From the moment Gutenberg’s Bible was set to print, books have played a role in shaping society. The enduring legacy of the book as a powerful vehicle for social transformation is just as significant today as it was over five hundred years ago. Our selections represent a broad spectrum of book arts from the unique, hand-printed book to democratic multiples; from books in traditional format to those that push the boundaries of contemporary design. All the books have one theme in common—they challenge the viewer to confront the wide breadth of issues affecting contemporary society. War, gun violence, mental health, drug addiction, bullying, climate change, gender equality, race and diversity, genocide, domestic violence, socioeconomic disparity and privacy are themes showcased in this exhibit. These are critical social and political issues that affect our global community.
As jurors we strived to assemble a collection of books which would confront head-on these difficult themes, and provoke the viewer to consider these vital issues of our day and to create opportunities for dialog whether in the gallery, in the classroom, or in the community. When selecting these books we used a blind jury process and made selections based on the artist’s statement and photographs. We considered the art and craft of the work and how it addressed the theme of the show. We also took into consideration that not only would these books be displayed at 23 Sandy Gallery but also at the Collins Memorial Library, University of Puget Sound. Book Power Redux will be on exhibit for several months during which time a national conference on Race & Pedagogy will be held. We thought deeply about the educational value of each entry and how the books would not only educate, but inspire students and conference attendees to consider these vital social and political issues.
Our sincere thanks to all the artists who contributed and supported this exhibition. Your stories are sincere, personal, and inspiring. We truly believe that books and artists have the power to change the world. Thank you for sharing your stories.
Jane Carlin and MalPina Chan