New Jersey Women of the Book at Lafayette College

Crossing the Delaware: New Jersey Women of the Book at Lafayette College—Exhibit: February 1-June 30, 2015

Skillman Library, Lafayette College, Easton, PA. Curated by Diane Shaw, Director of Special Collections and Pam Murray.

Selected works of four New Jersey women artists—MaryAnn Miller, Liz Mitchell, Maria G. Pisano, and Maryann Riker—are featured in a special invitational exhibit this spring in Skillman Library. On display are over fifty striking artists’ books and other works on paper created by these four accomplished artists. Although at first glance it may be difficult to find a common thread among the rich array of materials and formats that appear in these works, it is their storytelling that acts as the unifying element among all four artists. They all tell deeply felt stories about past and present histories—both personal and collective.

The work of MaryAnn Miller is inspired by her love of literature and reading the daily news. Her intensely realized works often tell stories about the treatment of women, ranging from the effects of war to the abandonment of a daughter in a convent. She also recounts how coal played a part in her family history. Liz Mitchell shares her memories and experiences through her art.  She draws source materials from personal history, current events, dreams and myths. Several of her works are based on her dreams recorded in journals over a span of years. Her interest in fairytales inspired her retelling of the Grimm Brothers story of the twelve dancing princesses. Maria Pisano explores the nature of time, memory, and history. Her works record the complex layers of experiences whether she is telling a story of her own personal journey or remembering the collective trauma and loss experienced by a nation in a single day. Maryann Riker collects everyday ephemera—buttons, vintage advertisements, old photographs, ribbons, lace, jewelry—and creates colorful, whimsical books that suggest lighthearted stories, but that invariably convey thoughtful messages about gender, race, and consumerism.

Book Artists' Panel Discussion, Wednesday, March 25, 4:15 p.m., Gendebien Room, Skillman Library

Please join MaryAnn Miller, Liz Mitchell, Maria Pisano, and Maryann Riker for a lively panel on the making of artists' books from A to Z.  The moderator will be Karen Guancione, another New Jersey "woman of the book," whose interdisciplinary work includes printmaking, papermaking, and the book arts.  A reception will follow the panel discussion.

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