‘ReOpening The Book’ runs through April at Elverhoj

Thingsimtoldiwant by Nora McKinnon, in various print media and hand constructed pop-up mechanisms.

Staff Report

The Elverhoj Museum of History and Art is “ReOpening The Book,” a new exhibition of art books featuring the work of 23 California artists, through April 29.

Viewers can delight in exploring the many ways that the artists probe the definition of what constitutes a book, searching for new and unexpected forms of this familiar object.

Books will hang from the ceiling, crawl up the wall, cover table tops and fill the imagination. Some works challenge the conventional book format and become sculptural objects; some pop up, others play with layers.

According to the curatorial team, led by Pamela Zwehl-Burke, “For this exhibition, we’ve chosen a range of book works to stretch our minds: semi-recognizable books made of unusual materials, objects which carry language, visual juxtapositions and series, containers holding sequences and series, objects which have covers and centers, altered books, and limited-edition productions which bring together several ways of experiencing an event or story.”

Understanding a book as an artwork invites a reflection on the properties of the book form itself. Much like any act of reading, an artists’ book is a physical experience that allows a connection with the medium that is individual and personal.

“You will want to interact with and hold these objects,” said Elverhoj Executive Director Esther Jacobsen Bates. “We’ve tried to make as many as practicable available to you to touch and feel. You may find your own ideas taking shape in bookish form.”

Artist presentations by William Davies King and Mary Heebner will be presented on Feb. 24 and April 14. The grand final “Bookapalooza!” on April 28 includes an interactive show, tell and challenge with the Last Call Reception following.

Pre-registration is required for the workshops. More information can be found at elverhoj.org or by calling the museum at (805) 686-1211.

Exhibiting artists are Mariona Barkus, Beverly Decker, Linda Ekstrom, Noah Erenberg, Julie Filatoff, Linda Foster, Holli Harmon, Mary Heebner, William Davies King, Thomas Larson, Jill Littlewood, Nora McKinnon, Lisa Moore, Sara Norquay, Mary Price, Harry Reese, Sandra Reese, Felicia Rice, Elena Siff, Cynthia Stahl, Nina Warner, Monica Wiesblott and Pamela Zwehl-Burke.

Elverhøj Museum of History and Art, at 1624 Elverhoy Way in Solvang, is open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is no charge for admission, but a $5 donation is suggested.