Books as Artistic, Historical, and Physical Objects

trio Listen here on Arts Friday, 1370 Connection, to Sally Snow, and Andrea Reithmayr talk to Announcer/Producer Mona Seghatoleslami at WXXI about books as physical, historical, and artistic objects. Click here and here to listen. You can enter an artist or altered book in the library’s juried show, The Art of the Book.

Sally Snow is Assistant Director of the Monroe County Library System and Communications director for the Rochester Public Library. Andrea Reithmayr is Special Collections Librarian and the Rare Book Conservator at the University of Rochester. Mona Seghatoleslami, radio host, is the host and producer of Classical 91.5 FM on WXXI. The book image above is “Date Due: It’s Not A Popularity Contest” by Jody Alexander. NN Art Librarian at Central


Al-Mutanabbi and Book Artist Scott McCarney

The Art of the Book opened here at the Central Library on October 21, 2012. There was a great reception and we had a great turnout.  Of course the best part were the artists books and altered books on display. A full post on that exhibit will be coming.

Along with the artists and altered books exhibit is a display by book artist Scott McCarney.  His book  Material Meditation on Mending Al Mutanabbi Street, is a commemoration of  Al-Mutanabi Street  in Iraq, that was destroyed by a bomb on March 5, 2007.

Before being bombed, Al-Mutanabbi Street was a place for to find books and a place for readers, writers, artists, and a place for all in pursuit of culture. His artist book commemorates the attack, the victims, and the survivors. You can view images from his book  in the library’s Link Gallery.

Scott McCarney, Rochester, NY, USA, April 2012
Material Meditation on Mending Al Mutanabbi Street consists of fifteen two-sided loose-leaf prints made from collages constructed from remnants of found books, rubbings from book bindings and photographs. The leaves are gathered into a tar paper folder, like scattered pages picked up in the street and slipped into a convenient sheath. The fragments, assembled with staples, tapes, and glue, attempt to speak to reconstruction as well as memory; of life, literature and culture suspended, disjointed and reassembled into some sense of a whole.

8.5 x 11 inches; 15 loose-leaf pages, digitally printed, housed in tar paper folder

Below are some images from Scott’s book
Material Meditation on Mending Al-Mutanabbi Street

Scott McCarney is an artist, designer, and educator based in Rochester, New York. His primary art practice has been in book form since 1980, combining an academic background in photography and design with a love for the corporeality of craft and philosophic possibilities of sculpture. His works are widely distributed and can be found in library collections at MoMA New York, V&A London and Yale University, among others. His work is shown near (Hallwalls, Buffalo; Everson Museum, Syracuse) and far (Sao Paulo, Brazil; Melbourne, Australia; Budapest, Hungary). He currently teaches in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Art of the Book at the Central Library


Art of the Book 2012 Call for Entries

 The Rochester Public Library is looking for book artists to participate in a juried exhibition “The Art of the Book” which will be on display at the Central Library Sunday October 21, through December 10, 2012.

 Artists 18 and older who would like enter the show are invited to submit digital photos of their work no later than July 27, 2012.

 Click here for a copy of the prospectus and entry forms. This is a juried show and there is a $10 entry fee for the first piece and a $5.00 for each piece after that. Artists may submit up to 3 entries. Entries must fall into the following categories: artist books, and altered books.

Cash prizes will be awarded in the following categories:

  • Best of Show – $200
  • 1st  Place Artist Book – $100
  • 1st  Place Altered Book – $100
  • 2 nd Place prizes – $50 for Artist Book and Altered Book categories

The book is an enduring symbol of knowledge and freedom, two basic components of all public libraries in the world. During the last 100 years, books have played a significant role in world history, recording not only the history itself, but also inciting history making events and keeping people informed of what transpires in the world around them.

Check out these websites for some inspiration:

Getting Started With Altered Books

For more information contact Sally Snow at 585-428-8051.