Artists' Books > Finding Chicago

Project involving discovering parts of my new city. I moved here in January 2005 to attend The School of the Art Institute of Chicago to earn my B.F.A. As part of learning my way around, I selected places to go to learn something about where I lived. Because it is highly visible and close to the school, the Navy Pier became the first place I investigated. There I discovered the Smith Museum of Stained Glass. For anyone who loves stained glass windows and other decorative art, this place is a gold mine. I took a lot of photographs of the windows with a digital camera I borrowed from the school. Then for a project in my artists' book class, I wrote eleven poems that were suggested to me by the images. I printed the images on inkjet vellum, to simulate the idea of stained glass, then printed the poems on matte-finish inkjet paper. My original intention was to make a Japanese stab-stitch book, but I didn't account for the binding area in my first attempt, so I had to redesign the book. But the first version was so nice, I used a perfect binding for it and made a paper cover, which has a decorative paper jacket. The second part of the project was an accordion-fold book with bookboard covers covered with another gold-patterned paper, then tied with ribbon. A third project, a visit to Forest Home cemetery, has not been printed and bound yet. All are contained in a green cloth-covered clamshell box, shown in the photographs. The project is not for sale.