alisa banks

Exploding the Codex by Alisa Banks

Book art exhibition and lecture at LSU this fall.

Book art exhibition and lecture at LSU this fall.

Poule Aye will be featured in Exploding the Codex at LSU Libraries Special Collections in Baton Rouge August 19 – December 13, 2019 at Hill Memorial Library. Celebrated artist Julie Chen of Flying Fish Press will present a talk at 5pm, Thursday, October 24 at the LSU School of the Arts. The exhibition and lecture are free and open to the public.

Poule Aye consists of one page, part of which is folded to form a “shotgun” style sharecropper’s home and part of which contains a “field” of text. A backyard chicken coop and be viewed through the front door when the book is open. The façade is an image of one of the homes that my dad lived in as a boy. Poule Aye examines ones relationship with place and identity. I am happy that this edition of Poule Aye is so near Ventress, LA, the place that inspired the story.

Skillman Library at Lafayette College by Alisa Banks

Lafayette College is located in Easton, PA, about an hour or so from Philadelphia. The rare book collection of Skillman Library at Lafayette is home to over 15,000 volumes of printed objects including works about its namesake, the Marquis de Lafayette, slavery and abolition, angling, and artist books. The collection also includes early editions of works by Stephen Crane, who spent a semester at the college, and miniature books.

The artist book collection is diverse, with subjects including but not limited to the environment, books on race relations, alphabet books, books featuring photography, and books on women and gender. There appears to be limited on-line access to the artist books - but one can view the holdings in the on-line catalog. I was able to pull up my book Rosenwald, which is in their collection. Skillman also does a good job explaining their collections, how to search the collection, and discussing visiting etiquette. Skillman library holds exhibits of their collection and announces them on-line. Synopses of past exhibits can also be viewed.

I wish I’d known about Skillman Library years ago when my sister and her family lived outside of Philadelphia. I really enjoyed my visits there, and if ever there’s an occasion to return, I will be planning a visit to Easton!

Surface design association by Alisa Banks


When Is Now is featured in the Exposure section of the Summer 2019 Fringe issue of the Surface Design Journal. The journal is published each season by the Surface Design Association, whose mission is to promote awareness and appreciation of textile-inspired art and design through publications, exhibitions, and conferences.

The Crouch Library at Baylor University by Alisa Banks

I am very fortunate to have books in several collections. The first collection I will introduce is the collection at the Crouch Fine Arts Library (CFAL) at Baylor University in Waco, TX. The Crouch Fine Arts Library houses the music and visual arts collections and contains approximately 75,000 audio and video recordings; 95,000 music scores; and 50,000 books on the arts. CFAL's special collections include rare and unique materials dating from as early as the 11th century. I am not sure of the size of the collection, but images of many of the books are on-line. They’ve posted several clear up-close images of each book and from the looks of it, the collection is very diverse.

The library has a very informative page discussing what an artist book is, a link to images, and how to visit. I am very happy that my books Armoire, Emergence, Nan, and Cotton Heritage are housed in their collections. I confess that I have not visited the collection at Baylor in person, but plan to do so before the year is out - I can tell it will definitely be worth the drive and can’t wait to tell you about it!