The exhibit began as an opportunity for students of the Diploma in Writing & Publishing to engage with historically significant books as a source of inspiration for their own design projects throughout the academic year. Rather than simply bringing in a few books for students to examine, however, a larger project seemed a more interesting idea. By working towards a larger goal, one aimed at the audience of a public exhibition, a different level of investment and initiative was in play, and the students both rose to this challenge and enjoyed the process all the more.
Students were paired up with significant printer/publishers and were tasked with researching and writing brief introductory essays, the goal being to provide visitors to the exhibit with just enough information to supply context and insight into the books on display.
In addition to the essays, students compiled detailed bibliographic descriptions of each book, which can be found in the sidebar of each individual printer/publisher page.
Far more than simply producing the content for this website, students also worked hard to assemble the display cabinets, plan the exhibit design, prepare the books for display, and then move all of the cabinets and books from storage to the library, not to mention driving all over Kelowna to deliver posters to promote the event.
We also spent a wonderful day at Vernon's historic Mackie Lake House, where Christine Kashuba, the Mackie House manager, and Sharon Lawrence, not only allowed us full access to the house, but also provided a lovely snack of tea and cookies. Spending time with these books in the wonderful atmosphere of this historic residence allowed all of us a rich opportunity to pair historical objects with a period setting, and the photos, we think, capture well our experience at the house.
Michelle Ward and Eva Engman at the OC library were incredibly helpful during the planning stages of the exhibit, and much of the production is due to their hard work. The students and I are much in their debt.
We hope that visitors to the site and the exhibit will enjoy what they find, and we'll look forward to sharing our experience with those in attendance at the opening reception on Monday, March 26 at 7pm.
Writing & Publishing Instructor & Exhibit Curator