Wilson Library features ‘Every Book A Mirror’ art collection

A new exhibit has been launched in the Wilson Library’s North Carolina Collection Gallery.

The title of the exhibition is based on a quote by Michael Ende: “Isn’t every book a mirror that reflects the reader?”

“Every Book Mirror: Book Artists Engage with the 21st Century” a collection of artists’ books, zines and other forms of art that bring light to current affairs – both national and international.

Co-curator and Sloane Art Library Manager Josh Hockensmith said the works in the exhibition represent a mirror that reflects back to the viewer and reflects society to the viewer.

The exhibition features works from various creators – addressing many social and environmental issues of the 21st century. Some of the topics include visibility, the experience of being Black in America, the presence of Indigenous people, the coronavirus pandemic and immigration.

“We really tried to showcase the work of BIPOC artists and LGBTQIA+ artists,” Hockensmith said. “It’s a way to showcase work by artists of these identities, but at the same time, connect with audiences who are not of these identities – to see this work and empathize with it.”

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The exhibition was curated using the authors’ books rather than traditional printed books because they push the viewer to find meaning using all the work, Hockensmith said.

“They use all the above to give a meaning instead of the words on the page or the picture with the text,” he said.

Professor Jocelyn Glazier uses authors’ books in some of her instruction at UNC for this reason.

She said that these books challenge her students’ traditional ideas of what reading can be and help them connect with the author’s experiences.

“It makes reading an active, empathetic, engaged and involved experience,” Glazier said.

Glazier also sees how this type of art has affected his understanding of the works.

“These books give me the opportunity to learn more about myself when I learn about the topics and experts presented in those books,” he said.

Margaret Steitz, graduate assistant at the Sloane Art Library, said this type of art is unique for a variety of reasons.

“I think that what makes them very important is that even though it is written as a book, it can take any form,” he said. “That kind of bridges the relationship between the singer and the reader and makes for an intimate experience.”

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“Every Book Mirror” it’s the largest exhibition of artist books and zines at UNC since 2010, Hockensmith said. The Sloane Art Library regularly puts together small exhibitions, but the North Carolina Collection Gallery offered the opportunity to create an exhibition on a larger scale.

Hockensmith hopes the exhibit will not only bring light to various 21st-century issues, but also bring attention to Special Collections at UNC. Many students are not familiar with the University Libraries’ resources, he said.

“The challenge facing Special Collections librarians everywhere is that we have these amazing things and we want to share them with people, but we also have to protect them from being closed collections,” Hockensmithsaid. “We wanted to get them out there and get more people to see them.”

Linda Jacobson, curator of the North Carolina Collection Gallery, has similar hopes for the exhibit.

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He said that many former UNC students who visit Wilson Library for the first time after graduation regret not using the resource while it is still readily available.

“I feel like it’s another campus experience, in addition to some of the other things students will do in their four years here, that will enrich their experience if they know more about what Wilson has to offer,” he said.

In connection with the exhibition, there are few opportunities to continue the work.

Ashley Minner will be holding a book discussion about her work in the show, “The Exquisite Lumbee”, on February 16. The Artists’ Books Book Club will also meet on the fourth Friday of each month to discuss various books and banners. from the screen.

“Every Mirror Book” will be in the Wilson Library until July 12, and is open for visits weekdays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.


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