The Book Arts Roundtable grew out of the interest generated by the 1999 exhibition “Beyond the Fold, Artist’s Books: traditional to cutting edge” chaired by Pierro Gallery board member Karen McDermott for The Pierro Gallery of South Orange. The exhibition opened in October of 1999 and featured the work of 47 artists showing 79 books. With the help of a grant received from The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, “Beyond the Fold” also included workshops in book binding, some taught by the prominent book artists in the exhibition: Hedi Kyle, Barbara Mauriello, Carol Barton and Susan Share, to name just a few.
When the show came down, the classes and workshops continued. With the support of the Pierro Gallery, the interest in bookbinding and artist’s books continued to grow.
Karen felt it might be time to start a group to keep the interest alive and provide a place where artist’s interested in making books, beginning bookbinders and people who love books and paper could gather and share their work.
The first meeting was called in February 2000. Seven people showed up and shared some incredibly original and beautiful books. From that point on, the Roundtable became a reality and continues to provide opportunities for artists to learn, share and exhibit their art.The Book Arts Roundtable (BAR) is extremely fortunate to have the Baird as its home. This connection enables the BAR to do many activities that it otherwise would not be able to do. For instance, a major event every year in March is BOOKED, a celebration of book and paper art.
The BAR meets once a month, always with a short business meeting, sharing of ideas etc., followed by an activity led by a member of the group. This is done in the form of a mini workshop or demonstration where a lot is learned and is great fun for everyone.
The Book Arts Roundtable hires artists and bookbinders to teach weekend workshops, it does a swap twice a year, and has created six collaborative books.
BAR meetings take place at The Baird, 5 Mead St. South Orange NJ.
Remember: The Book Arts Roundtable is open to anyone who can’t resist the feel of paper, the wonder of books and excitement of creativity.