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Petal power

Camellia blossom photo by Chandler O'Leary

I might have a personal preference for autumn, but spring really is the Northwest’s best season. The days are rapidly getting longer, everywhere you look is just bursting with color, and—my favorite part—the season lasts and lasts, for months on end.

Magnolia blossoms photo by Chandler O'Leary

I have acres of work before me in the studio, but I can’t help spending part of my days on long walks around my neighborhood—I don’t want to miss a second of all this gorgeous pink.

Magnolia blossoms photo by Chandler O'Leary

Today, though, I’m indoors at the Flea Market. So if you’re out on the town today and taking in the blossoms, stroll on down to the Fieldhouse and say hello, won’t you? You’ll bring a breath of spring in the door with you.

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Market day

Photo by Chandler O'Leary

First of all, thank you so much for your response to my crazy-long Empire Builder post! Your comments, social media shares, emails, and encouragement have been wonderful—and such a tonic for the nervewracking nature of putting something so personal and complicated into the world. Thank you for that.

Secondly, I was walking around my neighborhood yesterday and I passed this sign—which reminded me that I haven’t mentioned the Flea Market that’s coming up this weekend at the UPS Fieldhouse. The UPS Flea Market has been an annual Tacoma tradition since 1968—and in recent years has been expanded to include artisans and crafters.

(An aside: the new “Fieldhouse Full of Awesome Stuff” title is kind of…um, sort of entirely…all my fault. And it makes me giggle every time I see it in print. My friend Lynn is one of the chairpersons of the market; when they were first considering opening the event to artists, she approached me and Jessica to see if we’d be game to participate. She asked us what we might call the new hybrid event, since “Flea Market” was no longer entirely accurate. We were having just as much trouble describing it as Lynn was, and I just blurted out, “It’s like a whole Fieldhouse full of…AWESOME!” So, yeah. Sorry about that. I wasn’t at my most articulate that day…)

Anyway, Jessica and I will be sharing a booth (#7, on the main floor, if you’re looking for us) again this year, and we’ll each have new goodies (I mean “awesome”) to show you. Here are the details:

47th Annual University of Puget Sound Flea Market
(and Fieldhouse Full of AWESOME)
This Saturday, March 21, 2015
9 am to 4 pm
Regular admission $5 (benefits student scholarships)
NEW THIS YEAR: early-bird admission at the side door, 8:15 am, $10
UPS Fieldhouse
N. 11th St, between Alder and Union, Tacoma, WA

See you on Saturday!

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Empire Builder

"Empire Builder" artist book by Chandler O'Leary and Carol Inderieden

It’s been more than four years since my last artist book (which, incidentally, I’m still working on)—I guess it’s been that long since I had something to say that warranted a multi-page art format. I suppose when it rains, it pours, though—because with this new project, there’s so much to say that an artist book can’t quite contain it all. This project has got words and images spilling out of me every which way. So fair warning: this is going to be a long post. There’s a lot to show you, and a lot to explain; there’s really no way to tell you this story without telling you all of it.

Before I get too far into it, though, I’ll give you the short version. Pictured above is my new artist book, entitled Empire Builder. It’s a collaboration with my friend Carol Inderieden, who is also a writer and illustrator. The book is about oil—that controversial new hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) process, to be precise.

(If you want to stop reading now, I’ll understand. But if you’re stouthearted enough for a lot of backstory, let’s dive in.)

Bakken oil fields sketch by Chandler O'Leary

For me, it all started with this sketch.

The Tailor and I were in the middle of a cross-country road trip in 2011. One of our planned stops was Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota. That part of the state was an old haunt of mine (I lived in North Dakota for several years), and I was excited to show my spouse a place I knew so well—or at least, I once knew. When we got there, I was utterly unprepared for how quickly and drastically the place had changed. I knew the oil boom had begun there, but I had no idea I’d find the landscape almost unrecognizable.

The once desolate highway was nearly at a standstill with traffic. Every hillside was occupied with RV camps and oil platforms, all built around the process of extracting crude from the Bakken Shale below ground. It was the end of the work day, so there were people everywhere—and we felt conspicuous with our out-of-state plates and tree-hugger-model car. Needless to say, I didn’t feel comfortable taking photos with my giant (and not at all discreet) camera. So instead I pulled out my sketchbook and jotted down the scene, right there in the moving vehicle, while the Tailor drove. It’s the only image I captured of the oil fields, but I still look at this and remember every detail of that afternoon.

Wisconsin Driftless Region photo by Carol Inderieden

A little later I was relating the story to Carol, and she knew all too well what that day felt like for me. Carol lives in western Wisconsin, in an area called the Driftless Region—so named because unlike the lands surrounding it, the area was never glaciated during the last ice age. So Carol’s neck of the woods has a dramatic beauty to it, with deep valleys, swift rivers and sheer cliffs—a landscape very different from the rest of the state (this is her photo, by the way). The Driftless Region is also unique in that the bedrock there is rich in silica—something that has suddenly become extremely valuable to the new oil industry. Carol explained to me that in the past few years, oil companies have been buying up farmland in her area for strip mining, and excavating huge quantities of silica-rich sand for use in the frac drilling process in the Bakken oil fields. What I glimpsed in one afternoon in North Dakota, my friend has watched unfold on a daily basis, right in her back yard.

Watford City, ND plat map from 1930

Her story, and what I saw in North Dakota, reminded me of what I’d read about the pioneer days—of dramatic land grabs, of politicians carving up maps of regions they’d never see in person, of arbitrary grids imposed on wild landscapes.

Anyway, fast forward a few months more, and I start seeing local newspaper stories about Bakken crude oil trains arriving in Seattle and Tacoma in huge numbers, and how devastating a derailment, spill or explosion here could be. All of a sudden, the fracking industry was in my back yard as well—not just some faraway place I happened to have personal memories about.

So I did what I always do: I started thinking about how I might turn my thoughts into an art piece. I called Carol and asked her if she might want to collaborate on a project about all of this. It wasn’t long before we decided on an artist book—which would end up taking us on a two-year odyssey before it was finished.

Empire Builder vintage train brochure

We wanted to link these three regions (the Driftless Area, the Bakken Shale, and the Pacific Northwest) together somehow for our book, and we had a perfect, ready-made means by which to do so: the railroad. Not only was there a train that stopped in all three places (and both Carol and I have traveled on that train), but we soon learned that the entire supply chain for the frac industry followed the path of the Empire Builder railroad line, from Chicago to Seattle. We couldn’t believe how perfect it was.

Process sketch for "Empire Builder" artist book by Chandler O'Leary and Carol Inderieden

The railroad ended up becoming the backbone of every part of our book: concept, historical framework, even physical structure.

Process sketch for "Empire Builder" artist book by Chandler O'Leary and Carol Inderieden

Whenever we weren’t sure what to do, the railroad brought us back to center, and kept our sequence in order.

Illustration from "Empire Builder" artist book by Chandler O'Leary and Carol Inderieden

What proved to be more difficult was just which story to tell within the pages. As you can see by this already out-of-hand blog post, we had a lot to say, and we couldn’t possibly say everything. We didn’t just want the book to be a 20-page rant on our feelings about the environment, nor a didactic explanation of how the frac process works. We wanted to show, rather than tell. We wanted to make our readers fall in love with these landscapes as we have. We wanted to provide evidence of the consequences of the oil boom. And we wanted to create a tangible link to history, because all of this has happened before. But our text and images were coming up short; we needed something extra to tie everything together.

Carol came to the rescue, by finding a short quote that embodied the mood we wanted to get across. It added an air of foreboding to the piece, and it worked perfectly with all the allegorical images we were throwing around. And here’s the wacky thing: the quote is from the New York Times. In 1861. And it fits so well with what’s happening now that it easily could have been written yesterday. Here’s the quote:

We have all our little troubles in this life, and for those who are not too proud, to use a popular phrase, it may be added that we have all our elephants to see. It is narrated of a certain farmer that his life’s desire was to behold this largest of quadrupeds, until the yearning became well nigh a mania. He finally met one of the largest size traveling in the van of a menagerie. His horse was frightened, his wagon smashed, his eggs and poultry ruined. But he rose from the wreck radiant and in triumph. “A fig for the damage,” quoth he, “for I have seen the elephant!”

Illustration from "Empire Builder" artist book by Chandler O'Leary and Carol Inderieden

In the end, we ran the quote in pieces throughout the length of the book—and paired it with illustrations chock full of historical allegory (as well as allusions to old train advertisements, wartime propaganda, and current events). Explaining it all would make this even longer a post than the novel it already is, so I’ll just present our essay at the end of the book to give you the full context behind the quote.

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The preceding quote, from an 1861 New York Times editorial, highlights a phrase popular in America during the latter half of the nineteenth century. “Seeing the Elephant” was a figure of speech that came to embody the pioneer experience during the era of westward expansion. To see the elephant was to embark on a quest for riches and prosperity. It alluded to the danger and excitement associated with seeking one’s fortune in an unknown land. The elephant is an illusion, an impossible promise like a desert mirage that disappears as one moves closer. “Seeing the Elephant” later became synonymous with the bitterness and disappointment settlers experienced as they watched their dreams turn to ashes. During this time, the idea of Manifest Destiny — the 19th century notion that Americans possessed the divine right to claim all of North America, by virtue of their moral superiority — was also born and sometimes depicted as the mythical goddess Columbia, leading brave settlers westward.

“Seeing the Elephant” gradually fell out of the vernacular, yet the sentiment endured as the double-edged sword of the American Dream. Evidence of this can still be found in every corner of the West. Prairie homesteaders planted tree claims as a winning bet against Uncle Sam and lost. Tenement families in the East sold everything to migrate westward and buy into the myth of dry-land farming. Wildcat prospectors gambled their lives for oil, silver and gold. Families in the roaring twenties bought on credit, stacking the deck with status symbols before losing it all in the Great Depression. Suburban subdivisions, once symbols of postwar prosperity, have now become outposts of the working poor. The cycle of boom and bust has been resurrected so many times that the Elephant has grown in size from a distant vision to an omnipresent burden, stretching from sea to shining sea.

If the American map were the Elephant writ large, it is the railroad that breathes life into the creature. Throughout the last century of rail development, the anatomical structure of a complex organism has evolved. Today spurs and trunk lines follow a vascular system that carries a lifeblood of raw materials across the nation in a never-ending stream of freight. While the Elephant’s lungs fill with natural gas, its veins run gold with domestic oil and its heart beats ever faster in the Bakken Formation of western North Dakota.

Even in today’s age of dwindling resources and dire environmental warnings,  Americans still see the land as a bottomless well to be tapped. In the Bakken, a new frontier  has opened and is flooded once again with a new generation of fortune-seekers. “Man camps” dot once-empty hillsides and roughnecks push the region’s infrastructure to the breaking point. Remote rural highways and railroad lines are now choked with traffic. Flames from gas flares and oil slicks bathe the grassland in an eerie, unnatural glow. Yet while the land flows with modern milk and honey, only a few actually taste its richness. Companies grow fat while laborers vie for just a few drops. Communities swell to accommodate the boom, yet risk collapsing as soon as the inevitable bust occurs. All the while, the Elephant still waits beyond the next horizon and Columbia still beckons, just out of reach.

The backbone of the modern Elephant is the railroad line from Chicago to Seattle — incidentally, the same line that carries the Empire Builder passenger train. This train is aptly named for the exploits of James J. Hill, the railroad lumber baron who grew rich transporting timber and other raw materials from the Pacific Northwest to the cities and industries of the Midwest. Today one can ride the Empire Builder from one end of Hill’s domain to the other, and witness every element of the fracking process along the way. In the early 20th century, the Empire Builder encouraged travelers to “See America First” and marvel at the wonders of the natural world speeding past their windows. Today’s rail passengers watch the new Industrial Revolution rolling by.

This book is an attempt to articulate our dismay at the rapid transformation of a West we know and remember. We live and work at opposite ends of the Empire Builder railroad line: Carol in the Driftless Region of Wisconsin, where the bluffs and hillsides are being strip mined for frac sand; and Chandler in the Puget Sound area of western Washington, where Bakken oil is refined and shipped to other ports by tanker vessel. We both have personal ties to the northern Plains, though recent events render the region unrecognizable when compared to our memories. Still, the railroad connects us to each other and the landscapes we love. For the pioneers of the new era, the rhythm of the railroad is the marching song of progress — but for us, it is a lament.

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Process sketch for "Empire Builder" artist book by Chandler O'Leary and Carol Inderieden

One of the best things about working with Carol on this project is that we both draw—and our aesthetics are not dissimilar. So we could match each other’s style to keep the book consistent throughout—without it being obvious who did which illustration. But that wasn’t the problem.

Process sketch for "Empire Builder" artist book by Chandler O'Leary and Carol Inderieden

The problem was that we were originally thinking this book would be letterpress-printed. That would have meant our final illustrations would have to be extremely flat and graphic in style, to accommodate the limitations of hand-printing. This is a mockup I did at an early stage of our “Manifest Destiny” image. I hated it, and I didn’t know why at first. But then Carol and I figured out that what we really responded to was the loose, quick style of the sketch I did in North Dakota four years ago—which mirrored all our process pencil sketches for the book. The letterpress mockup I did above felt too slick, too…”set in stone.” It felt like the wrong medium to convey a phenomenon that is happening so rapidly that even the news media can’t keep up with it.

Illustration from "Empire Builder" artist book by Chandler O'Leary and Carol Inderieden

Sketching felt like the right medium—so we changed tack, and made our book a sort of Sketch Storybook instead. We let go of letterpress printing, and decided to digitally print the book—which freed us from all limitations when it came to the imagery.

Process sketch for "Empire Builder" artist book by Chandler O'Leary and Carol Inderieden

This way, we could preserve the immediacy of our sketch drawings—

Illustration from "Empire Builder" artist book by Chandler O'Leary and Carol Inderieden

and we could paint in watercolor right on top of our sketches, and reproduce each image in full color (another thing letterpress printing doesn’t allow).

"Empire Builder" artist book by Chandler O'Leary and Carol Inderieden

The finished product is an accordion-bound book that reads like a map—tracing both the route of the Empire Builder train and the path of industry and destruction, in one long, unbroken line. When fully open, the book is fifteen feet long.

"Empire Builder" artist book by Chandler O'Leary and Carol Inderieden

We printed a limited edition of just 50 books; each one is digitally printed on archival, 100% cotton paper, and hand-bound in hardcover with a paper slip case. Price is $600, plus shipping; we’re taking pre-orders on a first-come, first-served basis, and we’ll begin shipping finished books in April.

If you’d like to reserve a copy, drop me a line at chandler [at] anagram-press [dot] com .

"Empire Builder" artist book by Chandler O'Leary and Carol Inderieden

And if you’d like to see the book in person, it’s already making its way around the country to various shows, including a groundbreaking national exhibition on the Bakken oil boom at the Plains Art Museum in North Dakota. Here’s the scoop so far:

Bakken Boom: Artists Respond to the North Dakota Oil Rush
Group Exhibition
On display through August 15, 2015
Plains Art Museum, Fargo, ND

CODEX Finds
Group Exhibition
March 24 – April 25, 2015
23Sandy Gallery, Portland, OR

Carpe Librum
Group Exhibition
April 3-26, 2015
Bainbridge Arts & Crafts Gallery, Bainbridge Island, WA

2015 New York Antiquarian Book Fair
Empire Builder represented by the Kelmscott Bookshop
April 9-12, 2015
Park Avenue Armory, New York, NY

5th Annual Puget Sound Book Artists Member Exhibition
Group Exhibition
June 4 through July 31, 2015
Opening reception: Thursday, June 4, 2015, 5:30 to 7:30 pm
Collins Memorial Library, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA

 

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Remember the Alamo

Alamo photo by Chandler O'Leary, historic photo of Adina De Zavala, and detail of "On a Mission" letterpress "Dead Feminist" broadside by Chandler O'Leary and Jessica Spring

One of the highlights of my recent trip was finally getting to see an illustration subject in person. Back when Jessica and I created our On a Mission Dead Feminist broadside a few years ago, we did a ton of research about San Antonio and the Alamo—but neither of us had ever actually been there in person. So you can imagine how much I geeked out when I visited the place—especially when I saw a plaque explaining how our girl Adina De Zavala is responsible for saving and preserving the place.

Here’s hoping there are many more Dead Feminist field trips in the future!

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The road goes ever on and on

Mission San Juan Capistrano photo by Chandler O'Leary

I just got back from over a month of traveling—first by way of a road trip to the bottom of California and back, and immediately afterward, a one-way Florida-to-Washington drive with a friend. In 33 days I logged well over 8,000 miles, and crossed several vastly different regions of the country. So even with the help of my trusty sketchbooks, my memories of the trip aren’t terribly linear. They’re more of a jumble of images flashing through my mind—so in that spirit, here is a similar jumble of images.

Grave Creek Bridge photo by Chandler O'Leary Bixby Creek Bridge photo by Chandler O'Leary Elephant seal pups photo by Chandler O'Leary Weeki Watchee mermaid photo by Chandler O'Leary Ybor City tile photo by Chandler O'Leary Solvang windmill photo by Chandler O'LearyPalm Springs photo by Chandler O'Leary Mt. Shasta photo and sketch by Chandler O'Leary Mt. Rainier aerial photo by Chandler O'Leary St. Roch's Cemetery photo by Chandler O'Leary Mission San Francisco Solano photo by Chandler O'Leary Shields Date Garden photo by Chandler O'Leary Mobile, Alabama photo by Chandler O'Leary Beltane Ranch photo by Chandler O'Leary Pt. Bolivar lighthouse photo by Chandler O'Leary Tucson photo by Chandler O'Leary Saguaro National Park photo by Chandler O'Leary Saguaro National Park sketch by Chandler O'Leary Sausalito house boats photo by Chandler O'Leary San Antonio Riverwalk photo by Chandler O'Leary Alamo photo by Chandler O'Leary Texas flag photo by Chandler O'Leary Marfa photo and sketch by Chandler O'Leary Laguna Beach photo by Chandler O'Leary New Orleans photo by Chandler O'Leary

Now that I’m back in the studio, I’m trying hard to get my momentum back on my ongoing projects—and to suppress (for a little while, at least) the ideas that are coming as thick and fast as the images in my memory. We’ll see how long I last before some new project (or twelve) comes out of this trip…

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Common Threads

"Common Threads" Dead Feminist broadside by Chandler O'Leary and Jessica Spring

For our last broadside, we focused on a woman from the Islamic world; now we’re back with an homage to Judaica. The juxtaposition of the two pieces was no accident on our part. Yet the timing of world events was something we could never have planned. We originally meant to tie our new piece in with the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz—last month, the anti-Semitic terrorist attacks in Paris gave us a terrible new perspective for our piece.

What really bowled us over is that the young woman we chose to highlight for the new piece underscores the relationship between the two events, the two time periods in history. You see, our gal is a historical figure, yet the world has only just discovered her. So here we present to you the words of a young writer, whose diary, along with her faith, carried her through one of the darkest times in human history:

Although life is difficult, it is also beautiful.  — Rywka Lipszyc (pronounced “Rivka Lipschitz”)

Detail of "Common Threads" Dead Feminist broadside by Chandler O'Leary and Jessica Spring

Rywka’s story is astonishing, if only for the fact that it can be told at all. Rywka was a teenager living in one of the worst Jewish ghettos of Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II. By the time she started her diary at age fourteen, she had already lost all but one of her family members. While working as a factory seamstress and caring for her younger sister, she poured her heart and faith into the pages of her notebook. At times the diary is a harrowing account of wartime hardship; at others, it reads like the missives of any normal, modern teenage girl. The pages are dense but not numerous: just a few months after it begins, the diary ends abruptly—and with it most of our knowledge of Rywka’s life. We know she was deported to Auschwitz a few months later; and that her sister was murdered upon arrival at the camp. We know she was liberated from Auschwitz by allied troops 70 years ago—but then her trail goes cold, like that of so many other victims of the Holocaust. Historians are sure she did not survive for long after the liberation, but that’s all they’re sure of: no further details of Rywka’s fate have been uncovered. No photo of her exists, nor any other trace of her life beyond the diary, a few registration records, and the memories of a trio of surviving cousins living in Israel.

What is truly remarkable is that the diary survived the war, the camps and the intervening decades. A Russian army doctor allegedly found the diary in the ashes of the Auschwitz crematorium. The doctor made a few notes in the margins, and then put it away in her closet at home—for the rest of her life. Upon her death, her son found the diary, and then he stashed it away for several more decades. When he died, his daughter—the granddaughter of the army doctor—traveled back to Russia from the U.S., and found the diary among his effects. This time, however, she knew just what to do with it. She took it back with her to the States, and turned it over to the JFCS Holocaust Center in San Francisco. They then authenticated and translated the diary—and published it in book form less than a year ago.

Detail of "Common Threads" Dead Feminist broadside by Chandler O'Leary and Jessica Spring

Jessica and I were able to get a hold of the new publication at the Pacific Lutheran University library (many thanks to Holly Senn for tracking the book down for us!). In reading the text, we were struck by Rywka’s use of metaphor—particularly her mentions of flowers growing among thorns. So we took Rywka’s imagery and wove the broadside’s design and theme around it.

Common Threads is a winter garden of pale pastels and subtle metallic golds. The delicate colors and shining metallic ink (which includes real gold in the formula) represent the fragility and preciousness of life among the thorns of war and persecution. The floral motif echoes themes from Rywka’s diary, and stands for the resilience of the Jewish people—whose culture has flourished beautifully despite some of the worst trials endured by humankind.

The overall design of the broadside is based on Rywka’s dual cultural heritage. The border is reminiscent of Jewish embroidered challah covers and sabbath cloths, while the style of floral illustration is derived from Polish folk florals. The stitched lines are a nod to Rywka’s trade as seamstress, which she viewed optimistically as a way to move forward and make a living in a future beyond wartime.

Detail of "Common Threads" Dead Feminist broadside by Chandler O'Leary and Jessica Spring

To help fight anti-Semitism worldwide and defend civil rights for all, we are donating a portion of our proceeds to the Anti-Defamation League — one of the nation’s top human and civil rights organizations for over 100 years.

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Common Threads: No. 21 in the Dead Feminists series
Edition size: 145 prints
Poster size: 10 x 18 inches

Printed on an antique Vandercook Universal One press, on archival, 100% rag (cotton) paper. Each piece is numbered and signed by both artists.

Colophon reads:
Rywka Lipszyc (1929 – 1945?) kept a diary from October 1943 to April 1944, while living in Poland’s Łódź ghetto. Discovered by a Russian doctor in the crematoria remains at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the diary was published in 2014, sharing Rywka’s amazing story with the world. Her parents and three siblings perished in Nazi ghettos and killing centers. Despite horrible living conditions Rywka survived, working in the ghetto’s clothing and linen workshop, learning to sew, organizing a library, and attending classes. Her diary ends abruptly, but records reveal she was deported to Auschwitz, then liberated to a field hospital after the war’s end. No further trace of her has been found, but Rywka’s words survive, a reminder of her incredible faith despite all odds — and her dream of becoming a writer fulfilled.

Illustrated by Chandler O’Leary and printed by Jessica Spring, honoring words and images of every faith as an invaluable thread that binds us together.

Now available in our new web shop!

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DeadFeminists.com homepage

Speaking of which, we finally have a website dedicated to the Dead Feminists series. It has been years in the making, and while we haven’t quite worked out all the kinks yet (bear with us on that), we’re thrilled to be up and running at last. Many thanks to our amazing web designers, Elizabeth Anderson and Paul Ferguson, for making it all happen!

On the new site you’ll find the stories behind each broadside in the series, glimpses into our process, information about our live events, and of course the new web shop (which contains all our broadsides and postcards). So head on over and take a gander!

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Ram-alamadingdong

Year of the Ram linocut by Chandler O'Leary

Today is the beginning of the lunar new year, and you’ll have to forgive me, because I’m about to get cryptic. (Some day, I hope, I’ll explain.) For everyone out there who doesn’t happen to live in Tacoma: happy Year of the Sheep! You can stop reading now.

And for those Tacomans in the know: remember this image, and happy hunting!

 

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Just a taste

Sneak peek of Dead Feminist broadside by Chandler O'Leary and Jessica Spring

Today is the last day of CODEX, and since people there have been able to see this thing already, Jessica and I thought we should give you a glimpse as well. Look for the new Dead Feminist broadside to appear online at the end of next week!

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Codex-bound

Craneway Pavilion photo by Chandler O'Leary

Well, I’m hitting the road again—I can’t believe it’s been two years already, but the CODEX Bookfair has come around again. Jessica and I will both be exhibiting, and we’ll have lots of new projects making their debut there (including the new Dead Feminist broadside!)

The best thing about CODEX is being able to stand in a room with hundreds of pieces of art—art that you can touch, while you have a conversation with the artist who made it. The event showcases the work of some of the best book artists, printmakers, paper artists and typographers working today—the result is an astounding display of artwork and ephemera from all over the world. So if you’re even remotely local, it’s well worth the trip.

You’ll find me at the Anagram Press table (#84)—so stop by and say hello!

Fifth CODEX International Bookfair
February 8-11, 2015
Craneway Pavilion, Richmond, CA
Open today and Tuesday 12:30 to 6; Wednesday 10 to 3
Admission: $10 per day ($5 students) or $30 for multi-day pass

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Through the front door

Photo by Chandler O'Leary

Settling back into things after returning from a holiday trip, and thinking of everything I’d like 2015 to hold. Seems appropriate that today is Epiphany. (Bonus for the day: it’s so balmy I can have my tea on the porch.) Welcome, new year. Welcome, welcome.