Peter and Donna Thomas have been making fine press and artist's books for over 40 years. When they started, as craftspeople at Renaissance Faires, they fell in love with the graceful beauty of "gypsy wagon" caravans that other vendors had made to sleep in or use as booths for selling their wares. In 2009 Peter and Donna built their own tiny home on wheels, designed after a typical late 19th century Redding Wagon. This blog documents their trips around the country, taken to sell their artists' books, teach book arts workshops, and talk about making books as art; as well as to seek out and experience the beauty of the many different landscapes found across the USA.

Peter and Donna started their business in 1977 and made their first book in 1978, so from 2017-18 are traveling to celebrate 40 years of making books with shows in a dozen libraries across the country. See the schedule on the side bar to find if they are coming to a town near you....

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ukulele + books + gypsy wagon = ART!!!

We need more art in our lives, right? We want to feel connected to our creative natures. And what is better than to visit the art museum with a bunch of your friends on a hot spring afternoon, where some wandering book artists have carefully manuevered a gypsy wagon into the courtyard and are now playing music on a ukulele book? I tell you, this is a celebration of the artful life!!
The museum: University of Arizona Museum of Art. The event:
A program in conjunction with a current show: Sculptural Books: Memory and Desire.

The uke book artist: well, you know who that is.

We braved the heat long enough for everyone to tour the wagon and look at books, then went inside for a panel discussion about the artists' book. Peter and I are so pleased that artists' books are now being shown in art museums. There were so many years when we would show our books to museums and they would say, "Um, that's nice, but it is only a book, not art." Now there are lively discussions and all varieties of artist's books in art museums like this one at the University. The curator, Lauren Rabb really had vision when she put together the show and program, and we were in the right place at the right time so were invited to participate. The community showed their support today by filling every available seat and asking hard questions, mostly having to do with definitions of the artists' book. A common thread through the day: we all love books and see a need to continue to make, hold, read and enjoy the real thing.
oh, and one more thing: got a note from an admirer of Paloma: "Looking at your blogspot helped me re-focus on some of life's important little things (major things, really), essentially to be a bit more creative and stay close to Nature.   I have the Nature-part down pretty good, but the creative aspect seems to be lagging a bit at times..."
Yes, we find much meaning and fulfillment in living a creative, artful life.....

1 comment:

Tanya Cothran said...

I love the photo of you two selling books off the backs of folding chairs. How could someone NOT want to buy books with such a great set-up and great smiles?! Good thing you found some aesthetically pleasing chairs to take with you!