Kenyon College

oak elm ash


oak elm ash. 2012. 
Accordion binding with inkjet prints and transfers on Rives BFK paper, black walnut ink and paste painted board covers. Poems by Andrew Grace, Campus tree survey from Kenyon College Maintenance Department, additional text and maps from Kenyon College Archives.


“The book is all things to all people: a means of discovering reality, or escaping from it, a tool, a mirror, an eyewitness.” 

Herman Liebaers, The Book through Five Thousand Years

The artist’s book is described as a highly charged-meeting ground between literature, fine arts and applied arts – a veritable “zone of activity,” an inter-media form at the intersection of different disciplines. Using the page as a frame or a field artist’s working with the iconic book form provide an intimate, time-based reading/viewing experience sequenced into a finite space of text and/or images. The two artist books in this exhibit are rooted in my early experiences with wordplay, disrupted narrative and the desire to give tangible form to the poet’s quiet voice. Oak Elm Ash is a commemoration of the loss of the lovely grove of trees cut down to make room for the building of the Gund Gallery. Thunderstorms likewise commemorate a special time with my father, a story told through excerpts of Bob Dylan song lyrics that contain the word rain. The artist’s book for me is a tool of discovery and a mirror that reflects the changes in our physical and interior landscapes.


Ellen Sheffield
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