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March 15, 2001 Love of books inspired make-your-own show




Organizers Gaile Addison and Beth Stuart

Overdue organizers Gaile Addison (left), Beth Stuart (right).

Photo by Andrew Dobrowolskyj

by Karine Hébert

The organizers of Overdue, the book-making show that took place from February 5-10 at the VAV art gallery, estimate that about 650 people visited the show during the week.

“Tons of people came! It was one of the busiest vernissage this year,” said Gaile Addison, a third-year Fine Arts student. The other organizers were Beth Stuart, second-year Fine Arts, and Joni Murphy, second-year Creative Writing.

There were four days of workshops on bookbinding, letterpress, computerized book layout, storytelling games, talks by small press operators, and readings by Montreal writers.
More than 120 books were shown by about 70 participants, most of them students. They included small-press books, hand-made books, and installations, such as a book the size of a door that could be opened, a heavy metal book, a “corset book” and a digital bible.

Gaile said, “People were very responsive. We didn’t expect so many! It was a lot of work to keep track of everything.”

The art gallery was set up as a home space, with furnished rooms. Joni explained, “We categorized the books according to what kind of books go in a bedroom, in a living room, and so on.”

Gaile continued, “We wanted to put books in an environment where people could look at them in a more relaxed way, in a living environment.”

Visitors were allowed to pick up the books and read them.

“Since it was a very friendly environment and there were so many books, many people came back more than once,” Gaile said. Many of the artists donated their books after the show.

It was their common love for books that led the three students to organize the show.

“Books are something anybody can make,” Gaile said. “They’re less scary to make than paintings. They are more private.”

“People are freer to do what they want, and less afraid of not doing it the right way,” Joni added.