Vita Wells

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Flights of Mind at The Euphrat Museum of Art, January 2014 Books, Line 15' H X 20'w X 30'l © Vita Wells
In Conversation, 2015 Salvaged Book Covers; Custom Electronics 8' X 8' X 4.75" (With White Surround) © Vita Wells
Ten Thousand Minds on Fire, Fall 2013 Books 30' X 100' © Vita Wells
Flights of Mind at Berkeley Public Library, February 2013 Books, Line 40'h X 35'w X 100'l © Vita Wells
Still Standing, 2009 - 2011 Books, Steel, Wood 6' 6" H X Variable © Vita Wells
Believing Is Seeing, 2006 Books, Glass, Wire, Wood 36" X 36" X 12" © Vita Wells
Tipping the Velvet, 2006 Books, Velvet Ribbon 2½” H X 5” W X 7” D © Vita Wells
Orderliness Is Next to Godliness, 2004 Book, Key, Copper Pipe, Copper And Steel Wire 13¾” H X 8½” W X 11” D © Vita Wells
Unabridged, 2007 Book, Electronics, Metal, Glue 5 ½“ H X 8½” W X 11¼” D © Vita Wells
Life Came Breaking In, 2009 Books, Mirror, Shelves 72” H X 23½” W X 9½” D © Vita Wells
Traces, 2012 Book Covers, Wood 5' 9" X 12" X 12" © Vita Wells
Women Can't Paint, 2008 Books, Copper 2” H X 8¾” W X 11¼” D © Vita Wells
Means of Grace, 2001 Wool, Cotton 8.5 © Vita Wells
Quick Facts
bookworks, bookarts, book-art, bookart, Altered books sculpture sculpture, Altered books mixed-media, textile, Altered books sculpture, sculpture, mixed-media
Statement, Publication, Bio

Perception has been a core theme in my work over the years, particularly in relation to its effect on our capacity to live lives we know to be deeply meaningful. I’m interested in the powerful role reading plays in shaping how I perceive myself and my world, and in reading’s contribution, at a most fundamental level, to creating meaning in my life. I’m interested in how reading reaches out into possibility and brings it into my reality.

This effect is not particular to me. It’s a universal phenomenon. But it’s my personal experience of it that prompts me to gather discarded books, and to fire up my band saw, pick up my oxyacetylene torch, and stir my dye pots.

The objects I make are personal responses to what I read.

Featured in Art Made from Books, published by Chronicle Books, August 2013

Hailing from a family of artists in South Texas, Vita Wells has been creating objects since she could wield an X-Acto knife. She's lived and worked in diverse settings through several chapters of life, but reading’s privileged place and a reverence for books have been constants in all of them. During many years’ involvement with textiles, Wells developed a keen sense for texture, structure, and color. In her bookwork, these aesthetics are in conversation with conceptual content that reflects her lifelong intellectual curiosity and love of scholarship. She divides her time between her studio in Berkeley, California, and the larger Camino de Compostela. 

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