XXX BooksBooksBooks XXX


Ames C.art and Public Space One, in partnership with Design on Main, are organizing “XXX Books Books Books XXX”, a juried exhibition that showcases artist- and handmade books, zines, and 2D/3D works that incorporate books. The exhibition was held Jan. 29th-Feb. 13th, 2016, at Design on Main (an exhibition space of Iowa State University) in Ames, Iowa. The gallery hours are: Sun-Wed 2-5pm; Thu 1-4pm; Fri-Sat 10-4pm. A reception for the exhibition was held on January 29th, 2016, from 6 to 8pm at Design on Main (203 Main St., Ames, IA 50010).

The call for entries for this exhibition was open to Iowa artists to submit works for consideration. An Iowa artist was defined as someone residing in the state or that has strong ties to the state. The jurying panel consisted of:

  • Kalmia Strong: an Iowa City-based bookmaker, artist, curator, and arts organizer affiliated with Public Space One and a graduate of the University of Iowa Center for the Book.
  • Mary Jones: an artist with 40 years of experience in making prints and books. Currently she teaches printmaking, bookbinding, and graphic design at Grand View University in Des Moines.
  • Tiberiu Chelcea: an artist and arts organizer affiliated with Ames C.art, whose works incorporate printmaking, new media and book arts.


The jury picked 30 works from 21 artists from across the state. All exhibited works are shown below.

In addition, Kristin Roach (Ames C.art board member) presented a curated collection of zines available for sale in the “Roach Motel Reading Room” in the gallery. All proceeds support future collaborative art projects in Iowa.

Exhibition Organizers

Ames C.art (Ames Collaborative Art) is an artist-run organization based in Ames, Iowa. Ames C.art organizes various annual community oriented activities such as Pop-Up, Ames! and Art Vacancy, as well as workshops, gatherings, and juried and  invitational exhibitions in various spaces in Central Iowa.

Public Space One is an artist-run, nonprofit arts organization based in Iowa City that provides an independent, innovative, diverse, and inclusive space for making and presenting art; cultural educational opportunities, and advocates for the importance of art in everyday life for any and everyone. Located in downtown Iowa City, PS1’s gallery, performance space, studios, and community print shop serve as the site for art production & presentation, workshops, collaborations, public art projects, and community events.

Design on Main is a facility of Iowa State University which provides a space for classes, exhibitions and community outreach. The facility provides studio space to graduate students in visual arts, as well as a large exhibition space. Its coordinator, Jennifer Drinkwater, has recently launched the Intertwine project, which aims to cover the entire building of Design on Main in crochet.

Exhibition and Reception Images

The exhibition has been profiled in an ISU news article (PDF) and in an Ames Tribune article (PDF).


Exhibition Artworks


Justin Allen
Handmade Hardcover Book. 2015. 8 x 9.5″

Playfully confronting tragedy, frustration, and resulting anger; Hair-Trigger finds poetic relationships with these emotions through physical objects and situations.

Deborah Anders-Bond
The Atomic Bomb You Ordered
Zine. 2012. 3.5 x 4.25″

Violet Austerlitz Virnig
Moon and Lamphead in The End
Silkscreen on paper and canvas, hand-stitched binding. 2011. 12.25″x6″

Cody Beetler
Quadrantine: Dance
Woodblock print folded into a zine. 2015. 5.5″x 8.5″

What I want to do with this piece is to make something that could be duplicated and potentially distributed as a hand carved, woodblock-printed comic book. Featured in Quadrantine: Dance, are two characters from a world that I’ve been in the process of developing into a long form, full length graphic novel. And Quadrantine: Dance is one episode from the larger narrative. Accompanying the panels in the piece are ocarina tab notes that can be played as the book is being read. The music is meant to compliment the comic book and also to evoke the feeling of a soundtrack that might come out of film and theater.

Levi Biel
New Old Paintings
Mixed Media Reeves BFK Paper, acrylic, Screen printing, paper cutouts, glue. 2014-present. 10″x14″

I’m diving into making fun of magazines from oncology waiting rooms, and living in the moment painting without constraints or caution, yet striving to maintain a commentary of the toxic physical and mental environments that eclipse true liberty. Enjoy this display of conflict?

Tiberiu Chelcea
Paintings from the “Trigonopoetry” series
Acrylic, gouache, ink markers on pages from a trigonometry book, mounted on woodcut. 2012-2014. 8×10″

These works are part of a series of 80 paintings, called “Trigonopoetry”. Each work from the series starts with pages from two trigonometry textbooks from 1920’s. Certain words forming new sentences are masked out on each leaf, and the pages are painted over. The actual composition and style for the paintings are inspired by the illustrations in the books: the style is generally hard-edge, and, in many cases, diagrams from the original pages are actually the starting point for the overall composition.

Desiree Dahl
Relief prints, waxed thread. 2013. 9″ x 6″.

Dave Dugan
36 page comic book drawn in india ink and watercolor on Arches watercolor paper, loose pages of original art contained in a box constructed of handmade paper with a  velcro closure,  painted with acrylic paint. 2015. 8.5″ x 7.5″

Cody Gieselman
Endless Ceaseless
Letterpress printed with handset type, eggshell relief, linoblock, pressure substrate, and photopolymer. 2014. 4.125″ x 5.5″

Endless Ceaseless is drawn from my rural childhood in the Ohio River Valley, and the subsequent destruction of my family’s home to coal mining operations in the area. Childhood memories tangle with loss and the realities of an industrialized economy in a diminishing, bucolic landscape.

Cody Gieselman
The World as it is Today
Letterpress printed with handset type, linoblock, collagraph, found plates, and photopolymer. 2012. 3.875″ x 4.75″

Jenny Gringer
The Bird Poop Book
Handmade book with paste paper cover. Book is watercolor blobs with micron, acrylic pen, colored pencil details. 2013. 10″ x 8 1/8″ x 1/2″

Work Statement:  This book expresses a range of emotions through interactive blobs of paint emoting over the cycle of consumption and waste…in a fairly ridiculous manner.

Satyrus Jeering
The Nitch
Author’s Edition copy, 76/111. Leather, Parchment style vellum, Pine box. 2012. 6 1/2″ x 8″ x 2″

Nick LaPole
What’s Left After the Apocalypse
Paper. 2015. 5 ½ ” x 4 ¼ ”

Janet Lauroesch
Too Much Rain
Accordion book with Lama Li Lokta, Canson Mi-Teintes and BFK Rives papers and acid-free adhesive. 2015. 4 3/4” h x 4 3/4“ w x 1/2“ d

Elizabeth Munger
Remembering Aesop
Artist book, edition size – 35. 2013. 6×9.75″

Remembering Aesop is a collaborative piece written by Mark Munger, illustrated, designed and printed by Elizabeth Munger. The book is a recreated set of fables and illustrations with a strong emphasis on how we remember stories. Illustration, text, book design, materials, and structure stem from memory of these fables and what they meant to us as children. In process we were surprised to find that the fables were much shorter and to the point then what we had initially believed them to be. This book is a cumulative representation of our memories, both as story and tactile object.

Elizabeth Munger
Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
Artist book, edition size – 45. 2009. 5×7.5″

The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: Three Allegories is an exploration of the classic fable. It examines the narrative in three perspectives; as a variation on the traditional tale, how we define ourselves through animals, and as an internal look at the self.

The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
Pamphlet stitch, handset Palatino type, reductive linoleum & photopolymer plates. Printed on Shikoku & hand-made raw flax paper. Fable rewritten by Mark Munger.

Change Me
Double pamphlet flip-book, hand-set in Gill Sans, reductive linoleum cuts printed on hand-made raw flax paper.

i’m not a sheep: a confession
Accordion binding, various printing techniques including photopolymer, linoleum, collographs & pressure prints on tympan paper.

Elizabeth Munger
Ghost Image
Artist book, edition size -10. 2015. 5×9″

Ghost Image is an experiment in materials, texture, and writing. Inspired by a photo taken at night of the full moon that resulted in, what I believe, is a photo aberration. The abstracted image was used as a basis for color, shape and texture. Printed on a Vandercook Universal I AB using collagraph on silk organza. Cover is Cave paper.

Zora Murff
Hand-made Artist Book, Drum-leaf bound. 2015. 12.25×8.75×0.5″

From 2012 to 2015, I worked as a Tracker for Linn County Juvenile Detention and Diversion Services in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. As a Tracker, I provided services to youths who were convicted of crimes, adjudicated, and subsequently ordered to complete probation. Juveniles in my charge were asked to comply with services which may include: electronic monitoring, therapies, drug screening, and community service; it is my responsibility to have continual contact with them to ensure these expectations are met.

Tracking and other similar community-based services are being increasingly used as an alternative to detention facilities. These services, which allow juveniles to stay in their homes, show a higher rate of success than strict incarceration. Although community-based services are built to foster a collaborative relationship between juveniles and service providers, attaining the actualization of teamwork becomes problematic when juveniles feel that they have done nothing wrong, are victims of circumstance, or do not fully understand why they have committed a crime. The system has been put in place to provide rehabilitation, but it is far from being a straightforward process. Many influences outside of the youths’ control such as education, socioeconomic status, and race all play a role in whether or not a youth reoffends – all of these factors possessing the propensity to lead them to extended periods of incarceration in the juvenile system or to involvement with the criminal justice system as an adult.

By reconsidering the role that I played in the lives of the kids I worked with, I began to acknowledge the burden that comes with tasking young men and women with continued complicity. My stance as a consequence kept our relationships in a state of flux ranging from stable to tenuous – a constant motion mirroring the discord that develops between the system’s intentions and outcomes. Through employing ideas of anonymity, voyeurism, and introspection, Corrections is an examination of youth experience in the system, the role images play in defining someone who is deemed a criminal, and how the concepts of privacy and control may affect their future.

Kyle Renell
Moleskin accordion sketchbook and ink. 2015. 3.5″x5.5″ (Closed); 3.5″x9’1″(Open)

David Richmond
Angel Dance
Printed hand made book. 2015. 6″ x 4″ x .5″

Robert Stephens
Tattoos : A true story
Zine. 2015. 6″ x 7¾”

I create these semi-autobiographical comics to humiliate myself – exposing my inner workings to the world.  They revolve around coming out of the closet during the aids panic of the eighties. I intend them to read like hastily had written love notes passed to you during a sterile algebra class under the watchful glare of prying teachers. They are fragile, funny, and trusting. They trust you. Thanks for not narcing me out to the man.  This issue focuses on the gesture of getting a tattoo.

Robert Stephens
Megafun? Mega Yum
Zine. 2015. 6″ x 7¾”

I create these semi-autobiographical comics to humiliate myself – exposing my inner workings to the world.  They revolve around coming out of the closet during the aids panic of the eighties. I intend them to read like hastily had written love notes passed to you during a sterile algebra class under the watchful glare of prying teachers. They are fragile, funny, and trusting. They trust you. Thanks for not narcing me out to the man.  This issue focuses on Captain Crunch and regret.

Kathy Svec
Accordion book in an embellished thrift store box with Lake Michigan beach pebbles;. 2015. 3”x2”x4”

Linda Welch
Chance of Error
Screen printing, collage, paint, coptic stitching, book board. 2015. 2.5”h x 2.75”w x 1.75”d closed, 42 pages

Linda Welch
Francis Bacon (from Concealed Within Series)
Repurposed book pages, collage, twine, hot wax, with slipcase. 2015. 5”h x 1.5”w 2.5”d

This is an ongoing series where I take portions of old books, bind and collage the pages, then seal them with a hot wax melted into the pages. In effect, concealing and preserving the text. These pages are from a book, Crowned Masterpieces of Literature, published in 1902.

Linda Welch
The Seaside and the Fireside, a poem by Longfellow
Altered book pages; folded and rebound, collaged, with book board slipcase. 2015. 3.75”h x 2”w x 2.5”d

Taylor Yocom
Pamphlet stitched book. 2015. 5×6″
$15 and can be handled by visitors.

Blank is an artist book featuring 35mm film photos of covered up or erased messages I have found while bike riding around Des Moines. These photos create narratives of the circumstances surrounding each blank.