The Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) is pleased to present our latest exhibition entitled The Velocity of a Page. This exhibition brings together books, zines (short for “magazines”), publications, and book-ish objects by contemporary artists and publishers from across the United States. When we think about a book, many people imagine a story printed on paper and sandwiched between front and back covers, but books can be so much more! The books and publications in this exhibition are experiments in art-making. By using different types of paper, binding techniques, layouts, fonts, and images, these artworks challenge the notion of what a book or publication can be. The artists show us how ideas and art can be expressed and shared through objects that are small enough to be explored by hand.
The Velocity of a Page is curated by Christopher Kardambikis, Assistant Professor of Printmaking at George Mason University. He is also the Director of Navigation Press and is the host of Paper Cuts, a podcast that documents the contemporary world of zines and DIY (Do It Yourself) publishing.
Explore More is a self-guided program for kids and families normally taking place in our gallery. The Home Edition is designed for families to enjoy virtually!
EXPLORE OUR DIGITAL GALLERY FOR INSPIRATION.
ACTIVITY 1: ACCORDION FOLD ZINE
Several of the works in this exhibition are created with a special folding technique called the accordion fold, also known as a concertina fold. Let’s take a look at Emily Fussner’s Passage, Volumes 1-3 and Michael Walton’s About Time #1 and #2. Do you notice the way the pages fold back and forth in a zigzag pattern like an accordion? By using this technique, the artist is able to produce a long book or zine that can become smaller by folding neatly into itself.
Now it’s your turn to make your very own Accordion Fold Zine!
You will need: a sheet of computer or construction paper (9.5 x 11 inches), scissors, a pencil, a ruler, a glue stick or tape, and crayons or markers.
- Lay your sheet of paper on the table horizontally so that the long sides are at the top and bottom. Take your ruler and mark the top and bottom of the page every three inches. Using the ruler, connect the two marks by drawing a straight line. You will have three even boxes plus a smaller space on the end.
- Fold your paper in half so that the two long sides meet to make a crease. Cut along the fold. You will now have two long strips of paper.
- Glue these two strips together to create a really long strip of paper. Make sure you glue or tape one of the smaller end spaces to the back of a larger three-inch long box from the other strip.
- Now it’s time to fold! Make a crease along the first pencil line by bringing the end of your paper strip over to the second pencil line. Flip the whole strip over and pull the edge until you see the next pencil line and fold. Flip the paper back over and continue this pattern until your whole strip is folded.
- Snip off the small box at the end that is smaller than the rest.
- Time to fill in your zine! You can either stretch the paper back out so that you have long surface on which to work, or create it page by page.
Bonus: If you have a large sheet of wrapping paper left over from a gift, try reusing it for this project. It’s a fun way to incorporate pre-made patterns into your zine and the length is perfect for an accordion fold!
ACTIVITY 2: GLOSSARY OF LIKE/DISLIKE
Small-scale publications can be a great way to explore the feelings and thoughts of an individual or community. Beverly Acha created a zine called LOVE FOR LOVE / HATE FOR HATE: A Glossary of Our Time in which she asked visual artists, writers, designers, and educators to each contribute a word they love and one they don’t love. Unlike a traditional book which is read from front to back and whose pages are read from left to right, this glossary can be read starting at either end so that there is no true front or back. The featured words are organized to connect the two opposite feelings of like and dislike on opposite sides of the page.
Would you like to make a Glossary of Like/Dislike? Awesome!
You will need: Four sheets of computer or construction paper, stapler, pencil or pen, and crayons or markers.
- Make your zine by stacking the four sheets of paper and folding them together lengthwise to create a booklet shape. Then staple three times along the fold (ask a parent if you need help with this).
- Label one of the covers “Like” and the other “Dislike”.
- On each page of the “Like” side, list one thing you love. For example, on one page you might write the word “chocolate” and the next “birthday parties”. Keep going until you get to the middle of the zine and then flip it over to do the same on the “Dislike” side (i.e. rainy days, brussels sprouts).
- Go back and draw pictures of the things you like and dislike or write a little poem about each item you chose.
ACTIVITY 3: FLUORESCENT FANTASY FOLIO
Have you ever noticed how some books contain just words and no images, like a chapter book, while some have a combination of words and images like a picture book? Have you ever seen a book with very few or no words at all? Certain publications like comics often rely on pictures to tell a story. In this exhibition, artist Panayiotis Terzis creates brightly colored images that reach the edge of the page in his Megalith series. Similarly, in Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge, a book by Clay Hickson published by Issue Press, many of the pages are completely filled with bright, neon scenes. The bright colors in these two works are achieved with a special printer called a Risograph which uses soy-based ink.
Don’t have a Risograph printer? No problem! You can make your own fluorescent fantasy folio with just a few simple materials.
You will need: a sheet of white paper, a thin black marker or pen, and highlighters or bright shades of markers and colored pencils.
- Draw the outline of your image on the paper. This can be an animal, a building, your favorite super hero—be creative!
- Color in all the white spaces on the page with bright colors. Try using strong colors to add shadows and other details. Don’t be shy!
- (optional): Cut your finished work into 12 equal squares and glue them onto a larger sheet in the same, original order with space in between.