Book artist Tia Blassingame founded The Book/Print Artists/Scholars of Color Collective to build community and collaborations with BIPOC book/print practitioners and scholars. The Collective represents a growing community of more than twenty book artists, scholars, librarians, papermakers, letterpress printers, printmakers, and curators. All are passionate about book history, print culture, and the endless potential of artists' books as vehicles of social change and cultural conveyors that uplift our communities, and tell our stories, histories.
This is the second in a series of three events generously funded by David Solo featuring presentations and discussions by Collective members. In this session, four members of the collective will share their artwork and scholarship. Presenters and their topics are:
Irene Chan will share images and talk about her artist books with performance on topics of the immigrant experience, forgotten histories, and personal storytelling. Chan is a multidisciplinary artist who works conceptually in print media, papermaking, installation, storytelling performance, and book arts. She is an Associate Professor of Visual Arts (Founder and Head of Print Media) and Affiliate Faculty of Asian Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, U.S.A. Her books and works on paper have been exhibited internationally and held in 80 public collections including the Walker Art Center, The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Tate Modern, Victoria & Albert Museum, and British Library in London. Chan established Ch’An (ch’ ahn) Press through which she has self-published prints and 35 artist books to date. She is the recipient of grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Arts Council, Maryland State Arts Council, Washington D.C. Commission of the Arts and Humanities, of fellowships to 23 artist residencies, and has exhibited and performed in 55 venues in the last ten years.
Devin Fitzgerald's talk will introduce the three major traditions of woodblock printing in 21st century China. Devin is the Curator of Rare Books and the History of Printing at UCLA Library Special Collections. A specialist in Western and East Asian book history and a bibliographer, Devin researches the global circulation of East Asian books. Devin was a 2015 Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Critical Bibliography and received additional training at both the University of Virginia and California Rare Book Schools. He obtained his PhD in History and East Asian Languages from Harvard University.
Colette Fu will introduce her ongoing series of pop up books that she's been working on since 2008 about the ethnic minority groups of China. Fu received her MFA in Fine Art Photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2003, and soon after began devising complex compositions that incorporate photography and pop-up paper engineering. She has designed for award-winning stop motion animation commercials and free-lanced for clients including Greenpeace, Vogue China, Canon Asia, and the Delaware Disaster Research Center. Fu’s numerous awards include the 2018 Meggendorfer Prize for best paper engineered artist book, a 2008 Fulbright Research Fellowship to China, and grants from the Independence Foundation, Leeway Foundation, En Foco, and the Puffin Foundation. Her photo-based pop-up books are included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Library of Congress, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and many private and rare archive collections. She has attended many fully-funded artist residencies including those at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Swatch Art Peace Hotel, Yaddo, Macdowell Colony, Sacatar, Vermont Studio Center, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, and the Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity. Her solo show “Wanderer/Wonderer: The Pop-ups of Colette Fu” was presented at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in 2016/17. In 2017, Fu created the world’s largest pop-up book at the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center measuring 14×21 feet. Visitors were invited to enter the book. A passionate educator, Fu also teaches artmaking as a way to give voice to communities through pop-up paper engineered projects. She teaches pop-up courses and community workshops to marginalized populations at art centers, universities and institutions internationally.
Radha Pandey will present a short sampling of her work, ending with her latest project on Mughal floral botanicals and the colonialization of plants by the British and how that changed the aesthetics of the book and our relationship with nature. Pandey is a papermaker and letterpress printer. She earned her MFA in Book Arts from the University of Iowa Center for the Book where she was a recipient of the Iowa Arts Fellowship. She practices European, Eastern and Indo-Islamic Papermaking techniques and teaches book arts classes in India, Europe and the US. Her book Anatomia Botanica won the MICA Book Award in 2014, and received an Honorable Mention at the 15th Carl Hertzog Award for Excellence in Book Design. In 2018, her book Deep Time won the Joshua Heller Memorial Award. Her artists books are held in over 40 public collections internationally, including the Library of Congress and Yale University. Currently, Radha is working on an artist book inspired by Mughal floral portraiture from the 17th century, for which all the paper will be hand made in the traditional Indo-Islamic style.
Image Credit: "Uyghur Food" by Colette Fu.