20/20 Vision: 2020 Member’s Project Effort Redirected

As of  April 20, 2020, we refocused efforts on our member’s collaborative project toward the Quaranta Art Project

Members of the Virginia Center for the Book’s book arts program first met in January of 2020 to begin planning for our annual collaborative project.
By mid-March, we were getting ready to engage our “production teams” in the initial stages of production, when we were derailed by the COVID-19 outbreak.
This posting documents the 2020 Vision project’s development.

Project Update on 03/11/20
Our 2020 collaborative project came into more into focus during Sunday’s members’ meeting!

The working title is 2020 Vision; Revision, Division, Envision
As a kind of group brainstorm, we’d like to hear from you!
Please submit content ideas ASAP to Garrett for one or more of these headings (by March 16):


Alternatively, you can post ideas and follow our discussion on the project’s web page:

The structure will likely be a long-stitch binding, 7” square, with a wrap-around cover or rigid paper enclosure with three types of “signatures”:


We will form into three groups, and each group will produce all three signature types.
Our edition size will likely be the number of participants x 2.
Each participant will commit to seeing two copies of the book all the way through to the end.

Our next meeting will be hands-on as we build a model for the book: Monday, March 16, 2-4 PM.

We are still moving forward with a plan for the bulk of production to happen during two “adrenaline” sessions over the summer and early fall.


Project Update from 02/23/20
Thanks to Lyall Harris for this update:

Hi Folks,
Many ideas were shared in our members’ meeting (Feb 23) for the 2020 members’ project, most shared a common theme of “vision/revision” so we have decided on a working title of 20/20 Vision.

The structure will be built around pamphlet-stitched “components,” in a long-stitch binding or similar, perhaps with a wrap-around cover or simple paper enclosure. Approximate size is 8 x 10”.


Each component will have text and (at least one) image. There will be 3 types of components:


1. Signatures (single or multi-folio)

2. Accordion (sewn in with a pamphlet stitch)

3. Envelopes (sewn directly into the spine with a pamphlet stitch)

Furthermore, the theme of 20/20 fits nicely with the idea Kevin is developing (you will hear more from him on this) re revisiting/reinterpreting past members’ projects for our organization’s 25 anniversary this year.

Next steps:

– We will be forming 3 groups of 6-10 people (depending on the number of participants). Each group will be responsible for producing TWO of the above components.

**Please email Garrett if you are interested in leading a group!**

– Our next meeting is scheduled for Sunday, March 8 at 1:00 PM. All are welcome.
We will be restating/discussing some of the ideas that emerged around “20/20 Vision” and the meeting will have a practical focus on finalizing size, palette, paper, specs, schedule.

– It is still our aim to produce the bulk of the content and then finish the binding in 2 “adrenaline/boot camp” group sessions in summer and early fall 2020.

This is shaping up to be a fun and lively project that is accessible to every skill level while also including skill-building opportunities.



3 Comments on “20/20 Vision: 2020 Member’s Project Effort Redirected”

  1. Bonnie Bernstein

    Free-associating some possible section titles/headings to help focus content:
    “Sight” headings — hindsight, foresight, insight
    “Vision” — envision, division, revision
    Perspectives — personal, social, environmental


  2. Garrett Queen Post author

    On behalf of Dean Dass, his Notes on Division…

    Doubtless, there is
    -Hölderlin, Mnemosyne

    Memory. Mnemosyne


    Greek origins to the questions we are considering? Why do we look back? What do we find when we do? What is the role of memory in our enterprise? It seems to me many of us are working on these questions in our works. One of my assertions, following George Steiner, Real Presences, is that one cannot long for something one has not experienced. We do in fact long for that which has not yet happened. In our consciousness, we can look both forward and backward. When we become lost today in this topic, or any other day, we might keep that in mind. Somehow, without any proof of the One, of Unity, we continue to believe. The Division of One is into the Many.

    One other point I want us to keep in mind is the question of ugliness. Another of my assertions is that our work needs more ugliness, a lot more. What does this mean and why? I mean both ugly ideas and visual ugliness. It would actually be really interesting to hear from each of us on how we plan to achieve more ugliness in our work. This is how we will make our work stronger. We can say our work needs more conflict, more division; more ugliness. The task of the artist is to then attempt to resolve this conflict. This is merely the classical definition of tragic art.

    There is a lot to keep in mind, a lot to hold together in unity. The impossibility of “keeping it all together” i.e. retaining all in complete wholeness is already a trope of the topic and an expression of the dilemma. We can’t remember everything; We ”build and rebuild on [this] site of an absence.” Virginia Wolff. We can’t hold it all together in unity.

    Yet keeping it all together in Unity is not the only thing to consider. The very act that is active memory – both construction and remembering – is an analog for the activity that is art. It is not an accident in Greek mythology when Mnemosyne is the mother of the muses.

    Yet dreadful it is how here and there
    Unendingly God disperses whatever lives.

    H. – Patmos

  3. Garrett Queen Post author

    On behalf of Bonnie Bernstein, 2020 Member’s Project Leaders Team
    Email to project participants and Book Arts Members, April 20, 2020

    Hello, friends.

    I am writing on behalf of the 2020 Vision project leaders (Lyall, Yolanda, me) to let you all know that after much fretful consideration – and at the risk of sounding like candidates dropping out of the primaries – we just don’t see a way forward with this particular project. We propose instead to pivot to the more aptly timed and named Quaranta Project. https://www.vabookcenter.org/2020/04/quaranta-041320/

    Member artists launched 2020 Vision when the coronavirus was still an epidemic and our heads were in a more expansive place. Now, we are coping in various degrees with the physical confines and emotional stresses of a pandemic. Ironically, we set out to make 2020 Vision a more collaborative effort, with groups working closely to design their part of the artists’ book and with all hands on deck for in-studio production. Needless to say, we did not plan all this togetherness with COVID-19 in mind.

    Besides the obvious impracticalities, we have been struggling with a psychic disconnect. 2020 Vision would have us contextualize where we are in our lives by looking backward and forward. We’re feeling more compelled to convey some of what we are experiencing right now.

    The Quaranta Project casts a wider, looser net, collecting projects made by individual members and friends wherever we are and with whatever is available to us. There’s no pressure – the goal is to produce, then somehow assemble, 40 artworks for eventual display. And while contributions in traditional book arts are welcome, so are responses in every other medium and conveyance: image, words, links, memes, more.

    So, we appeal to everyone who signed on for 2020 Vision…please consider diverting that creative energy to the more free-flowing Quaranta Project – first by signing on to the group’s FB page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/vabookarts), then by posting what you’re doing or thinking about doing. Although we’re all flying solo, with many participating, we can get this new project off the ground.

    I sure do miss being with you all! Take care — and take in this beautifully oblivious spring.

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