The Picture Book as Art Object: A Panel Discussion at The Pigeonhole [UPDATED]

UPDATE 5/19: This event is tonight, Thursday, May 19 from 7:30pm to 9:30pm (more details below). Do come by and say “hello.”

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I popped by The Pigeonhole, a new cafe and arts space, this past weekend. It is spacious and warm, eclectic and inviting. The Pigeonhole’s mission is to “promote Singaporean non-governmental organizations (NGOs), music, film, fine arts and performing arts.” The Pigeonhole also brews a mean coffee and houses a thoughtful collection of second-hand and rare books.

It’s the perfect place to while away an afternoon with other like-minded souls. I wish owners Rayner Lim and Ave Chan great things. The Pigeonhole is much-needed on this tiny island.

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I am thrilled to present the UNESCO-NIE Centre for Arts Research in Education (CARE) Forum Series’ The Picture Book as Art Object: A Panel Discussion on Thursday, May 19 from 7:30pm to 9:30pm as part of The Pigeonhole’s wonderfully curated events’ calendar.

As you may have gleaned from my posts, I am passionate about the book arts and see the book as much an art/sculptural object as a work of fiction or nonfiction.

This panel will explore contemporary interpretations of the book as an art object and traditional artistic practices of the art of the book. It will also address the “picture book” as a unified artistic whole in which text and pictures, covers and endpages, and details of design work together. And it will offer teachers, parents, and others who work with young people ways to use the picture book to provide an aesthetically satisfying experience for young readers.

Panelists include:

Pooja Makhijani (Moderator)*. The editor of Under Her Skin: How Girls Experience Race in America, an anthology of essays, and the author of Mama’s Saris, a picture book. She has taught writing and children’s literature at Western Connecticut State University and Middlesex County College. In addition, Pooja has conducted writing workshops and presentations at a number of colleges and universities, schools, libraries, and other educational institutions all over the United States. In May, she will be participating in the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) and, in June, she will be part of Children’s Season 2011, a series of school and family programming at the National Museum. She holds a B.S. from Johns Hopkins University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College.

Eriko Hirashima. A book artist and founder of LA LIBRERIA. Born in Fukuoka, Japan, she graduated with a BA in Textiles and PGC in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College and a MA in Book Arts at Camberwell College of the Arts. She has exhibited book works in the UK, Japan and Singapore. Eriko has taught at the School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University. In 2010, she curated the artists’ book exhibition, Centre to Periphery, at the Japan Creative Centre, Singapore. She will be exhibiting new work in an exhibition, Library Thoughts, at Raday Konyveshaz and Gallery, Budapest, Hungary in August 2011.

Suzy Lee. The author and illustrator of many books, including the critically acclaimed Shadow (named as one of the New York Times’ Best Illustrated Children’s Books in 2010), as well as Wave, The Black BirdThe Zoo, and Mirror. She was born in Seoul, Korea. She received her BFA in painting from Seoul National University and her MA in Book Arts from Camberwell College of Arts. Her books and paintings have won numerous international awards and have been featured in exhibitions worldwide.

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* AKA “notabilia.” Many of you know me personally, but for those of you who don’t, I am a writer, editor, educator, and more. If you love books, design, or craft, do come out to The Pigeonhole and say, “hello.” I promise you a thought-provoking and engaging evening.

3 responses

  1. I would love to check out The Pigeonhole That looks like a place I would love to hang out. As much as I love Starbucks (why do I love it so much?), I want to support more local mom and pop stores more. The panel discussion sounds very interesting! I love art. All the panelists have very impressive backgrounds and CVs and it is inspiring! I wish I could come and meet you all! Suzy’s drawings are so adorable.