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Arts Toolkit: Visual Arts Video Clips

Fine Books/Cut Paper: Carolyn Whitesel



For artist Carolyn Whitesel, books are more than a bound arrangement of words on paper—they’re works of art. She shows viewers a series of her accordion-fold books (books made with pleated pages) and discusses various alternatives to the traditional binding we encounter when we visualize a book. Her books often contain photographs, samples of marbled paper, and collaged word poems. She also shows examples of her books-in-a-box and pop-up books featuring cut-paper topiaries and humorous hands.

Suggested Uses:

  • Show to spark a discussion about “What is art?” Ask: How is bookmaking an art form?
  • Show to inspire students to create their own fine books. (See the “Accordion-Fold Books” segment on the Spectrum of Art DVD and the “Making Art” section of the binder for instructions and demonstrations.)
  • Use as part of a “careers in the arts” unit or as an introductory activity before an artist-in-residence visits your classroom.

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