SAI presents: “Rebound: reconceptualizing our notion of the physical book”

Opening Reception: Friday September 28th 6-9 pm
Saturday September 29th 11 am – 5 pm
Closed Sunday
Mon-Fri, Oct 1st  – 6th , 1 – 5 pm
419 Beaver Street Sewickley PA 15143

In the digital age of the e-book, when it takes your tablet, or i-Pad, less than a minute to download War and Peace, as it simultaneously stores over a thousand volumes, what is the future of the printed book? Will the book as we know it be valued only by a fading older generation and will book stores continue to die, with libraries replaced by digital archives? Or, has the digital age enabled us to broaden our interpretation of the book, and to increasingly value the unique physical presence of a book, while also facilitating many aspects of publishing not previously available to individuals?

Sewickley Arts Initiative presents Re-bound, an exhibition of artist books that will encourage us to address these questions and to re-conceptualize our notion of the book as a valued physical object in a digital age that might have us forget them altogether. Re-bound will show how artists and writers are pushing the boundaries of how we all use, create and interact with books.

It’s an exciting time to care about the medium. The changing terrain of printing and publishing has triggered great debate over the role of the book in our culture. A lot of that discussion has centered on how the digital environment might negatively impact print. The goal of Re-bound is to be a part of changing the discussion, to show that some people are responding to our digitally saturated environment, with a renewed interest in things that are, in stark contrast, tangible. Artists, writers and small press publishers are increasingly turning to printing and binding their own books, while at the same time taking advantage of digital mediums to debate and shape the future of the book.

For the first time, Sewickley Arts Initiative has collaborated on this exhibition with the Sewickley Public Library to present a joint survey of contemporary artist’s books, with guidance and expertise provided by the Sewickley Penguin Bookstore. This unique partnership will be the first of many such joint efforts, between SAI and local nonprofits, organizations and businesses, intended to bring the arts to Sewickley in as comprehensive manner as possible.

The Sewickley Arts Initiative venue is at 419 Beaver Street (former Chico’s space). The SAI exhibit will include books, artwork and ephemera from individual artists, art collectives and presses, including Deep Ink Letterpress (Pittsburgh) the Pittsburgh Book Art Collective, and Space Corners (Pittsburgh).

Books created by members of the Pittsburgh Book Arts Collective are on exhibit at the Sewickley Public Library, with over 70 books on display from 15 different artists. These artists use the book format in unique, personalized and often unconventional ways, combining techniques from both traditional books and contemporary art.  The Sewickley Public Library exhibit runs through October 8th.

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