Big Jump Press

MFA Book Arts Class of 2020

Today I want to celebrate four excellent book artists who just completed their MFA at The University of Alabama. The lock down began on the same day as their MFA thesis exhibition opening.  I’d like to take this opportunity to share their work with you.

 

Maggie Minor
MFA, The University of Alabama MFA Book Arts Program, 2020
Thesis Project: What You Said and How I Remember It

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Maggie on her project: What You Said and How I Remember It is a culmination of my previous works. It centers on the fixation that a breakup can cause and how phones enable this toxic behavior. When looking at this book, it should evoke the feeling of obsessively viewing the same photographs and text messages. The distortion and manipulation throughout the book mirror the ways memories change over time and the process of moving on from painful events.

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To find out more about Maggie or to see more images of her work, follow her on Instagram at @maggieminor3 or check out her website at maggieminor.com.

 

Jillian Sico, Frogsong Press
MFA, The University of Alabama MFA Book Arts Program, 2020
Thesis Project: Mycorrhizae

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Jillian on her project: Mycorrhizae, a collaboration between Jillian Sico and ecologist Katie Beidler, explores connectivity and loss from a personal and ecological perspective through an examination of mycorrhizal fungi. Throughout the course of this project, personal reflections on love and loss became intertwined with research about these underground symbioses between fungi and roots and the history of my research site, the Cohutta Wilderness in the mountains of North Georgia. I used papermaking as a performative medium to tie the book materially to a specific place and time. The sound and texture of paper, along with personal and informational reflections, recreate for the reader the experience of genuine connection with the forest.

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To find out more about Jillian or to see more images of her work, follow her on Instagram at @jillianmarys or check out her website at frogsongpress.com.

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Will Leeches, Cloaca Editions
MFA, The University of Alabama MFA Book Arts Program, 2020
Thesis Project: Mucosa, a collaboration with Cat Leeches

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Will on his project: Mucosa is a collection of short stories filled with mixed metaphors and fragmentation. Cat Ingrid Leeches (writer) and Will Leeches (designer, printer, and bookbinder) created this book while they were both completing their theses and having a child at the same time. While it is primarily fabulist body horror, its imagery, structure, and writing is heavily influenced by the couple’s experience giving birth in Alabama, where they have struggled to access healthcare in the state with the third-highest maternal death rate in the country. That feeling of being harvested for their bodies, their debt, and their family.

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To find out more about Will or to see more images of his work, follow him on Instagram at @2fyn.  Follow Cat Leeches at @catleeches

 

Cheri Marks, Blue Section Press
MFA, The University of Alabama MFA Book Arts Program, 2020
Thesis Project: A Case of Equilibrium​

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Cheri on her project: A Case of Equilibrium​ explores the relationship between cyclical systems that occur,whether by deliberate choices, or natural forces, to sustain balance. The book investigates two particular cyclical events; the Gulf Stream ocean current, and personal movement within a structural space. The two form a personal connection based on geographic location. They are built around stability and intentionality, while considering constants that occur throughout cycles to maintain equilibrium.

During my research, I formed a poetic relationship between the Gulf Stream ocean current and its directed movement with that of my own. The interpretation of two separate cyclical systems, operating on very different scales while still being complimentary, is the foundation for my thesis project. The objective that they work together simultaneously is what I hope to translate into my work. While researching the Gulf Stream, I found the intentional movement of the current correlates with how our bodies maintain balance through homeostasis. The ocean current has properties similar to a homeostatic system. It is a self-regulating cycle. The interaction between the two is what led to reflecting on how I am also a vessel, made of mostly water, that transports heat from place to place.

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To find out more about Cheri or to see more images of her work, follow her on Instagram at @bluesectionpress.

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Maggie, Jillian, Will, and Cheri, you have done amazing work. It has been a pleasure to have you in the studios for the last three years. I will miss you!

Congratulations to all the other Book Arts 2020 MFAs out there in Oakland, Iowa City, and Philly. Book Arts 4Eva. Stay well.

 

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This entry was posted on May 14, 2020 by in Alabama MFA Book Arts, Other People and Things.
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