PBI95 was excllent. It was held in May at the Penland School of the Crafts near Asheville, NC; those of you who have visited Penland will be familiar with its beautiful setting and the high quality of its studios and accomodations. The combination of this (relative) luxury and the really great classes made for a pretty happy bunch of participants. In addition, the staff at Penland is made up primarily of active artists; they not only made the PBI event run smoothly but offered expanded opportunities for interaction. The good news is that PBI96 is returning to Penland, again in May, and althougth this report is belated, it will get you thinking about attending PBI next year.
The Paper and Book Intensive has been occurring yearly for over ten years; it was originally held at Oxbow, in Michigan, but has been traveling all over the US for about 6 years. This mobility has contributed to the wide variety of its programming, as well as increasing the participant base; although some people return to PBI when they can, there is always a majority o fnewcomers each year. PBI is co-sponsored by the book arts programs at the Universities of Iowa and Alabama; it is implemented each year by the proactive volunteer efforts of its current co-directors: Tim Barrett, Pamela Spitzmueller, Gary Frost, Steve Miller, Maria Fredericks, Eileen Wallace and Bill Drendel. Hedi Kyle was a co-director until this past year.
The Purpose of PBI is to bring together experienced book arts practitioners in a retreat setting, provide provocative class choices and cooperative events, and let what always hapens happen: a fine energy of creativity and exchange producing heightened skills, more and better ideas, friendships and sense of connection to the larger worlds of book arts. The program is arranged into two sessions; the instructors of one session become part of the participant group in the next session. This creates a marvelous opportunity to spend some extra, and different, time with an expert practitioner as they learn something new along with you.
PBI95 had a really strong roster of classes; the instructors were Tim Barrett, Richard Flavin, Jim Croft, Robert Espinosa, Mark Esser, Rick Hungerford, Susan King, Nell Meldahl, Steve Miller, Sarah Van Keuren, Dolph Smith, Claire Van Vliet and Mark Van Stone. Judging from the group reports which occur at the end of each session, the classes were thoroughly enjoyed; they were certainly productive. PBI96 has an equally impressive roster of instructors; keep an eye out for notices about the event after the beginning of the new year. Remember it will be at Penland; remember also that the food at Penland is terrific!
There is a downside to the Paper and Book Intensive each year...it ends, but it never leaves you. So Go!
Note: the PBI archives is in the process of being investigated and arranged by Julia Miller; an index of materials available for duplication or borrowing will be forthcoming. A new feature of PBI is an attempt to interview instructors to add to the archives; the interviews from PBI are being transcribed and with the instructors permission will be made available to interested people.
HEDI KYLE, PBI CO-DIRECTOR STEPS DOWN
Book artist, book arts activist, and book conservator at the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, Hedi Kyle has informed her fellow co-dirctors she no longer wishes to serve. Her "resignation" was offered, in part, because of changing professional directions and demands but more so because of her belief that the future of PBI depends on new blood, and the input of new and younger co-directors. The standing oriinal co- directors (Maria Fredericks, Gary Frost, Pam Spitzmueller and myself) join in supporting Hedis decision as well as her perspective. Watch for other healthy changes in the original co-directorship roster. We are delighted in the meantime that Bill Drendel and Eileen Wallace have agreed to join our co- directorship team.
In closing I would only like to add that all of us, new and old co-directors alike with every PBI participant that ever was - thank you HEDI Kyle for what you have contributed to PBI, and to the World of the Book.
PS: We made it clear to Hedi that she will always be welcome at any future PBI either as a teacher or as a participant. We hope to have her join us again soon in one capacity or another!