You won't find these titles on the shelves at your big box bookstore. And don't bother trying to download them, either.
No, these handmade, one-of-a-kind "artist books" truly belong in a gallery – which is why a visit to Bend's A6 Studio & Gallery remains your only chance to see, touch and potentially purchase them. (All works are for sale.)
It's all happening at the International Artist Books Exhibition underway at A6 from March 3 through April 2. This exhibit, thematically entitled "Relics & Ruins," also acts as a competition of sorts. The author-artists submit their works, and then this year's "juror," Salem-based Ann Kresge, pores over them – determining which of the entrants are suitable for the show.
"It's an evocative theme," Kresge says. "I want to be clear of the artist's relationship to the theme, whatever direction they took it in."
A6 Executive Director Dawn Boone loves how the books display a different form. "Some of these books stretch out like accordions and can be viewed in the round," she says. "Others unfold outward, so we are no longer 'reading' it left to right."
As for her take on the theme, Boone says she started to notice how artists were "documenting gorgeous decaying spaces in Detroit and the Rust Belt as well as abroad. Some see this decay as a beautiful, natural process. Others are saddened by the neglect of these once grand spaces."
The exhibition's Best in Show winner receives a four-week artist residency retreat near Oregon's Summer Lake.
Relics & Ruins: 3rd Biennial International Artist Books Exhibit
March 3 – April 2
A6 Studio and Gallery
550 SW Industrial Way #180, Bend