Means of Production: Student Publications in the Albert Solheim Library at Pacific Northwest College of Art
The creation of books has long been a way for artists to explore different mediums and avenues for sharing their work, “getting art off the wall, out of the gallery, and into the hands of a wide, democratic, or populist audience” (White, 2012, p. 46). A book is generally cheap to design and produce, is relatively portable, and easy to interact with. Books offer both intimacy between creator and viewer and the feeling of sharing a wider experience with others.
According to Suzy Taraba (2019), “contemporary artist’s books evolved from two divergent strains of antecedents: the fine press book and the democratic multiple” (p. 86), the latter becoming the predominant artists’ publication type in the 1960s and ‘70s. The contemporary art student’s publication is somewhat of a hybrid of the two. Often created in small editions with inexpensive materials, these publications may also utilize multiple laborious printmaking techniques such as letterpress, woodcut, or screen printing, and include one-of-a-kind details such as paintings, pop-ups, drawings, inserts, or detailed bindings. Many students build intricate enclosures for their work.