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Book Arts Exhibit Opens At College of New Rochelle In September

Cecile Chong, "Common Dictionary" (gumball machine), 2015. Gumball machine, plastic capsules and lead type.
Cecile Chong, "Common Dictionary" (gumball machine), 2015. Gumball machine, plastic capsules and lead type. Photo Credit: Contributed
Jessica Lagunus, Wave Hill's "Books of Leaves," 2014. Bookbinding of leaves with pamphlet and Coptic binding.
Jessica Lagunus, Wave Hill's "Books of Leaves," 2014. Bookbinding of leaves with pamphlet and Coptic binding. Photo Credit: Contributed

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Rethink the way a book appears – not the words, but the form itself – and you may get a sense of the unusual artworks that will be on display at The College of New Rochelle’s Castle Gallery this fall.

Pieces inspired by books, from The Center for Book Arts in Manhattan, will be displayed starting Tuesday, Sept. 8, in the gallery at 29 Castle Place. Called “Then and Now: Ten Years of Residences at the Center for Book Arts,” the exhibit will feature more than 120 biblio-inspired works from 60 artists.

These are not tomes to be read. They are works that explore the book as an item to be altered, transformed or completely reimagined. A book’s pages may be rectangles cut from various plastic bags or folded leaves from a beech or poplar tree.

One work of art is a swing made from pages of "Moby Dick" sliced into strips and twisted into rope. Another, called “Common Dictionary,” is a gumball machine in which each plastic capsule holds a slip of paper with a word in English, Chinese, and Spanish that begins and ends with similar sounds in all three languages.

It is the first time the center has exhibited works in Westchester since a 2010 showing at the Barbara Walters Gallery at Sarah Lawrence College. But the Castle Gallery show is not just any exhibit. It is part of the Center for Book Art’s 40th year celebration.

All of the artists whose works are exhibited have gone through one of the center’s two core programs – the Artist-in-Residence Workspace Grant program or the Scholarship for Advanced Study in Book Arts. The exhibit will include at least two works from each artist – one from when he or she was in residence, and another created years later.

The exhibit will be shown Sunday, Nov. 8. An opening reception will be held Sunday, Sept. 27 from 2-4 p.m. Alexander Campos will give a lecture related to the exhibit on Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 6:45 p.m. in Romita Auditorium.

For general information, tours and directions to the Castle Gallery and The College of New Rochelle, call 914-654-5423. For more information, visit www.cnr.edu/cg .

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