University Libraries at USD Presents Altered Book Exhibition 'Bound and Unbound III'

Image Grand Rapids 1937 Lynn Skordal's "Grand Rapids 1937"

An altered book exhibit on display in the University Libraries at the University of South Dakota features 46 pieces by 37 artists from Canada, Spain, Romania and the U.S. Altered books are mixed media artwork that changes a book from its original form or meaning by various processes like cutting, painting, tearing and collage.

The biennial international exhibition, “Bound and Unbound III,” juried by Sandy Brooke, associate professor of art at the College of Liberal Arts at Oregon State University-Cascades in Bend, Oregon, will be on display through Jan. 4.

“I selected books I believed would challenge the viewer and make them interact with the work," Brooke said. “Some artists recycled library books, grinding them into paper pulp and remolding them. One series crystalized the book in Borax crystals creating a jeweled, reflective surface as if it were something you might find deep in a cave."

Committee member Sarah A. Hanson, digitization and photographs associate at USD University Libraries, said the exhibition showcases artists who have exhibited internationally, nationally and regionally. Some of the artists have works in permanent collections at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Guggenheim, Smithsonian, Center for the Book, National Museum for Women in the Arts and AT&T.

“We are pleased to have such a strong exhibition, representing very competent book artists,” Hanson said.

For artist Ellen Cantor, the experience of childhood reading is very important to her work, while Alexis Arnold chooses to “focus on time, transformation, and perception.”

Edwin Jager explains in his artist statement, “I twist, fold, distort and clamp old textbooks, dictionaries and manuals into objects that retain all of their original parts but cannot be opened. This process transforms these disregarded objects into something that is, once again, worthy of contemplation. All of the content is there but in this form, is it still a book?”

Artists included in the exhibition: Rhonda M. Thomas-Urdang (Arizona); Alexis Arnold, Elizabeth Ashcroft, Ellen Cantor, Adele Crawford, Lauren Kohne, Gina Pisello, Carmen Tostado (California); Guylaine Couture (Canada); Gail M. Nelson (Colorado); Peggy Johnston, Shannon Sargent (Iowa); Erik Demaine, Martin Demaine, Ania Gilmore, Annie Zeybekoglu (Massachusetts); Maria Lupo, Irmari Nacht, Kara Petraglia (New Jersey); Carole P. Kunstadt, Claudia Sbrissa (New York); James Halvorson (Oregon); Janette Chien, Erin Malkowski (Pennsylvania); Manuela Toderas (Romania); Ana Tomas Miralles (Spain); Emily Fleisher, Anna Mavromatis, Michele Mayfield (Texas); Nancy Steele-Makasci (Utah); Shayla Dhingra, Patricia Drummond, Ashley Roth (Virginia); Lynn Skordal (Washington); Edwin Jager, Vicki Milewski, Julie VonDerVellen (Wisconsin).

To read more about each artist and to view a video of the juror discussing the works, see the “Bound and Unbound III” LibGuide.

“Bound and Unbound III” is available for viewing online in the Digital Library of South Dakota.

The exhibition is located in the cases on the second floor of the I.D. Weeks Library at USD and open to the public during library operating hours.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 205 undergraduate and 73 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Michael Ewald
USD News