The art of the book, Cuban-style, at UA Little Rock's Ottenheimer Library

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On display at the Ottenheimer Library. - CARLY MACHIN, UA LITTLE ROCK COMMUNICATIONS
  • Carly Machin, UA Little Rock Communications
  • On display at the Ottenheimer Library.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock's Ottenheimer Library has opened an exhibition, "Binding Communities: Cuba's Ediciones Vigia and the Art of the Book and Entrpreneurism," from the handmade collective in Matanzas, Cuba. Book artist Steven Miller of the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa will give a talk on the show, which includes works by 71 artists, at 5 p.m. tonight, May March 17, in the Fine Arts Building, Room 161.

Here's some interesting information on the collective from UALR:

Ediciones Vigía (“Lighthouse Editions”) of Matanzas, Cuba, came of age during the so-called Cuban Special Period, a time of economic depression following the 1989 collapse of the Soviet Union. Throughout the 1990s, an extreme shortage of paper and materials – not to mention food, petroleum, medicine, and other basic resources – contributed to difficulties in publishing in Cuba. Vigía responded by seeking out diverse, talented young authors to publish in limited edition artists’ books (each printing is limited to 200 copies). Community members from Matanzas would gather together to assemble these books out of found materials, such as cardboard and fabric scraps, and butcher paper, which was less expensive and more available than bleached white paper. These precious books have quickly earned an artistic cachet that carries prestige for its authors and captivates international scholars and collectors.
Upcoming events related to the show include a talk by UALR professors David Clemons and Dr. Erin Finzer of UALR at 4:30 p.m. March 29 at the Applied Design Studio, University Plaza 300; "Up Close and Personal: Student Presentations of Select Vigia Books," 3 p.m. April 6 in Ottenheimer Library, Room 535; a screening of "Ediciones Vigia: Poetica visual/Visual Poetics" and tour with Finzer, 5 p.m. April 12, Ottenheimer Library, Room 535; and a closing reception and lecture by Vigia scholar and filmmaker Dr. Juanamaria Cordones Cook, 4:30 p.m. April 17, Ottenheimer Library, Room 535.


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