August 28, 2018
Autobiographical Altered Book Workshops and an Exhibition
I received a grant from the Saint Petersburg Arts Alliance,* to teach Free Autobiographical Altered Book workshops in St Petersburg. The first three hour workshop was at Creative Clay, the second at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum and the third at the St Petersburg Museum of History. I volunteered to teach a fourth workshop with Voices of Hope for Aphasia. Over sixty people attended the workshops, not counting the many attendees at the introductory event organized by Bella Unica and held at the Vinoy Hotel earlier this year. Participants ranged in age from seven to eighty-five and the scope and variety of altered books was astonishing, proving, again, that we live in a hub of creativity.
For those who are unfamiliar with altered books they are books, destined for recycling, that are transformed into works of art. Altered books are a sub-category of artists’ books.
At the opening of the Autobiographical Altered Book Exhibition at the Morean Arts Center, Amanda Cooper, the Morean’s curator, selected six altered books, made by artists in three different age groups. Each of them received a small purchase award and will have their altered books included in the permanent collections of the two museums where workshops were held. Congratulations to Colette Bancroft, Carol Henderson, Noah Sotolongo, Terri Lipsey Scott and Reese and Tessa Cooper.
You may wonder about the significance of the autobiographical component of the altered books. Since it was our city that funded the workshops, I asked all the participants to relate the content of their books to their life in St Petersburg. It was interesting, sometimes eye opening, to see the varying perspectives on life in (mostly) sunny St Pete!
If you’d like to try your hand at making an altered book, I’ll be teaching a day long workshop in my St Petersburg studio in the fall. If you’re interested in participating, email me or contact me through the contact form on my web site.
Here are some of the comments after the recent Autobiographical Altered Book Workshops: “It was inspiring.” –C.P. “Great time with interesting people.” –M.C. “The group was remarkably cohesive and affirming of one another. It was a very free and safe environment in which to work. That is why people felt free to make their books so personal.” –D.P. “You are a very gifted teacher.” –D.S. “The participants were supportive, inspiring and kind. Rose Marie is nurturing a beautiful portion of our creative community.” –S.N.J. “You are a very inspiring and patient teacher. You have a lot to teach and share.” –C.M. “I really loved every single aspect…” — B.M.
*Supported by a grant from the St Petersburg Arts Alliance, funded by the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs.