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W&L Librarian Yolanda Merrill Curates “Arts of the Book” Exhibit

“Beyond Text and Image: The Book as Art” opens on Thursday, Feb. 25, in Staniar Gallery, Wilson Hall, at Washington and Lee. Curated by W&L humanities librarian Yolanda Merrill, the exhibition showcases 30 works by nationally known book artists.

Merrill will give a curator’s talk and slideshow on Wednesday, March 3, at 6 p.m. in the Concert Hall facing the Gallery. The lecture will be followed by a reception in Lykes Atrium, adjacent to the Gallery. The exhibit, curator’s talk and reception are free and open to the public.

Merrill herself has many years of experience as a bookbinder and bookmaker, and has co-taught a course in the book arts at Washington and Lee. A selection of the student work made in the course is on display in the Lykes Atrium.

The focus of the exhibit is on sculptural books. However, there will also be photographs and other two-dimensional works in the show. In addition, Larry Stene, professor of studio art at W&L, created a large book sculpture specifically for this exhibit. The show will “give an overview of the kinds of work created in the field of artists’ books,” says Merrill. “This should be an enjoyable show for all ages.” Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, which has a vast collection of artists’ books, generously provided 13 books for the exhibit.

The exhibition will be up through April 2. Staniar Gallery is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or by appointment. For more information, please call 540-458-8861.