Friday, February 22, 2008

Artists' Books

I had a class at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago last night which was a great opportunity to poke around an academic library. We were admitted to the Joan Flasch Artists' Book collection, the 16 mm film collection as well as the 6th floor John Flaxman Library in the Wabash building. The Artists' Book collection was an extremely unusual library of books in as many styles and materials as you can imagine. I read one book made and contained in a man's dress shoe, another made of leaves, another was a music box, and my favorite a pop up book about Brooklyn done by the Brooklyn Public Library. Besides the access to the one of a kind books last night, it was entertaining to be in a Chicago college to watch the flow of students entering and leaving the building. I finished my undergrad degree at another popular "arts" school in Chicago, (Columbia College) and standing in the library of SAIC last night made me feel nostalgic. The students were so young and so unique, dressed in a combination of clothing that was resale and funky as only college kids can. I stood in the lobby and watched a veritable parade of colors and styles go buy, young Asian women who looked more like manga characters than students, and young men in tight black jeans, combat boots and clothes from a generation they weren't born into. It made me feel old especially thinking that my own son will be off to college in 3 short years. It also made me giggle, thinking that no matter how much my own life may change including my happiness to have left the days of rammen noodles, thrift store shopping and "artsy" boys behind, the college student ideals remain the same.

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