Thursday, October 30, 2008

Renewables: Altered Books Exhibition

The time has arrived for the Renewables: Altered Book Exhibition! Everyone is invited to come and view the altered books and join in the celebration at the opening reception on Friday November 7th from 4-7pm in the Abbott Room of the Belfast Free Library. There will be refreshments!
Over the last few months the Renewables: Altered Books Project has sponsored many programs about altered books: we had two fully attended workshops- one at Waterfall Arts in Belfast and one at the Center For Maine Contemporary Art in Rockport- a wonderful artist's lecture by Adriane Herman at Waterfall Arts and a very enlightening panel discussion at the Belfast Free Library featuring Abbie Read, Jan Owen, and Kathy Ocariz. Many people in the community have been busy working on their books and we all look forward to the exhibition, which opens on November 7th and runs through November 21st.
The Renewables: Altered Books Project, a collaboration of Waterfall Arts, The Center for Maine Contemporary Art and the Belfast Free Library, has been supported by the Waldo County Fund of the Maine Community Foundation.
The public is invited to come and join in this celebration of this community art project. For more information call Brenda Harrington at the Belfast Free Library at 338-3884 ext. 30.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What is the Renewables Altered Books Project?

What happens when a book outlives its purpose on the shelf?

If it falls into the right hands, it is transformed into an art object that may or may not resemble its original form as a book. An “altered book” is any book, old or new that has been recycled by creative means into a work of art.
This project, titled, Renewables: Altered Books, aims to engage people of all ages and levels of art experience (or inexperience) in transforming books into works of art- an altered book.
The idea to do an altered books project in Belfast came about when Brenda Harrington, the adult programming librarian at the Belfast Free Library, attended the opening for the Out of Bounds Altered Books project that the Rockport Library and CMCA held last November. The event was such an impressive community event that she was inspired to make an altered book project happen in Belfast. After consulting with key personnel at Waterfall Arts in Belfast and CMCA, it was decided this would be an excellent opportunity to involve all three organizations in a collaborative effort and create this dynamic art project- Renewables: Altered Books- for the broader community to participate in.

The project gets under way with a demonstration of the methods and materials used to create an altered book on Wednesday August 20th from 6:30- 7:30 pm in the Abbott Room of the Belfast Free Library. Local book artist Jan Owen will give the demonstration. People of all ages are encouraged to attend this demonstration, which is designed to inspire participants to create an altered book. Books to alter will be available for free at all Renewables events.

Events scheduled for September begin Tuesday the 9th at 6:30 pm with a panel discussion of altered book artists in the Abbott Room of the Belfast Free Library. The panel will include local book artists Abbie Read and Jan Owen, both of whom will be leading workshops later in the month, and Kathy Ocariz one of the most prolific participants from the Rockport Library Out of Bounds project. Cathy Melio the education director at CMCA will facilitate the panel discussion.
Next on the schedule is the first altered book workshop on Saturday September 13th from 1-4 pm at Waterfall Arts in Belfast. The workshop will be led by Jan Owen, books to alter and supplies will be provided. Also at Waterfall Arts, on Monday September 22nd at 7pm Adriane Herman will give the monthly artists lecture. Herman, a fine arts professor from the Maine College of Art (MECA) in Portland, is an active community arts organizer and founder of the Portland Library and MECA’s altered books project, Long Overdue: Book Renewal in 2005. A second altered book workshop will be held at CMCA in Rockport, Maine on Saturday September 27th from 1-4 pm. Abbie Read will lead this workshop.
Everyone is invited to submit his or her altered book to be exhibited November 7th-21st in the Abbott Room of the Belfast Free Library. Submissions will be accepted November 3rd –5th at the Belfast Free Library. For more information call Brenda Harrington at the library at 338-3884 ext 30 or check the library’s blog for more information at

All events for Renewables: Altered Books will be free and open to the public.