Cover to Cover
In conjunction with Matthew Brannon’s winter 2007 exhibition, the Art Gallery of York University offered a workshop on artists’ books to youth from the Jane and Finch community. Led by Toronto-based artists/illustrators/writers stef lenk and Willow Dawson, the workshop provided participants with the hands-on creative experience of conceiving, planning and producing their own artist books. Participants were introduced to the history of the artists’ book as a medium and learnt the reasons why artists turned to this format beginning in the 1960s, as an alternative to an institutional presentation of their work.
The workshops ran in the spring of 2007 at the Spot, the Jane and Finch Family and Community Centre’s youth drop-in centre at Yorkgate Mall. Field trips complementing the hands-on activities included a guided tour of Coach House Books where youth not only learned about the history and mandate of Toronto’s leading small press, but also viewed their printing facilities and gained an understanding of the printing process. Sharing their practice as illustrators and bookmakers Willow and stef inspired youth to embrace and adopt a do-it-yourself and indy philosophy to art and bookmaking.
The books were launched at both at the AGYU and at the York Woods Library in May 2007. The opening reception celebrated and displayed the results of the workshop, giving youth the opportunity to share their work and experiences with their families, York University students, faculty, and members of the Jane and Finch community. The AGYU would like to thank Woolfitt’s and the Japanese Paper Place for generously supporting this art program.
Artists: Syed Abbas, Amina Abdi, Billian Abdi, Rakia Abdirashid, Lina Freire Loor, Nicholas Freire Loore, Kerena Lucas, Chihiyo “Dee” Matemba, Ubah Omar, and Hanad Warsame.