The Juried Brandeis Library Artists’ Book Award exhibit was displayed in the Goldfarb Library from Thursday until Sunday between the information desks and the computers. In the displays you could see many beautiful displays of all different media and intentions.

One piece titled “2017: An Exploration of Internet Popularity,” focused on tweets that had gotten positive feedback from one specific person. It tried to connect with what people were more focused on in the real world today.

The piece found right below it in the display was titled “Garden in My Hand,” a piece made by Junru Xu ’20. A plate she received in her book-making class inspired it. The book was made to be in the shape of a mirror and remind her of her grandfather’s garden. This piece was intended to represent happiness, according to Xu.

This art exhibit was displayed with a glass casing. However, it prevents people from experiencing the pieces as Xu pointed out to me when we talked about her piece. Because of this, we can only ever observe the creation; we will never get the same effect that Xu receives as she used this piece to preserve an important memory.

A particularly intriguing piece was “Moods” by Brenda Gonzales ’17. With the colors and forms of her book, Gonzales said she wished to “relate to the idea of childhood while simultaneously exploring the new feelings of excitement and anxiety that inevitably came with early adulthood.” This piece does create an intriguing “mood” (as the title mentions) due to the shapes and the thought process your brain endures looking at it.


ARTISTS IN CONVERSATION: Students and adults alike discuss the handiwork involved in book art.

The winner of the Artists’ Book Award, voted on by three jurors after competition entries, was Nicholas Costantino ’17, who highlighted three different types of book binding techniques in his piece. Having coptic stitching, the Japanese-stab-binding and the accordion bound endless knot all in use, the art piece appeared both “cool to look at and engage with,” according to Costantino.

The next piece in the display was “The Ends” by Rita Scheer ’20. It was created using Intaglio prints on plexiglass full of vibrant colors. The purpose of the piece was to express the words of Samuel Beckett’s short story “The End.”

The next two pieces were unique in the sense that they took parts of books to create something new, whereas the other artists had all created a book with something they wished to express themselves. “Inside My Mind” by Ceara Genovesi ’18 taps into the curiosity surrounding the human mind. Genovesi enjoyed taking on the challenge of our own thought processes in her art.

The wires in the sculpture “represent the chaos that is often the thoughts” racing in her mind. After reading her description, it all starts to make sense. Everyone’s mind goes all over the place, but as Genovesi points out, brains can be a little messy even though they have something to say. This is seen in the wires, which can represent both concrete and abstract thoughts.

The second piece made from books was “Book Worm” by Hatice Guc ’17. This is exactly what you would think, an apple and a worm. However, it is also so much more. This piece is an apple with a library inside for said worm. The apple is then also placed on another book. Guc’s description included “an adventure into an apple of books.” This is essentially trying to remind everyone that books are knowledge, and knowledge is everywhere, you just need to know where to look and how to approach it.

Some other outstanding pieces were “Tall Child” by Margot Field ’17, “Surreal Night” by Samantha Jean ’19, and “I’m Not Surprised” (by anonymous). The artists in this display all showed amazing talent and also care for one another. There have been shout-outs to professors and also to the other artists in the displays.

There is a helpful community in the arts that is here to help students express what they wish in the best way they see fit.

This display was a fantastic opportunity to see that connection and to see the Brandeis visual arts community shine brightly and showcase their talents.