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Book arts exhibition headlines ISU Design on Main Gallery’s spring programming

January 14, 2016


The exhibition is intended to challenge the perception of book arts as "precious" or "stuffy" and convey excitement and accessibility.
"The Nitch" author's edition copy (leather, parchment-style vellum, pine box) by Satyrus Jeering.

AMES, Iowa — Iowa State University's Design on Main Gallery will kick off its spring 2016 schedule of events with a juried exhibition that showcases innovative handmade books, zines and two- and three-dimensional works that incorporate books.

"Too Much Rain" accordian book by Janet Lauroesch.

Sponsored by Ames Collaborative Art (Ames, a local artist-run organization, and Public Space One, an artist-run nonprofit organization based in Iowa City, "XXX Books Books Books XXX" will feature 29 works by 21 artists from across Iowa.

Detail of "The Bird Poop Book" handmade book (paste paper cover, watercolor, micron, acrylic pen, colored pencil) by Jenny Gringer.
"Tattoos: A true story" zine by Robert Stephens.

The show will open with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29 and run through Saturday, Feb. 13, at Design on Main, 203 Main St. in downtown Ames. Gallery hours will be 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

Jurors included Tiberiu Chelcea, an artist and arts organizer affiliated with Ames whose works incorporate printmaking, new media and book arts; Mary Jones, an artist and educator with 40 years of experience in making prints and books who teaches printmaking, bookbinding and graphic design at Grand View University, Des Moines; and Kalmia Strong, an Iowa City-based bookmaker, artist, curator and arts organizer affiliated with Public Space One and a graduate of the University of Iowa Center for the Book.

The exhibition's organizers sought to "challenge a perception of this book arts genre as being too precious or too stuffy," Chelcea said. "As such, we deliberately decided to include zines, too, which are usually much more raw and direct." Inspired by neon strip club signs, the title is intended to convey the excitement and accessibility of book arts. And most of the works in the show can be handled—picked up and browsed—further dismantling the "precious" notion, Chelcea said.

Artists with work accepted for the exhibition are:

  • Justin Allen, Cedar Falls
  • Deborah Anders-Bond, Ames
  • Violet Austerlitz Virnig, Iowa City
  • Cody Beetler, Kelley
  • Levi Biel, Des Moines
  • Tiberiu Chelcea, Ames
  • Desiree Dahl, North Liberty
  • Dave Dugan, Iowa City
  • Cody Gieselman, Iowa City
  • Jenny Gringer, Iowa City
  • Satyrus Jeering, Des Moines
  • Nick LaPole, Des Moines
  • Janet Lauroesch, Mount Vernon
  • Elizabeth Munger, Iowa City
  • Zora Murff, Lincoln, Nebraska (completed the work while studying in Iowa City)
  • Kyle Renell, Ames
  • David Richmond, Indianola
  • Robert Stephens, Des Moines
  • Kathy Svec, Ames
  • Linda Welch, Ames
  • Taylor Yocum, Des Moines

In addition, artist and Ames board member Kristin Roach will present a curated collection of zines available for sale in the "Roach Motel Reading Room" in the gallery. All proceeds will support future collaborative art projects in Iowa.

Tiberiu Chelcea, Ames, (412) 609-2047,
Jennifer Drinkwater, Art and Visual Culture and Design on Main Gallery, (515) 708-2825,
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289,