“Confluences” at Art Around Books

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – Art Around Books, 5 Canal Street in Bellows Falls, presents “Confluences,” a Brighton Press artists’ book launch and mixed media exhibition featuring the new artists’ book “Paper Bridge,” poems by Kadya Molodowsky; hand-painted etchings, collages, and works in paper and clay by Ellen Schechner-Johnson; and photographs by Eric Lindbloom from artists’ book collaborations with poet Nancy Willar.

The exhibition will run from Oct. 19 – Nov. 25, with a reception and poetry reading on Saturday, Oct. 21, from 4-6 p.m., where artist, dancer, and writer Gretchen Abendschein will read selected poems by Moldowsky and Willard.

In this artists’ book, Ellen Schechner-Johnson explores the legend of the “Paper Bridge,” seeking to express the historic liminality of Jewish existence, the image of the wandering Jew, the subjects of displacement, homelessness, and disconnection – of belonging and not belonging. The poems by Kadya Molodowsky express this, specifically, and are placed as touchstones or buried treasure within the collaged fragments of text and expressive etchings by the artist. Molodowsky’s poems are printed letterpress in both Yiddish and English. The English translations are by Kathryn Hellerstein. For more information, visit www.brightonpress.net/paper-bridge.

The photographs by Eric Lindbloom were included in four collaborations published by Brighton Press. “The River That Runs Two Ways” features hand printed panoramic photographs. Artist Eric Lindbloom and poet Nancy Willard explored the Hudson River Valley and the environs of their home in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., for over 35 years. This book is the result of many journeys taken and impressions registered by the poet and the photographer in the landscape they knew so well. Visit www.brightonpress.net/river-runs for more information.

“Waves,” is one of our most complex collaborations. Three artists – Michele Burgess, Bill Kelly, and Eric Lindbloom – together with poet Nancy Willard, exchanged responses and relationships to the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, photography to etchings, woodcut to words, alternated with layers of musings on the human condition. “The sea offers its genealogy of waves,” says Willard. Eleven hand-printed silver print photographs, seven multiplate etchings, two woodcuts, and six poems printed letterpress on handmade Twinrocker paper. Visit www.brightonpress.net/waves for more information.

“Diana in Sight” – in 1978-1979, poet Nancy Willard and artist Eric Lindbloom traveled together with their young son through the northeastern U.S. while Willard was on various poetry reading tours. They then went to Italy and Holland. Lindbloom made these photographs in small, largely unnoticed places along the way. According to him, “These photographs were all about the joy of using the lighthearted Diana, a toy camera, after a long apprenticeship with a four-by-five stand camera, with its physical and historical weight on my back. They were part of a series called ‘Private Lives of Public Places.’” Willard wrote the poems 20 years later, in 1998. They surprise the reader with an unexpected subtext of absence and loss that underlies the images. In her words, “Let the Shepherd of Tides call Diana back.” For more information, visit www.brightonpress.net/diana-in-sight.

“Moss,” a special broadside in memory of Nancy Willard (1936-2017), who left this world many gifts of her own making. She was a great translator of the human spirit, as anyone who has read her poetry, novel, essays, and children’s books surely knows. We were lucky to create seven books with her over twenty-five years. Her husband and artistic collaborator, Eric Lindbloom, selected this poem to accompany this photograph from his “Window Shopping” series. Visit www.brightonpress.net/broadsides/moss to learn more.

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