Special Collections Field Trip: The Nadine Vorhoff Library and The Amistad Research Center

Saturday, February 23, 12:30-4pm

We will be visiting both the Nadine Vorhoff Library and The Amistad Research Center at Tulane University. The focus of our trip will be to view zines, comics, and graphic novels.


Nadine Vorhoff Library is part of the Newcomb College Center for Research on Women, which works to preserve, document, produce and disseminate knowledge about women. The Vorhoff Library contains some 12,000 books on women, gender issues, and culinary history, including an extensive collection of zines. Bea Calvert, the Women’s Studies Library, will be our guide as we explore the collection.

The Amistad Research Center, a 501(c) 3 non-profit institution housed on the campus of Tulane University, is committed to collecting, preserving, and providing open access to original materials that reference the social and cultural importance of America’s ethnic and racial history, the African Diaspora, human relations, and civil rights. The Center holds over 800 archival collections totaling 15 million documents, 250,000 photographs, a 30,000 volume library, and a fine arts collection of 19th and 20th century African American art.

The newest collections at Amistad include a zine collection and a comics/graphic novel collection that both aim to document diversity within both topics and to chronicle works by writers and authors of color. Christopher Harter, the Director of Library Reference Services will show us examples from these collections.

Because of the nature of viewing small books, space will be limited to 15 people. To sign up and participate in the opportunity, please email us with your interest at info@www.siftart.org. We will send a confirmation email with additional information.

bea_headshotBea Calvert joined the Newcomb College Institute in February 2007. She has a Master of Arts degree in English from the University of New Orleans and a Master of Library and Information Science from the Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Along with her traditional library duties, Bea gives guest lectures on a variety of topics, e.g., third wave feminism and its role in zines and literature. She also teaches a TIDES class entitled Women and Literature in New Orleans to first year students. Bea is a member of the Society of Southwest Archivists.



chrisharterChristopher Harter is the Director of Library and Reference Services at the Amistad Research Center. He holds a Masters of Library Science from Indiana University, and worked at the Indiana Historical Society and at the rare book/manuscript libraries at Indiana University and the University of Illinois prior to moving to New Orleans. He is the owner/publisher of Pathwise Press, a small literary publishing house, and the editor of the magazine Bathtub Gin.



Thanks to everyone who came on the field trip with us today. And thanks to Bea Calvert and Christopher Harter for talking to us about the history of their institutions and showing us their zine/comics collections. It was nice to spend a rainy afternoon looking at books.


Hello, won’t you come in.

Welcome to SIFT’s new blog! This will be a space for us to talk about the moments where sequence, image, form, and text collide in interdisciplinary arts. The content on these pages will often coincide with our programming efforts. In the next few months we have invited several guest bloggers to talk about different aspects of making, collecting, and reading zines and comics. We hope to stir dialogue within our community that pushes conversation forward and helps us to understand our place within a larger community of makers.

Please stay and check out our new and improved digital space and be sure to visit us often to see what’s happening here at SIFT.


Visit us at the New Orleans Bookfair—Saturday, November 17

New Orleans Bookfair & Media Expo
Saturday, November 17, 11am–6pm
721 Magazine Street at Girod (across from the Farmers Market)

We will have a table at the New Orleans Book Fair again this year, so please stop by to talk to us about our upcoming programming and future plans. We will have blank books, post cards, and buttons for sale. You can also purchase hand stamped word bunting that we will print to order at the book fair. All the money we make from these items goes directly towards programming.

You can also participate in our tagging project. We will have collage items and art supplies to make your very own text & image manila tag. You can leave any you make and take any that are left behind. The tags can become messages that you put up around the city to share with everyone.

So please stop by our table at the New Orleans Bookfair and say hello!

Special Collections Field Trip: Monroe Library at Loyola University—June 14

J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library Special Collections and Archives
at Loyola University

June 14, 1-4pm

Trish Nugent, the Special Collections and Archives Coordinator for the Monroe Library at Loyola University, will show a curated selection of historic and contemporary books within the collection. The special collections at the Monroe Library consists of about 12,000 volumes focusing primarily on books about Jesuits, the Catholic Church, Louisiana, and New Orleans. We will view a range of books from the collection including books from the Jesuitica collection, books from Loujon Press, as well as several pieces from the Rosalee McReynolds Collections focusing on the book as art.

Because of the nature of viewing rare books, space will be limited to 15 people. To sign-up and participate in this opportunity, please email us with your interest at info@www.siftart.org. We will send a confirmation email with additional information.

Trish Nugent is Special Collections and Archives Coordinator for the Monroe Library at Loyola University New Orleans.  Ms. Nugent holds a Master of Science in Information Studies degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and is a Certified Archivist.

On June 14, SIFT took some folks on a field trip to view some of the rare books in the J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library Special Collections and Archives at Loyola University New Orleans. Trish Nugent, who is the Special Collections and Archives Coordinator, brought out a variety of books to showcase the many aspects of the collection. It was an intimate viewing for a small group, so everyone got an up close look at some of the gems within the collection, which focuses primarily on books about Jesuits, the Catholic Church, Louisiana, and New Orleans. On this trip we looked at a wide range of books starting with examples from the Jesuitica collection dating back to the 17th century, and ending with contemporary artist books from the Rosalee McReynolds Collection. It should be noted that we also looked at books from Loujon Press, a particular interest of Trish.

A special thanks to Loyola University Special Collections and Archives and to Trish Nugent for graciously talking with us about some its rare volumes.

Edible Book Festival – April 14, 2012

Edible Book Festival Image
Illustration by Amanda Cassingham-Bardwell

The Edible Book Festival is an annual event held in April at locations around the world. Participants create edible books that are exhibited, documented for the international edible book archive, judged for fabulous prizes, and then eaten by attendees. Get started planning your edible book creation today and join us at the Alvar branch of the New Orleans Public Library for an afternoon of literary, gustatory, and artistic fun.

Date: Saturday, April 14, 2012
Location: Alvar Library Garden, 913 Alvar Street, New Orleans
Admission: Free with an entry of an Edible Book or a canned food item to donate to the library’s Food for Fines program.

Register edible book entries: 1:00-1:45 pm
Community judging: 1:45 – 3:00 pm
Eating: 3:00-4:00 pm

What is an edible book?  An edible book is something “bookish” made of 100% food materials. Your entry must be made entirely of edible elements, as all entries will be consumed during the festival. Entries could be bookish through the integration of text, literary inspiration, or just being in a book-like form. It could look like a book, be a pun on a book title, a reference to a character or scene from a book, or an artist’s book made entirely of edible materials. Visit www.books2eat.com for inspiration and photos of edible books from past festivals.

Who can participate? Everyone is welcome, kids and adults. You can participate by making an entry or by joining us in celebrating, judging, and devouring the tasty tomes.

Is there a fee to participate? The event is free if you bring an edible book entry. Otherwise there is a suggested donation of a canned food item for the New Orleans Public Library’s Food for Fines program.

Who is judging? Everyone who participates will help choose the winners in different categories, including a special category for entries cooked up by kids 12 and under.

Are there prizes? Absolutely.

Can I volunteer? Yes! We need volunteers to help register entries, oversee the kids activity table, tally votes, and set-up and breakdown the event space. E-mail info@www.siftart.org.

Thanks to everyone who came out to our first annual Edible Book Festival in April. We were thrilled with the creativity from the edible book artists and everyone enjoyed the delicious eating portion of the festival.

The ribbons were awarded based on anonymous voting by everyone who came to the festival. In the end, we could only award one ribbon per category, but every edible book entry received votes in at least one category, a testament to how delectably divine everyone’s edible books were.

The Novel Eats award, for most inspired use of literature or literary reference, went to Infinite Zest, by Savanna and Chris. The Cooked Book award, for best use or exploration of a book-like structure, was awarded to There Was an Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoeshi by Libby. The Bound for Greatness award, for best in show (youth 12 & under), went to The Very Hungy Caterpillar by Tiba and Simsim. Our Upper Crust Award, for best in show (adults), went to Love in the Thyme of Cauliflower, by Anais.

We’re pretty sure that New Orleans has pushed the envelope of the definition of an edible book, including a spectacular book of termite wood. It’s true, nobody defined that the entries had to be edible by humans.

The festival was a such a success that SIFT plans to make this an annual tradition, so if you missed out this year, be sure to join us next year.

Special thanks again to the Alvar Branch of the New Orleans Public Library, Taylor Lasseigne at Slices of America for documenting the day, and all of our amazing volunteers whose efforts helped make the event such a success.

Check out more photos of all the edible book entries at our Flickr photostream.

Opening and SGCI Receptions for Object Play

Thanks so much to everyone who came out to the opening reception on March 10 and the SGCI reception on March 16. We’ve been thrilled to receive such enthusiastic feedback about Object Play.

Objects on the Horizon by Christopher Michlig and Continua by Katie Murken

Object Play Gallery Title & Wood Type

Tumbling E (Sculpture) by Christopher Michlig
Tumbling E (Sculpture) by Christopher Michlig
Vista Sans and works by Christopher Michlig
Vista Sans and works by Christopher Michlig

Viewing Katie Murken's Continua

The SGCI Conference Reception on Friday, March 16 was a particularly great event. With such a wealth of art and print related offerings in the St. Claude Arts District that night, we were thrilled to have such full crowd of printmakers, educators, and students from the conference make the show a stop along their way. Add the healthy mix of local folks who came out and we had such a full crowd that we ended up keeping the gallery open late.

Full house at Antenna

UArts Book Arts/Printmaking mini-reunion
(L to R) Yuka Petz, Mary Phelan, Patty Smith, Tricia Treacy, Angela Driscoll, Lara Henderson
UArts Book Arts/Printmaking mini-reunion
(L to R) Yuka Petz, Mary Phelan, Patty Smith, Tricia Treacy, Angela Driscoll, Lara Henderson


The SGCI Conference brought together a mini reunion of faculty and alumni from the Book Arts and Printmaking MFA program at University of the Arts. Tricia Treacy, of the collaborative team who organized the Vista Sans Wood Type Project, was able to fly down from Philadelphia for the conference and reception.

Co-curator Angela Driscoll talks with visitors to the show
Viewing the Vista Sans Wood Type Project
Viewing a selection of prints from the Vista Sans Wood Type Project

Full GallerySpecial thanks to Press Street’s Antenna Gallery for hosting the events. Don’t miss out on the last month of films and other programming before Antenna disembarks from their current location.

OBJECT PLAY, on view at Press Street’s Antenna Gallery, March 10-April 8

on view at Press Street’s Antenna Gallery
March 10-April 8

Gallery Opening & Reception:
Saturday, March 10, 2012
6:00pm to 9:00pm

SGCI Conference Reception:
Friday, March 16, 2012
6:30pm – 10pm

OBJECT PLAY, curated by SIFT co-founders Angela Driscoll and Yuka Petz, explores the relationships between text, image, and object. Artists Katie MurkenChristopher Michlig, and collaborators Tricia Treacy and Ashley John Pigford, manipulate objects through the process of making.

In Continua, Katie Murken uses chance and probability to determine pigment dye colors of phone book columns. The accompanying broadsides describe the system behind this game of chance.

Continua (detail), by Katie Murken

In his series of works entitled The Long Range, Christopher Michlig tranforms text into objects of positive and negative space.

Objects on the Horizon, sculpture by Christopher Michlig

The Vista Sans Wood Type Project is a collaborative experimental project and print exchange coordinated by Tricia Treacy and Ashley John Pigford. The project combines technologies by using a CNC router to create wood type for letterpress printing.

Type for the Vista Sans Wood Type Project

Artist Bios:
KATIE MURKEN seeks out alternative contexts through which her work can engage with a broad community of viewers and participants.  Trained as a printmaker and book artist, Murken coordinates site-specific installations that position her hand-made objects, books and drawings in relationship to diverse environments and audiences.  She currently lives and works in Philadelphia, PA.

CHRISTOPHER MICHLIG received an MFA from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California in 2007. The Focus of Michlig’s practice is the manipulation of public formats of communication and language to explore communicative range, enhancing and privileging materiality and formal structures to expand notions of communication and legibility. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

TRICIA TREACY has been running her own letterpress design studio, Pointed Press Studio, creating custom book and print work for commercial clients, international artists, designers, and writers since 2000. She is a book artist, designer, printmaker, and integrates new forms of media to execute her ideas. Collaboration and experimentation are a large part of her creative studio practice. Tricia is also a Lecturer in Fine Arts at The University of Pennsylvania School of Design where she teaches letterpress, graphic design and book arts.

ASHLEY JOHN PIGFORD is an artist, designer, musician and educator working at the intersection of design process and art practice. His work manifests as electronic sculpture, interactive installation, performance, video, and letterpress printing. He received his MFA in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design after a successful career as a proprietor of graphic design in Los Angeles, CA. He is Assistant Professor of Visual Communications in the Department of Art at the University of Delaware.

For a complete list of participating artists in the Vista Sans Wood Type Project, visit www.vswtp.org.

On view March 10 – April 8, 2012

Press Street’s Antenna Gallery
3161 Burgundy Street, New Orleans, 70117

Gallery Hours:
Saturdays and Sundays, from noon to 5:00pm.

For more information contact info@press-street.com or info@www.siftart.org.

Drop-in Bookmaking

Thanks to everyone who stopped in to make a book with us in our Drop-In Bookmaking workshop in February 26 at Press Street’s Antenna Gallery. Flag Books were definitely the order of the day and we were pleased with the different directions everyone took their book.

Participants were given the choice to make one of two non-traditional book structures. After making the book, we added content to our books using cut-up slivers of text from a variety of sources.