Conversations – An exhibition of artists’ books

 

There’s a wonderful interactive exhibit going on the second floor of the Martin Luther King Jr. Library called “Conversations.” Coming from a group called the Bay Area Book Artists, it’s no surprise that the exhibit takes the idea of art and the form of a book and reinvents it. 

The first thing that caught my eye was a book of mailed art called “Conversations by Mail” by Nancy Welch that encourages visitors to pick it up and flip through it. I was jealous that anyone can get so much mail from such creative people. Which reminds me: I should probably get a pen and paper, maybe some glue and scissors, and send actual snail mail to people I care about. Will I ever have time? I suppose I just need to make time.

The next thing that grabbed my attention was a wire installation called “Overheard” by Karen Cutter that had scrolls of paper tucked in each slot. The papers had sentences and phrases that have been overheard. By whom, I don’t know, but I do know that each snippet of overheard conversation I read was funny, amusing, surprising or touching. 

I must have read about 20 before something else caught my eye on that same wall, called “Childhood Secrets… What’s Yours?” by Becky Barber. It was a couple of cans stringed together, but on the string were clipped circular pieces of coloring book paper with writing on it. These were people’s anonymous childhood secrets, and an envelope tacked to the wall invited anyone to add their own secrets to the line. I love PostSecret and was sad I missed their recent event in Walnut Creek. Perhaps as this Conversations exhibit remains (through May 16), this little project can be just as powerful.

There are two events attached to this exhibit, one called “Make and Take” (which sounds fairly self-explanatory), which will be on Saturday, April 18, 2-4 p.m. The other is Artist’s Talks on Tuesday, April 21 from 7-9 p.m. 

With such an engaging exhibit, I hope turnout is overwhelming.

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