From The President's Desk
Greetings as we jump right into 1998! As always, the Guild has had an exciting past year and 1998 promises to offer more of the stimulating programs, publications and education that binds us together (pun intended!)
Our membership continues to hold at an even level, beginning each year at about 750 and ending right around 900. That wonderful yellow Membership Directory appears in your mailbox every year thanks to the capable work of our Vice President and Membership Chair, Bernadette Callery who manages to juggle work, school, home and GB duties with seeming ease. Bernadette continues to maintain all the computerized membership records, cross referenced by name, geographical location and field of expertise so that we can all stay in touch with each other across not only miles and states, but continents.
We are pleased that Mary Schlosser, our Treasurer, can report that we are still financially sound. However, it has been pointed out that our income and expenditures are very nearly the same, and during the upcoming year one of our projects will be to see how we can generate greater income for the covers in order to assure that we can continue to oVer the publications, directories and educational programs that make the Guild what it is. During the next few months we will be consulting with legal and financial advisors to make sure we stay current with the various tax, legal and reporting requirements for not-for-profit organizations.
With a two-year lead time required for organizing each of the Standards of Excellence Conferences, Monique Lallier is always busy. With 1998 bringing the Standards to her own 'back yard' (North Carolina) she will have even more to do than usual to top the success of past conferences. We all know that these meetings are the highlight of the year for 100 or so of us and this year will be a real challenge for Monique, who has also recently announced that the 1999 conference will be held in the Chicago area.
I know you are all pleased with the new Supply Directory put our by Supply Chair Susan B. Martin. We have received many favorable comments on the new spiral binding and expanded listings. The Supply Directory is one of the many popular publications we issue to the membership, and one of the few items we make available for sale outside GBW. Not only did Susan have the tremendous job of working on this updated issue of the Supply Directory, but simultaneously worked as the key organizer (again!) of the Vendor's Room at the Ann Arbor Standards Conference. Without Susan's hard work we wouldn't know half the wonderful suppliers we all deal with.
1998 will bring several more publications our way: Howard Stein is working on the updated Study Opportunities list; Pamela Spitzmueller expects to have the Guild Library holdings up-to-date and published for those of you who wish to take advantage of our free lending library; and the Fritz Eberhardt Oral History will finally be available in printed form, with two copies going to the library. We lost Fritz on December 24 after a lengthy illness and regret that the published oral history could not be made ready while he was still with us, but a specially bound copy will be presented to his widow Trudi, we hope this spring. And we have offers from several volunteers to begin compiling a list of all existing book arts videos, with a view to publishing the list possibly in installments in the Newsletter and/or in booklet form.
With each new issue of the Newsletter you will have noticed an increased number of advertisers. Ads are not a 'necessary evil' but truly a benefit to each of us. Not only does the advertising help to underwrite some of the production costs of the Newsletter, but each ad brings you new information about supplies, services, educational opportunities and the like. Our thanks to member Jack Fitterer for taking over this huge job, and finding all those great new resources you have been reading about!
Barbara Metz has assumed all responsibilities as head of Exhibitions, taking over from Peter Verheyen who successfully arranged several GBW traveling exhibits, the most recent of which was PAPER BOUND. Barbara came on board while this popular exhibit was still traveling, and yet she has already accomplished quite a bit of work on the next exhibit on The Alphabet which will open in North Carolina during next October's Standards Seminar. She reports a record number of entry forms for this upcoming juried exhibit.
The Second (Annual?) Auction took place during the banquet at the Ann Arbor meeting, thanks again to our auctioneer, Bill Drendel. This year's Silent and Live auctions generated $3,100! Our donated items included books (of course), jewelry, a book-shaped box, prints, handmade cards and papers, a stellarscope, posters, framed art and more. Two of the more popular (and humorous) items: a private meeting to learn just how Betsy Palmer Eldridge creates those wonderful braided hairdos; and, a $25 bid NOT to know what our good sport Frank Mowery wears under his kilt! As you can see, "a good time was had by all".
The annual reports of Margaret Johnson/Newsletter Editor, Louise Kuflik/Secretary, Jean Stephensen/ Journal, Paula Gourley/Publicity, and our nine chapter heads will give you in-depth information on their activities and individual roles as selfless volunteers. Each of these folks devotes a tremendous amount of time and effort to accomplish their chosen tasks and words can never express the gratitude we have for all of their fine work.
Looking to the future, it was noted that the Guild's 100th Anniversary is less than eight years away. While at first this may seem like a long time off, the fact of the matter is that for our Centennial the Guild will naturally want to host a very special Standards Conference. Several members have already expressed interest in joining in the early planning. Committees that need to be formed (at various times in the next few years) include Fund Raising, Grant Applications, Site Search for both meetings and housing, Programs/Presentations, Entertainment, Exhibitions, Advertising and Promotion, Historical Research, Vendors and much, much more. Several members suggested, and it has been decided, that the Guild will earmark 50% of any future auction proceeds to be set aside for what is expected to be the higher-than-usual expenses for a conference of this magnitude. As one of, if not the oldest continually operating book arts guilds in the world this is a special and exciting time for us. The fact that we continue to grow every year says a lot not only for GBW, but for the book arts community as a whole.
What an exciting time!
Karen L. Crisalli
The presenters for the next Seminar on Standards, to be held October 23-24, 1998 in Greensboro, N.C. are now set: Carol Barton on Pop-Up Books; Anthony Cains on Alum-tawed Bindings; Linda Honeke on Decorated Papers; and Linda Blazer and Frank Mowery on Paring Leather, German & English Style. The next GBW Exhibition, "Abecedariums" will open at that time. It will be on view in the hotel during the Seminar.