Asheville BookWorks

 Asheville BookWorks is one of the hidden gems of Asheville. If you love books, paper-craft, printing, print making and art in general you will be enchanted by this tribute to creativity started by Laurie Corral.

  A bit about Laurie Corral

At the age of 3, I was one of the youngest library cardholders in our small town. In the children’s library I was permitted to wander and did so with delight. One day I discovered a shelf of books that fit my hands perfectly. I became aware of the book size and shape and felt satisfaction in holding it. It felt good. One by one, I checked out all the Beatrix Potter books in the library. It is a powerful first memory of books connecting with my hands.After completing a BFA in Printmaking at West Virginia University I moved to Chicago. On one of my accustomed gallery visits, I encountered an exceptional display of printed work including a few artist books off to one corner of the gallery. I began thinking about prints and books, about taking prints off the wall, out from under glass and making them accessible in this new but familiar object; the Artists’ Book. I was electrified.
I received an MFA in Printmaking from Cranbrook Academy of Art and moved to WNC to be Director of Education for the Hickory Museum of Art. Working closely with an exhibition of 40+ artists’ books celebrating 20 years of the Women’s Studio Workshop, I experienced a pivotal moment in my creative life. That exhibition had a potent effect on me and I turned to pursing letterpress printing, bookbinding and paper-making in earnest.
In 2004, starting with two printing presses and a lease on 2400 sq ft of raw warehouse space, Asheville BookWorks was born. It is home to a vibrant book arts community where learning and discourse is fostered through classes, exhibits, artists-in-residence, sharing in common an intense appreciation of print, book arts and creativity.

 I took some photos of the inside of this oasis of book love to give you an idea of what Laurie and her General Manager Laura Ladendorf bring to our community. Yes, you can take classes and learn how to create amazing works of art dedicated to the beauty of books, printing and the written word.

Here is poet Sebastian Matthews
  and BookWorks owner Laurie Corral.


Recent book art by students on display.

BookWorks Studio Manager Laura Ladendorf

Some samples of the gorgeous prints that students create in the studio.

I just loved this bureau

Laura describes the photos below:
"The images of the gallery show the artist books entered in our national exhibition titled BookOpolis 2017 Dream A Book. BookOpolis exhibitions have been held at BookWorks 11 times over 13 years, always featuring works by book artists from across the country and occasionally from abroad. Artist books may incorporate multiple media in communicating a story or theme, a personal tale or a political opinion. The variety of structures and materials an artist may use to make their work in book arts is a great part of its appeal. As a book form the artist book also is often interactive allowing the viewer to experience the work a bit more intimately than somewhat more traditional mediums such as painting and sculpture. In BookOpolis 2017 there were works by students of a class held at BookWorks as well as participants from a book arts class at Western Carolina University which was taught by Karen Hardy, an Asheville-based artist."

There are a precious few places like this in the United States and we are so fortunate to have one right here in Asheville, NC.
Thank you Laurie!



Anonymous said…
Thanks for the recognition of this unique venue for book arts in Asheville. Your photos and their arrangement plus your explanation of its history and services was well-formulated and gives a real feel for the space here. I'm a book artist who benefits greatly from this resource, normally not found in a city this small. Thank you Jon for the publicity and Laurie for making BookWorks a long-standing reality here! Maria Fire

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