The Artists’ Book Collection at Buley Library includes about 125 unique and limited-edition books, among them, this stunning example created in 2014. With the theme “Women of Color Empower,” it was designed in partnership with The Perfect Blend, a New Haven-based mentorship program for girls and women of color founded by Jeanette Sykes. About 15 girls brought their talents to the project, which was overseen by Tina Re, librarian of arts and special collections at Southern.
“I met with them after school for about five sessions to create the books. Each girl crafted their autobiographical page and photographed each other, and we incorporated their images and artwork into the handmade books,” says Re.
The girls’ combined efforts aptly depict the power of an artist’s book — which is defined by the Smithsonian Library as a “medium of artistic expression that uses the form or function of ‘book’ as inspiration.”
Southern faculty regularly draw on the Artists’ Book Collection and Re’s experience as a facilitator to enhance learning. In past semesters, students studying various disciplines (for example, education, history, and social work) joined forces to create handmade books on topics ranging from U.S. immigration policies to incarcerated youth. In fall 2021, students were invited to kick off the semester by making a mini-book or zine. It’s an illuminating process — one that leads to beautiful results.
Here are some other books from the collection:
The public is invited to an Artists' Book Open House on Thursday, April 21, noon – 3 p.m. in Southern’s Hilton C. Buley Library, Room 118. For more information, contact Tina Re, email@example.com. Parking available in the Wintergreen Garage, 23 Wintergreen Ave, New Haven.