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 grow – which led to Karen McDermott’s 2000 initiation of The Book Arts Roundtable, a place where artists interested in making books, beginning bookbinders and people who love books and paper could gather and share their work.
The Book Arts Roundtable (BAR) was extremely fortunate to have The Baird as its home for 15 years. This connection enabled the BAR to hold monthly meetings there, host innumerable workshops and drop-ins, and mount BOOKED - an annual exhibition of members’ new works.In 2019, The Baird began a huge renovation, and BAR lost both its “home” and the use of the Pierro Gallery.
We were able to continue meeting through early 2020 at the 1978 Art Center due to Maplewood’s generosity and two galleries welcomed BAR’s next two exhibitions:
“BAR: Past and Present”
BAR is currently scheduled for an exhibition at Drumthwacket, the New Jersey Governor’s mansion in Princeton, in the spring of 2022.
Like everyone else, we have continued to meet virtually, through the wonders of ZOOM, and our members have continued to explore the world of book arts, paper and fabric though on-line workshops. Members share projects both virtually and through snail mail. We have never loved the post office more.
In the fall of 2021, BAR once again had the good fortune to find a new home and partnership with the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts in Madison, NJ. Meetings will be held in the Museum’s handsome Education Annex (oh, the light!), and we anticipate an endless series of opportunities for workshops, exhibitions, and projects involving both BAR and the museum.
The BAR meets once a month, currently by ZOOM. We hope to resume in-person meetings in November. BAR also has a Content Group, which meets separately at Riker Hill Art Park in Livingston. The schedule for both sets of meetings is posted on the Calendar page. All participation is voluntary, and artists of every genre are welcomed, including those brand-new to the book arts world.
The Book Arts Roundtable also hires artists and bookbinders to teach weekend workshops. We do a book swap twice a year, and an annual collaborative project.
BAR meetings take place at The METC Education Annex, 2 Green Village Road Madison, NJ 07940
BAR Content Group meetings take place at
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.