Literary arts: Discarded books become art in the classroom of UW’s summer youth programs

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Arts and shows | Education | Learning | UW and the community

July 24, 2013

Evelyn Thompson, 12, a student in UW’s Summer Youth Programs Book Arts class, shows off her creation, made of wire, papier-mâché, and a worn book. The fringed oval shapes were inspired by whales, she said.Marie Levin

Can a book be a sculpture? Of course – to UW Youth Summer Programsit’s all part of the creative process.

Each summer, UW Professional and Continuing Education offers creative approaches to art and science for elementary through high school students. Courses range from computer game programming, animation, and robots to screenwriting, architecture, and even the study of ancient civilizations and earthquake science.

But in a Loew Hall classroom on Friday, July 19, the focus was on book arts in a two-week course called Bookmaking Intensive: Designing, Binding and Deconstructing ended with a round of games and fun.

The course, taught by Alisha Dall’Osto, introduced young learners to several types of book design and binding and culminated in the transformation of old tomes into art using papier-mâché and imagination.

Molly Knopf, 11, left, created "To bloom," inspired by her love of flowers.  On the right, 11-year-old Emma Wendel shows off her octopus-inspired artwork.

Molly Knopf, 11, left, created ‘Blossom’, inspired by her love of flowers. On the right, 11-year-old Emma Wendel shows off her octopus-inspired artwork.Marie Levin

The results of their exploration of literary art lined a table along one wall. There, under a hand-printed sign that read “Welcome to the UW Book Arts Gallery,” were transformed books: one appeared to have sprouted arms and another bore flowers on long stems ready to wave. The pages of other books had been cut and carefully fanned out. One bore a meticulously carved scene of a hard-working miner with a pickaxe.

Dall’Ostoan artist herself, said it was a pleasure to work with the students for so much uninterrupted time – three hours – each day, compared to the single hour that a school year art class usually allows.

“I think we’ve done a really advanced level job,” she said. “They really rose to the occasion.”

Classes for UW’s summer youth programs continue through mid-August.

Tag(s): ArtsUW • UW Professional and Continuing Education • UW Summer Programs


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