Deborah Davidson's Visit Makes Us "Consider Books"
Earlier this semester a couple of coworkers and I participated on the planning committee for a campus visit by artist, curator, and educator Deborah Davidson, through the NU Humanities Center’s Artists and Practitioners in Residence Program. This week I was pleased to see those plans come to fruition, as the campus and Snell Library saw a successful series of events with Ms. Davidson, who has an interest in the book as subject and object in her artwork. On Tuesday morning, the lobby of Snell Library played host to a book-making event led by Davidson, in which participants could fold a piece of paper into a book form and then decorate/fill it however they chose, with a wide variety of art supplies she provided. The event was well-attended and participants really seemed to enjoy themselves. I myself channeled my inner 10-year-old and covered a few pages with smiley stickers and paper cutout hearts. For a great account of this event, including photos, see the nice writeup from news@Northeastern. On Wednesday at noon, an audience at Snell Library was treated to a “Meet the Artist” presentation by Davidson, in which she discussed her interest in making and thinking about books, and how books as art can both reveal and conceal themes and ideas. She focused on her book, Voices, which was part of a long-term project in which she used the book form to investigate her family history and its intersection with larger historical and cultural issues. She showed photos from exhibitions of her work and answered questions from attendees about her process and directions she may take with her future artwork. By the way, she has curated an art exhibit that is currently on display at NU’s Gallery 360 — I encourage you to go check it out to see some of Davidson’s work as well as that of other artists. Snell Library was delighted to host multiple events as part of Davidson’s residency on campus, and my colleagues and I certainly enjoyed this opportunity to look at and think about books in a way quite different from what’s required by our day-to-day jobs. We look forward to future collaborations with the NU Humanities Center!