Art and storytelling merge together at Sloane Art Library in an evening that will trigger creativity.
The Sloane Art Library has partnered up with students from UNC’s Art and Museum Library and Information Student Society (AMLISS) to showcase recent artists' books and photobook acquisitions being added to the growing collection today.
Artists’ books are works of art that are recreated in a book format — they can be made from any material the artist chooses. The photobook is a newer genre where photographers take pictures that surround a certain theme and structure them into book form.
Head of Sloane Art Library Heather Gendron said she was thrilled to show off a different manifestation of art to the UNC community.
“We have a fairly large collection of artists’ books, and it’s a pretty diverse collection in terms of the types of books, what form they take, the materials used to create them, where the artist is from, the topics that they’re creating the books about,” she said.
The AMLISS students will each have their own table to introduce and discuss the books while answering any questions from attendees.
“They often get to hear about things, but this is a fun opportunity for them to actually talk to the public and do a bit of outreach with their own school at UNC, so I think they’re excited to participate,” Gendron said.
Gendron said many of the books are acquired through meeting and talking to artists at artwork fairs such as those that are held in the Museum of Modern Art.
“We’re really highlighting acquisitions for our special collection in the art library, so not just new art history books or new books of research, but mostly books that are created as art,” said Josh Hockensmith, Sloane Art Library assistant.
“There are fantastic stories behind them.”
One of the new titles that will be shown at the event is “The Afronauts” by Spanish photographer Cristina De Middel, who documented the desire of a Zambian teacher to research and develop the country's space program.
“She was sort of discouraged — disheartened— by the way the media covered Africa in general,” Hockensmith said.
“There are always stories about crises and troubles, but there weren’t really hopeful stories or happy stories.”
Both faculty members and students have gotten involved and combined their knowledge and skills into showing off the talent of artists like De Middel.
Aleah Howell, a junior journalism and studio art major, not only has contributed as a student assistant in the Sloane Art Library, but also as the designer of the flyer for the event.
“I have direct contact with these materials every day, and I think being exposed to them every day just probably inspires me than not being in the library,” she said.
With a wide range of books touching on different subject matter, the presentation is a celebration of art that will reach beyond those affiliated with the art department to faculty, professors and students.
“It’s a nontraditional art form that I feel like people who aren’t artists can relate to,” Howell said.
“I think they’re really interesting because they’re something that you can touch and something that you can look at — to see and touch and interact with,” Howell said.
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