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Suzanne Sawyers' "Proliferation" Selected by the Guild of Book Workers for Its 2018-2019 Traveling Exhibition

Every two years, the national Guild of Book Workers invites members to participate in its traveling juried exhibition. The 2018-2019 exhibition, entitled Formation, will travel to five venues over the two-year exhibition, including the Minnesota Center for the Book Arts in Minneapolis, the Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking in Atlanta, the University of California – Los Angeles, the North Bennet Street School in Boston and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. 

The Guild of Book Workers was founded in 1906 to establish and maintain a feeling of kinship and mutual interest among workers in the hand book crafts. Among its early members were well-known artist-craft workers, such as bookbinders and typographers. The Guild believes there is a responsibility among civilized people to sustain the crafts involved with the production of fine books, and its members work to broaden public awareness of the hand book arts and highlight the need for conservation and restoration. 

A recent submission by Suzanne Sawyer, Library Services Technician in Preservation Services, was accepted into the upcoming exhibition. "Proliferation" is an accordion-style book structure that is inspired by both William Morris's screens and microscopic images of cells. The prints include monotypes, letterpress prints and pressure prints.

Sawyers' talents as a conservator and bookmaker are especially noteworthy. While this year's theme was created to inspire a wide array of interpretations from book artists nationwide, Sawyers's "Proliferation" focuses on cell reproduction and growth. It exemplifies the rapid production of experimental prints in which layered images are created using ghost prints of plates previously printed or by overprinting a monotype onto a letterpress print.

This year’s jurors, who received 102 submissions of which 51 were selected, include Colleen Curry, an Instructor at the American Academy of Bookbinding; Graham Patten, a rare book conservator and exhibiting book artist; and Sarah Smith, Manager of the Book Arts Workshop at Dartmouth College and an exhibiting book artist.