The Cat's Out of the Bag: Award Winning Artists' Books

Award Winning Artists’ Books

Julie VonDerVellen, 26.2 Miles, shoes, 2011.

Adam Rowlett, Heavens, book, 2013.

Adam Rowlett is the purchase prize winner of the UNT Libraries 7th Biennial Artists’ Books Competition and Exhibition for his books, Heavens. Heavens is described by the artist as “a short, illustrated narrative employing geometric abstractions.” Rowlett was named Best New Artist by the Dallas Observer in 2012 and is a graduate student at UNT (MFA ’14). His work will be cataloged and permanently added to the libraries’ artists’ book collection.

Paper artist Julie VonDerVellen is a recent MFA graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her work, 26.2 Miles, was selected as Best in Show at the WoCA Projects (Fort Worth) gallery in the 2013 exhibition “A Seat at the Table: An Exploration of Artists’ Books.” Her work attempts to interweave significant moments and memories into handmade paper crafted from recycled cotton clothing. Using an intricate paper-weaving technique, VonDerVellen re-creates the garment, constructing a narrative that is both informed by the structure and born of it, allowing the garment to tell the story. The work reflects the memoirs of notable life events, new beginnings, and significant accomplishments made tactile in the structures formed from the garments associated with those experiences.

Since 1999, The Friends of the University of North Texas Libraries has generously hosted the Biennial Artists’ Books Competition and Exhibition. The competition provides an opportunity for students, artists, and community members to develop and display their creative work in the fascinating medium of artists’ books. The friends of UNT Libraries also support a cash prize, awarded at the discretion of the jurors, to acquire an outstanding student entry as an addition to the library’s artist book collection.

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