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University Libraries Call for Entries for Altered Book Exhibition

Black and white headshot of Melissa Stern Melissa Stern will be the juror for USD University Libraries "Bound and Unbound VI: Altered Book Exhibition" scheduled for display Aug. 23, 2021 - Jan. 3, 2022.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota University Libraries is seeking entries for their sixth international biennial altered book exhibition, “Bound and Unbound VI: Altered Book Exhibition,” scheduled for display Aug. 23, 2021 – Jan. 3, 2022.

Sponsored by the University Libraries Arts and Exhibits committee, “Bound and Unbound VI” features an exhibit of altered books, which are a mixed media artwork that changes a book from its original form by altering its state or meaning. Books from any source utilizing any medium are eligible. All work must be original and executed within the last three years.

“We are very excited to have Melissa Stern as juror this year,” said committee member Sarah Hanson-Pareek, digitization and photographs curator at the University Libraries. “Her expertise in journalism (written word), sculpture, artmaking and cross-discipline endeavors will bring a fresh and unique perspective to the jury process.”

Melissa Stern, an artist, professor and journalist living in New York City, has worked in sculpture, photography and drawing for over 30 years, exhibiting throughout the United States as well as Europe and Asia. Starting in 2012, her multi-media installation exhibition, "The Talking Cure," has traveled to museums around the states and will open at the Fuller Museum of Art in 2021. Her work is featured in a number of prominent corporate and museum collections, including: News Corporation, JP Morgan/Chase, Arkansas Art Center, American Museum of Ceramic Art, Racine Art Museum, International Center for Collage, Bucknell University, Library of Congress: Rare Books and Special Collections, Museum of Art and Design, Arario Gallery and the Weisman Art Museum.

With a background in anthropology, Stern’s work reflects both non-Western and outsider-art influences. Her drawings, collages and figurative sculptures are richly drawn and deeply layered, with quirky, often dark humor.

Stern has taught and lectured throughout the New York area, including the School of Visual Arts, Parsons School of Design and New York University. She was the lead art critic for New York Press and City Arts from 2006-2014 and is currently a contributing writer for Hyperallergic, Romanov Grave, and Vasari 21. Learn more about Stern at her website.

Entries for “Bound and Unbound VI” are open to the public and artists can submit up to three entries by March 5, 2021. There is no fee to enter the exhibition and selected works will be on display at USD’s University Libraries second floor exhibition cases from Aug. 23, 2021 through Jan. 3, 2022 as well as entered into the altered book collection on the Digital Library of South Dakota and the Digital Public Library of America. A full prospectus and entry form for the exhibition can be found at

For more information, please contact Hanson-Pareek at, Danielle De Jager-Loftus at or Michael Boring at


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