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University Libraries at USD Presents Bound and Unbound IV Altered Book Exhibition

Altered books photo The University Libraries at the University of South Dakota is exhibiting its biennial international altered book exhibition ‘Bound and Unbound IV.'

VERMILLION, S.D. –  The University Libraries at the University of South Dakota is exhibiting its biennial international altered book exhibition ‘Bound and Unbound IV,’ juried by Eli Show, an artist, musician, and performer from the Midwest, living and working in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, now through January 3, 2018. Show holds a B.F.A. from the University of South Dakota and an M.F.A. from Syracuse University, New York.

Show selected 39 works from 26 artists representing Australia, Denmark, Romania, the United Kingdom, and the United States. “In the works that were selected for this show, I am curating what I believe to be a transformation from object to icon,” said Show. “These works are ruminations and ideations of what the book as an object has a chance to become once divorced from its original intent.”

“We are asked as viewers to contemplate these works in consideration of the objects they were born of. The title of this show is ‘Bound and Unbound,’ a reference to how books are assembled and made. It is a reference to the object itself without considering the information within its pages. It is looking at the object of a book as its physical form: pages, registers, binding and cover,” said Show.

Altered books are a mixed media artwork that changes a book from its original form or meaning by various processes like cutting, painting, tearing and collage. Sponsored by the University Libraries Art and Exhibits committee, the committee seeks to both showcase a diverse range of current international altered book art and to present the work locally.

Dean of Libraries Dan Daily said: “‘Bound and Unbound IV’ promises continuity, unity, and diversity as an exhibit of altered books. Continuity. ‘Bound and Unbound IV’ builds upon the tradition of curating a thought provoking and visually interesting exhibit of altered books at the University of South Dakota. Unity. Artist and curator Eli Show has selected, from a seemingly disparate submission of works, a body of work that conveys the idea of potential and possibility. Diversity. ‘Bound and Unbound IV’ includes works from artists who are shaped by diverse places, experiences, and identities.”

Committee member Sarah A. Hanson-Pareek, Curator of Photographs and Digital Projects, at the University Libraries said, “Every exhibition has its own unique sense of time and place. Every two years we wait with anticipation to see what artists are up to, where the medium is going, how many artists we have return for exhibition, and how many new faces we see. As always, we have a very wonderful grouping of artists from very diverse backgrounds. And, beyond this exhibition, we digitize each work and place it into our digital library. USD is amassing a nice online collection of altered books for teachers, researchers, scholars, and artists to study.”

Show explained, “These works are examples of when a book goes beyond its contents and becomes more than a possession. Your favorite book is something beyond a written tome of increasingly important thoughts. It is something that you use to construct yourself: to become wiser, excited, smarter, faster, better informed, inspired and more empathetic. I see these themes in the works themselves.”

Artists included in the exhibition are: Aravind Enrique Adyanthaya (Puerto Rico), Gaby Berglund Cardenas (Texas), Janet Braun-Reinitz (New York), Kathy Bruce (New York), Patty Bruce (Texas), Yael David-Cohen (United Kingdom), Carol Freid (Kentucky), Skye Gilkerson (New York), Annique Goldenberg (Australia), James Halvorson (Oregon), Amy Kincaid (North Carolina), Carole P. Kunstadt (New York), Janet Lauroesch (Iowa), Hanne Matthiesen (Denmark), Leo Morrissey (New Jersey), Ari Richter (New York), Lynn Skordal (Washington), Leslie Smith (North Carolina), Gail Smuda (New Hampshire), Erika Stearly (Pennsylvania), Rhonda M. Thomas Urdang (Arizona), Manuela Toderas (Romania), Carmen Tostado (California), Naomi S. Velasquez (Idaho), Matthew Warner-Davies (California), and Nanette Wylde (California).

To read more about each artist and to view a video of the juror discussing the works, please see the “Bound and Unbound IV” LibGuide.
'Bound and Unbound IV' is available for viewing online in the Digital Library of South Dakota. The exhibition is located in the exhibition cases on the second floor of the library and open to the public during library operating hours.


USD's College of Fine Arts encourages students to pursue their chosen professional field in art, music or theater through their study with nationally recognized faculty who are working professionals. Students learn and grow to be professional fine artists with great job potential anywhere in the country. The college offers opportunities for additional real-world experiences through work with guest artists, study tours abroad and opportunities at the National Music Museum and the University Art Galleries on the Vermillion campus and the Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park. The college brings more than 80 guests artists to campus annually to work with students.


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 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson 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 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News