Drawings of people reading sketched during the artist Mary Marsh's daily commute are translated into block prints and printed on discarded library cards and newspapers. The commuters engaged in their own private world intersect with the book titles and names of past readers on the cards. In different postures of concentration, they are creating a mental space for themselves, an escape, or just making time pass. The visceral materials, the nostalgia of the old cards and newspapers, suggest expiring mediums and a history of the changing methods of reading.
Reading has always been a big part of Marsh's daily life, collecting books a family legacy. Growing up buried in the comfort of a stuffed armchair and a book, now, the morning paper with coffee, novels on the bus, and bedtime reading aloud. Marsh is interested in the different ways people read as she thinks about her own reading habits. She loves reading for the escape, submersion into other worlds, and envelopment into new ideas.
everyday readers, is a series of prints and a new artist book. An open edition variété, each everyday readers book is unique. Block prints on library checkout cards are combined and bound in pamphlet format and finished with a unique vintage book cover.
The twelve different Reader prints which comprise the book are framed individually.
everyday news, large woodcuts on newspaper suggest consideration of the current state of newspaper publishing, and reading from actual paper. As the earliest method of book illustration woodcuts evoke a whole history of printing. Printed on the Oakland Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle and the New York Times, all of the papers that the artist reads, it chronicles a daily pastime.
Mary V. Marsh was born in Portland, Oregon and has been making art and working in libraries in the Bay Area since 1982. She received an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1992. She has exhibited in many venues in the Bay Area with solo shows at, San Francisco Art Commission at Grove Street, San Jose Museum of Art, Berkeley Art Center, and San Francisco Public Library, Skylight Gallery. She makes unique and small edition artist books under Quite Contrary Press.
"Marsh calls upon drawing and collage to construct new books from discarded library materials, a project that invokes the greater past while glancing toward printed matter's uneasy future." -Johnny Ray Huston, San Francisco Bay Guardian