NMWA isn’t all about traditional expression like painting and sculpture; in fact, we have over 800 pieces in our book arts collection! Artist books are a unique and growing art form. They can include elements of traditional books, such as pages and words, but with artistic variations these creations become works of art that reach beyond the boundaries of traditional book formats. Some books lack words or bindings, while others include pages made from metal, leaves, or slate. This creative art from is ideal for bridging the subjects of art and literature and a fabulous tool for interdisciplinary arts education.
Every year, the Education department features an annual student book arts exhibition – Bridging Communities: People and Places. (It’s the only chance men have to show at NMWA!) Every year, kids from two area schools learn about the medium of artist books and make their own right in their art classes, and then come to NMWA to see their very own show in NMWA’s Long Gallery. This year, the fourth and fifth grade classes at Seaton Elementary School in Washington, DC, rendered artist books based on famous artists, and the third grade classes at Hoffman-Boston Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia depicted ancient civilizations. Some books resemble sculpture, while others are rendered in a traditional book format, but each book combines written and visual expression to create a work of art.
There’s still time to stop by NMWA and see the amazing work the kids have done. Bridging Communities: People and Places is featured in the Long Gallery at the National Museum of Women in the Arts through July 26, 2009.
About the Author: Cassie Lynott, the Education Department’s Volunteer and Tour Coordinator, has done great things during her year and a half at NMWA. She won over the volunteer corps with her easy going manner and responsiveness to their needs, and also helped institute a long-wished-for docent continuing education series. She will soon be moving on as a Teaching Fellow at the Excel Academy Public Charter School in Southwest DC. Congratulations, Cassie!