Are you a CBAA member and interested in being considered for our featured artist section? Email a link to your website or 3 images of your work to artistofthemonth@collegebookart.org. We will contact you with more information. 

Rhiannon Alpers

BIOGRAPHY

RhiannonAlpers.com

Rhiannon Alpers is a papermaker, letterpress printer, and book artist.  She holds an MFA in Book and Paper Arts from Columbia College Chicago and a BA in Book Arts from UC Santa Barbara, College of Creative Studies.

Currently, she is teaching book arts and letterpress at San Francisco Art Institute, and papermaking at the California College of the Arts. She has taught workshops for San Francisco Center for the Book, Book Arts LA, San Diego Book Arts, Penland School of Crafts, Kala Printmaking Institute, Center for Book and Paper in Chicago, and at her own studio in San Francisco.

Rhiannon has exhibited nationally, and her one of a kind and editioned artist books are produced under the imprint Gazelle and Goat Press. In 2015 she received the Minnesota Center for Book Arts Jurors' Recognition of Merit for her edition, Remnants, which was exhibited at the CODEX International Book Fair and other galleries nationwide.


STATEMENT

My artwork is heavily tied to natural themes, and the untenanted remnants of plant and animal life. Many of the recent series of works are entrenched in the history and visual sensibility of cabinets of curiosities. For this reason, I have worked in one of a kind and varied editions, depending on the origin of the natural specimens. I am truly inspired and captivated by the engineering and complexity within these natural artifacts and the narratives they have to tell. Alongside my interest in plant origins and assemblage as a story telling device, is a desire to bring to light under-represented women naturalists throughout history.

There is a wondrous and magical quality to box structures that unveil, unwind and spring forth the books within them. I have a (not so secret) passion for the intertwining of box structures and magnets, and I find great joy in the challenge of building custom enclosures with hidden structures for each series of book pieces.


ARTIST'S WORK

A Thousand Starlings, 2017

A complete departure from her previous work, A Thousand Starlings explores an imagined journey, being carried through the comfort of one’s dreams. The journey is guided by a murmuration of a thousand starlings, undulating and wisping through the evening sky, their soft voices calming and cooing as they head into the unknown.

Much of the symbolism in the narrative stems from the author’s rekindled interest in the long tradition of fables, passed on in her new nightly rituals of telling stories to small ears and eager eyes in the low light of the evening. It is in these final hours that our day fades away and our imagination is carried off to many wondrous places.

Remnants, 2015

The artist book and specimen enclosure of Remnants brings the world of four women naturalists to life and reframes their stories in a more personal context. The four women explored and honored in this artist book are Maria Sibylla Merian, Mary Anning, Clara E. Cummings and Marianne North. The found and collected natural specimens included and documented in the box’s inset piece open the door into the world these women wandered and wondered in. Remnants offers a tangible and personal connection to the discoveries and observations these women made, scientifically and in taking strides for all women interested in the field of science.

Specimen Series (20 varied edition books)

Much of my artistic process involves creating an environment for found and constructed curiosities, as a means of comprehending them and finding connections between them. The structural and aesthetic construction of chrysalises, wasp and bird nests are a primary source of inspiration and inclusion in the Specimen Series and Metamorphosis Series Books. They seek to illuminate the beauty of remnants in the natural process of creation, transformation, and decay through the lens of scientific and naturalist documentation. Intricate boxmaking is one aspect of the aesthetic to “house” and protect these created environments.  The finished artist books often incorporate components of handmade paper from exotic fibers such as raw coconut, milkweed, artichoke, and bird of paradise, as well as other natural materials such as cork, mica, sinew, and suede.

SaveSave
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software