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Mail Art Exhibit

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 9:34 am

Mail Art Exhibit

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.

Mail Art Exhibit

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.

Mail Art Exhibit

This exhibit of mail art makes this familiar form accessible to anyone. Please visit the exhibit and enjoy these creative pieces of mail art.

Mail Art Exhibit

“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

Mail Art Exhibit

Asolare Art Exhibit- Paintings by Raed Al-Rawi

Thursday, June 5, 2014 5:25 pm

Raed Al-Rawi painting

A new group of paintings by Raed Al-Rawi have been installed by John Chapman of the Asolare Art Foundation. Al-Rawi is an Iraqi native who has lived in the US for 28 years. His evocative and colorful figurative work is worth experiencing. Take a look and enjoy a summer of art in ZSR.

Raed Al-Rawi painting

Preservation Week 2014

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 8:36 am

Preservation Week 2014 (Analog)

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.

Preservation Week 2014 (Digital)

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.

Preservation Week 2014 (Poster)

Writing 111 Exhibits in ZSR

Friday, April 25, 2014 3:12 pm

Wake Around the World

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.

WRI 111 War Letters Exhibits in ZSR Library, WFU

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.

Laurence Stallings exhibit

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.

The Story of My Life Exhibit

Thursday, January 16, 2014 5:09 pm

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.

Preservation of the Catesby

Friday, December 6, 2013 9:34 am

Spine of restored Catesby

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).

Small Owl illustration from Catesby

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.

Catesby title page

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.

Woodpecker illustration from Catesby

ZSR Fall Exhibits

Monday, November 18, 2013 11:34 am

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.

Everyday Innovations exhibit

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.

Letterforming Exhibit- Scales FAC

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.

My story of life exhibit

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.

ZSR Graffiti Wall Gets Out of the House to Support Gender Equality Allies

Friday, November 8, 2013 3:31 pm

ZSR Graffiti wall at Gender Allies Event

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.

ZSR Graffiti wall at Gender Allies Event

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.

Halloween at Habitat

Thursday, October 31, 2013 2:55 pm

Habitat Oct. 31, 2013

On Halloween, some brave (and perhaps tortured) souls were transported to another dimension. A dimension where a house had unpainted interior walls. This house, being built by Habitat for Humanity on North Cherry Street, needed interior primer. Wanda Brown, Barry Davis, James Harper, Tim Mitchell, Chelcie Rowell, Bill Kane and Craig Fansler spent the day priming the interior of this house.

Habitat Oct. 31, 2013

Habitat Oct. 31, 2013

It was fun. People who don’t normally work together visited and found out about each other….we talked shop, sports and beer. Marvelous conversations abounded while we rolled and cut in white primer on sheetrock surfaces inside this new home.

Habitat Oct. 31, 2013

Habitat Oct. 31, 2013

I believe we went through three 5 gallon containers of primer. Some of it was used legitimately…for priming the walls of the house. Much of the primer need up on us from head to toe.

Habitat Oct. 31, 2013

When you are doing something for someone else, it feels good. When you are doing it with people you like, all the better. The universe was in perfect alignment and we managed to sing a few Johnny Cash songs as well.

Banned Books Week @ ZSR

Monday, September 23, 2013 9:13 am

Banned Books Week

This week (September 22-28, 2013) is Banned Books Week, a week set aside to take note of books that are banned across our country. Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read for everyone without censorship. Because we had a book banned right here in North Carolina, I chose to focus our exhibit on The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. This book chronicles the story of an African-American man who feels invisible because of his race. The book, published in 1952, and won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1953. The Invisible Man was recently banned in libraries in school of Randolph County, North Carolina. A parental complaint prompted a County board member to move to have this book banned.

The American Library Association simply wants everyone to be able to read whatever they wish without any censorship. There are lots of events centered around Banned Books Week.

According to ALA, the top 10 book banned in 2012 are:

Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey.
Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.
Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group

Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group

Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James.
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit

And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.
Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.
Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit

Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group

Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence

The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit

Beloved, by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence

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