In the summer of 2011, I spent five weeks on the road visiting book and paper art centers and community art centers to spend time with directors, artists, craftspeople, and other interested parties. I talked with participants about their thoughts on how centers function in building relationships to the community and the various ways that art making and community go hand in hand. A secondary component of this trip was couchsurfing—staying with and relying on the hospitality of others for our resting place as a way to experience the impact of gifting more directly. This was the beginning part of my research for my Labors of Love MFA thesis project.

I started with an interview with Steve Woodall, the director of my local bookarts center, the Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College.

Once I got on the road, my travel route was:

June 29th: Chicago, IL to Grand Rapids, MI (Matt’s hometown)
July 1st: Saugatuck, MI: Ox Bow open studios, then back to Grand Rapids
July 5th: Ann Arbor, MI: Hollander’s,
and then to Detroit, MI & lots of places and people: community gardens, the Heidelberg project, Dabl’s African Beads and Theatre Bizarre, Lynne Avadenka and Francine Levine.
July 7th: Cleveland, OH: The Morgan Conservatory
July 8th/9th: Rochester, NY: Genesee Center for the Arts (with a stop over to Niagara Falls!)
July 10th: Aurora, NY: Well College Book Arts Center Summer Intensive
July 11th: Treadwell, NY: Bright Hill Press and Literary Center
July 12th: Rosendale, NY: Women’s Studio Workshop
July 13th: Montgomery, NY: Pergamena), then a visit to Salem, NY & Ed Hutchins
July 14th: Salem, NY to Northampton, MA: Steve Daiber/Red Trillium Press, then to Boston, MA
July 15th: Boston, MA: Julie Shaw Lutts (hostess/book artist!) and the Boston Paper Collective
July 16th: New York City, NY: Dieu Donne, Mimi Schaer, The Center for Book Arts, and other fabulous places!
July 19th: Princeton, NJ: Judy Tobie
July 20th: Philadelphia, PA: University of the Arts/Philadelphia Center for the Book
July 21st: Silver Springs, MD: Pyramid Atlantic
July 22nd: Washington D.C.
July 23rd: Roanoke, VA (with a big thanks to Erin and Jenny)
July 24th: Asheville, NC: Oakmother’s Papers of Intent and Asheville Book Works
July 26th: Blue Ridge Mountains: Penland
July 27th: Atlanta, GA: My grandparents and the Georgia Tech Paper Museum
July 28th: Gordo and Tuscaloosa, AL: Glenn House and the University of Alabama Book Arts program
July 29th: Huntsville, AL: my hometown and Green Pea Press
July 31st: back to Chicago, IL

I was successful in fundraising the costs of travel (gas + oil changes) for this trip, so thank you everyone!
this sort of journey isn’t possible without people like you.

View roadtrip in a larger map
(Also, google is being a cranky pants and no longer shows the whole route on one page. You’ll have to go to Page 2 at the bottom to see the second half of the trip!)