love is Louder Than Postcard project.
This year, Gender Equality Allies held an event called “Love Your Body Week,” to urge individuals to post positive thoughts about the body or humanity in general on the graffiti wall. I met them on the loading dock in the morning with the wall, and they transported it to the stage area on the Mag Quad.
People passing by were encouraged to write positive thoughts on the wall. This was an unusual way for the graffiti wall to be used, but one that was super positive. Great concept.