For its juried summer show, Beyond Words: Celebrating Books as Art, Florida CraftArt is showcasing fine handcrafted work by 36 artists from Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee – 75 pieces in all – at the gallery, 501 Central Ave. in St. Petersburg.
Beyond Words, according to curator Cindy Bartosek, “celebrates the book as art through a varied collection of inventive works. that challenge preconceptions of what a book is and can be.”
Florida CraftArt has been highlighting this exhibit throughout June (gallery hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
Saturday features a 2 p.m. talk from veteran journalist, author and writing coach Roy Peter Clark. He’s titled his chat Please Judge My Book by its Cover. Admission is free.
“The exhibit showcases artists, including my daughter Lauren Dykes, who take books or parts of books and turn them into art objects,” Clark explains. “Paper sculptures.
“I will demonstrate in my presentation that many books look and feel like works of art – even without any additional artistic manipulation. My last seven books on writing have covers designed by Keith Hayes, an award winning artist. He has the ability to capture in a cover image the focus and spirit of my written words.
“When we abandoned vinyl records – for a while – we lost the experience of that wonderful imagery of the album covers and the interesting texts on the back. When we read books digitally, it is cool and handy. But we miss the consistent presence of the cover art, the weight and shape of the book, the smell and feel of it. I will also, of course, play some live music, songs with the word book in the lyrics.”