If you missed it in Calgary, Victoria, Vancouver or Saskatoon, I suggest that you plan a trip to Toronto (between now and September 13th) to see Art of the Book 2013. This juried Exhibition, organized by the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild (CBBAG), occurs once every 5 years. It should not be missed by anyone interested in “The Art of The Book.”
The jurors for this exhibition were Jason Dewinetz of Greenboathouse Press, and book binders Karen Hanmer and Jonathan Tremblay. They selected winners in the following categories: Fine Printing, Fine Binding, Artists’ Books, Calligraphy, Paper Making, Paper Decorating and Box Making, and named Prize Winning Entries in those categories.
I was interested in seeing the winners in the Fine Printing category.
This is one particular area where the CBBAG Art of the Book exhibition connects with Alcuin’s Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada: the Limited Editions Category of Alcuin’s Awards for Excellence in Book Design and the Fine Printing and Artists’ Books category of CBBAG’s Art of the Book 2013.
I should also point out that there are significant areas where they differ. For Art of the Book, entries are restricted to members of CBBAG – although becoming a member is not difficult. CBBAG also has an international membership. The entries for the Alcuin Design Awards are not restricted to Alcuin members, but the books must be published in Canada. For Art of the Book 2013 the work had to be completed after January 1, 2010 to be eligible, while Alcuin’s Awards are restricted to books published in the preceding year.
How does CBBAG’s list of award winners compare to the Alcuin Award winners? The winner of Category for Fine Printing and the recipient of the Ontario Craft Council Award was Pressing Matters from Will Rueter’s The Aliquando Press. He was awarded a Second Place in Alcuin’s Limited Editions Category. The CBBAG jurors also selected as worthy of note for the exhibition Deor’s Lament from the Locks’ Press of Fred and Margaret Lock. It was awarded a third prize in the 2012 Alcuin Awards. The jurors also selected The Mysterious Death of Tom Thomson by George Walker in the Artists’ Book category. The Alcuin Jurors recognized the book with an Honourable Mention in the 2011 Awards.
The CBBAG Jurors also selected Taking the Sun for a Walk from The Aliquando Press.
One other problem with comparing lists is that fact that the writer does not know whether a particular item was entered and so available for consideration by the jurors.
Also on display in the exhibition was Tin Roof by Juror Jason Dewinetz from his Greenboathouse Press. This was awarded a third prize in Alcuin’s 2013 Awards.
I would take from all of this the remarkable consistency in standards between different juries.
This is just a small part of an intriguing exhibition. To keep this post within reasonable limits, I am refraining from describing and sharing my enthusiasm for other items in the Exhibition. However, I urge everyone to see this Exhibition if not in Toronto then in one of the succeeding venues. If this is not possible, I urge you to contact CBBAG and buy a copy of the catalogue. It is well worth the $20 price. It provides photographs and descriptions on all of the items in the Exhibition.