Is It Art? Is It a Book? Bainbridge Island Museum of Art Says Yes to Both in Its New Exhibit

Celebrate art made from books at 'Open Sesame! The Magic of Artist's Books Revealed'
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  • New Bainbridge Island Museum of Art exhibit in Washington state
IN THE FOLD: A detail from Nebraska artist Karen Kunc’s 2016 accordion-style handmade paper book, LandEscape, part of the exhibit at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art

This article appears in print in the April 2019 issue. Click here to subscribe.

“My love of text, image, ink, paper, cloth, thread and touch has drawn me to this form,” says Pacific Lutheran University faculty member Mare Blocker, one of the artists featured in the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art’s current exhibit Open Sesame! The Magic of Artist’s Books Revealed, celebrating the medium in which handicraft and literature reach out to each other.

One recent example of Blocker’s 40-year devotion to art books is “Exorcise Your Mother,” which includes under its cover a panel something like the old Operation kids’ game—but here the object is to surgically remove the embedded maternal clichés of your upbringing (such as eating your vegetables or the unthinkable horror of childlessness). As co-curator Cynthia Sears puts it, artists’ books are the “Trojan Horse of the art world…you don’t know exactly what is inside until it is revealed.” Through 6/9. Times vary. Free. Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, Bainbridge Island, 550 Winslow Way E

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