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Sept. 20 Event Brings Welsh Book Artist to Bailey/Howe

Book art image
Shirley Jones’s 'Scop Hwīlum Sang' (1983).

Welsh printer and book artist Shirley Jones returns to the University of Vermont to celebrate 30 years of creating works under the imprint of the Red Hen Press, on Friday, Sept 20 at 5:30 p.m. in the Special Collections Reading Room at Bailey/Howe Library. Jones will talk about her books, which are characterized by an artful marriage of text and images.

During the month of September, a selection of Jones’ books will be displayed in the Bailey/Howe Library Lobby. All of the books are from the Special Collections Department, which holds one of the major American collections of Jones’ work. In addition, one work, Etched Out (2002), will be shown in its entirety in Special Collections, on the ground floor.

The exhibit accompanies the recent publication of Shirley Jones and the Red Hen Press, a bibliography with commentary by the artist. The publication of the book was supported by Vassar College, the University of Vermont, Smith College and Swarthmore College. Each of these institutions is also hosting an exhibition featuring Shirley Jones’ art and storytelling.

The bibliography includes a preface by Connell Gallagher, professor emeritus and former director of the University of Vermont’s Special Collections, who remembers that “receiving messages from Shirley each year about ‘the new book’ was a highlight for me in my role as curator building our artist’s book collections. I remember opening each book when it arrived, turning the pages and being carried away by the beautiful images.”

 Jones is distinguished among book artists for her mastery of techniques such as etching, aquatint, and mezzotint, in addition to her careful selection of color. Her works feature her own original writings, as well as interpretations of Welsh and Old English folktales and poems, such as elections from Beowulf, the tales of King Arthur and Merlin and other legends. The theme of place, particularly the landscape of Wales, appears throughout her work and is often the dominant visual motif.

The presentation is free and open to the public.

Information: uvmsc@uvm.edu, (802) 656-2138.