Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Mills College Summer Institute for Book and Print Technologies 2017

The Mills College Book Art Program is pleased to announce the second annual Summer Institute for Book and Print Technologies taking place June 5-16, 2017. This two-week summer institute is open to members of the national book art community and will include 5-day workshops taught at the master class level by well-known book and print artists, a master critique seminar and a pricing seminar. Workshop instructors include Julie Chen, Kathleen Walkup, Colette Fu, and Karen Kunc.

Find out more and apply at

Monday, February 15, 2016

This Is A Book - Exhibit

The exhibit This Is A Book consists of Communication Design students' handmade interesting format books with books from the library's collection that inspired their book design projects. The exhibit is designed by Communication Design student Brianna Penney and Assistant Professor Maia Wright in collaboration with School of Art & Design Librarian, Tara Spies Smith.


Texas State University, Alkek Library, 1st Floor
February 1 - March 31, 2016

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

How to Search for Artists' Books, interesting formats or handmade, in the Library Catalog

From the library catalog
change the Keyword drop down to
Click on image to see details
Subject and type in artists books and hit search, then click on the first link that says Artists Books and you should see about 90 results (The page that this link lives on can also be an interesting page to explore what types of artists books we have). These are located in the general collection (open stacks), secured collections, and special collections. These will also include books about artists books or bookmaking. You could also do a keyword rather than subject search but they may not all be actual artists’ books.

To limit to only those in secured, you can click on Limit/Sort Search at the top of the page and
choose Secured Collection in the Location selection box. You could also start a new catalog search change the Keyword drop down to Subject again then change the Search Entire Collection drop down to Special Collections and search with the keyword artists books again. This will show you all the artists books located in Special Collections.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Want to know what Art & Design titles were added for FY15?

Would you like to know what titles were purchased with Art & Design library funds for the fiscal year of 2015 or any year and who requested them, faculty or librarian?

You can do a simple Subject search in the library catalog to see the lists for any year. From the library catalog, you type in the last 2 digits of the year you want to see and then the library fund code, which for Art & Design is 31. So to see the titles requested by all faculty and me, the Art & Design Librarian, for the fiscal year of 2015, you would change the Keyword drop down menu to Subject and then type in 1531 and click Submit.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

We Wanted To Wake Up New - Ceramics Student Exhibit - Library 580

We Wanted to Wake Up New
By Elizabeth Davis, 2015  

An artist inspired by history incorporates
archival resources into her work

On view at Alkek Library 580, 5th Floor, June 23 - August 31, 2015

We Wanted to Wake Up New, By Elizabeth Davis, 2015

Stoneware, Slip, Screen printing, Soda-fired

Elizabeth Davis is currently a Studio Art Major in the Ceramics Program at Texas State’s School of Art & Design.  Originally from Corpus Christi, Texas, she has also lived and studied in Budapest, Hungary, New York City, and Eugene and Portland, Oregon. The exhibited work, We Wanted to Wake Up New, is part of her portfolio to gain admission to a MFA Program in Ceramics. It combines her interests in History, Storytelling, and her three favorite mediums: writing, ceramics, and printmaking.

The longing to visualize a story or moment in someone’s life is one of the reasons I create art. Equally important is the unremitting desire to encounter a mystery and follow its path. Investigation and contemplation are paramount as is the need to intentionally stop short of a tidy explanation.
We Wanted to Wake Up New began as favor to a friend to make an inkwell for Civil War Reenactments. The inkwell shape quickly took on greater meaning as I imagined each one as a vessel containing a soldier’s desire to reflect, record, and communicate. I wondered how they might view our wars today. I wanted to talk to one of them. 

The words screen printed on the bottom of the inkwells come from the letters of Private William (Burkhart), dated 1862.  He writes from Headquarters in Velasco, TX and Camp Lubbock, TX to Celia Schrock in Waterville, TX.

The second part of this project was to find an authentic letter of a Civil War soldier to screenprint on the bottom of the inkwells. It was important to me that the words come from a private, not an officer, stationed in Texas and reflect honestly his military and personal experience. With the help of librarians Margaret Vaverek at Alkek Library and Margaret Schlankey at the Briscoe Center for American History, I found letters from Confederate Army Private William (Burkhart) stationed at Camp Lubbock, Velasco, Texas, written to Celia Shrock of Waterville, Texas.


The project took about 100 hours over the course of a semester. The main steps involved were the creation of the inkwells on the potter’s wheel, tracking down the original letter, creating a digital file from the letters to make screen printed decals, transferring the decals to the inkwells, and the two step firing process.


While I deliberately chose a range of legibility in the text, here are transcripts of the three excerpts used:
“Let others love the tented and battle field, and waste their time and destroy their constitutions in the race after face, but as for me let my life be one of peace, in the society of friends and relations.”
“If you were about to be transformed into a man, I would press it upon you, to make some other arrangements than going into the army. I advise you to engage a substitute, feign sickness or pretend to be dead. Do anything, rather than to be caught in my trap.”

“We have finally reached the point, which is beyond my descriptive powers, in its horror. Nature made it sufficiently attractive, but man in his vileness, has so entirely transformed the scene, that my spirits become dejected, my arm palsied, and melancholy takes general possession of me, when I contemplate its full reality.”

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Alkek Library Staff Art Show, 1st Floor

Drawing by Tara Spies
Come see visual art made by staff of the Alkek Library Building at Texas State University. Exhibit includes art by librarians, library assistants, and other staff in various departments of the library as well as staff in Instructional Technologies Support. See works of fiber arts, photography, jewelry, woodcut, paintings, drawings, and more!

 Alkek Library, 1st Floor, June 15th - July 31st, 2015.