At the outset of planning an event it sometimes feels the day will never come. When it does, it is almost unbelievable. It’s happening! It’s all coming together! And it did, on April 5, when months of collaborative hard work between Special Collections and University Archives with the Book Club of California resulted in a bustling opening celebration for Pressing Forward: The Book Club of California at 100. Highlights included a talk by woodcut artist Tom Killion, the announcement of Book Collection Competition winners and a Science Cafe centered around bookbinding.
You can see the exhibit on the 2nd floor in the Learning Commons, which also includes photographs of members with their personal libraries. Visit our exhibit pages if you’d like to learn more.
Kennedy Library’s Catherine Trujillo and Peter Runge, along with a group of student collaborators, made it happen. Art and Design student Bryn Hobson had the honor of making the Centennial Keepsake for the event (left). His installation “Flight,” is a magical part of the exhibit that has floating pages ascending to the sky. See more photos of his work at the exhibit on brynhobson.com.
Whenever I spoke to Cate or Peter about the exhibit, I sensed it was a labor of love. At different points they headed to BCC’s hub in San Francisco to get to better know the people and the organization (and possibly the coolest headquarters for bibliophiles ever), worked with local collectors on documenting their libraries and launched a Book Collection Competition. Phew!
Talk by woodcut artist Tom Killion
Tom Killion, whose work has been featured in the BCC gallery among many others, was the featured speaker. He talked us through the stories of his woodblock prints: the inspiration he finds outside in Northern California, who he’s hiking with when he stops to make sketches that inform his woodblocks and how his artistic process works. Here is an excerpt from his talk that focuses on the how-to of Japanese woodblock art:
Winners of the Book Collection Competition
The opening celebration also recognized the winners of the first annual Book Collection Competition! Collected themes included illustrated horse novels of the 1970s and literature of the American West.
Stitched! Science Cafe
Earlier in the day, bookbinder and author of At Home with Handmade Books, Erin Zamrzla, drew a crowd of eager crafters who she led in a hands-on bookbinding experiment. She crafted individual packets of materials for everyone that included a how-to guide (which doubled as a folded envelope), needle, thread and recycled materials that became pages of a book. There was spontaneous applause when everyone realized she had handmade one for each of them!
Here’s a short video overview of Stitched!
– Karen Lauritsen