Category Archives: Book Arts

Building the Art House

Poster illustration

Thursday, November 2, 2017
5:00-8:00 pm
2nd Floor, Rosenberg Library, Ocean Campus
Light Refreshments and Pan de Muerto

Three Exhibitions on Southeast San Francisco!
Rosenberg Library, City College

Bling Blang, You Bring the Hammer, I’ll Bring a Nail:
Artworkers in Southeast SF
Madeleine Haas Russell Gallery, 2nd Floor Atrium

April 28-November 2, 2017

Cutting the Rug: Capturing the Night Life
Collaboration with the CCSF Journalism Department

4th Floor Atrium
April 28- October 26, 2017

Digging in: Our Green Spaces
A collaboration with YAX/Youth Art Exchange

3rd Floor Atrium
May 4-November 16, 2017

Can we build a shared cultural life in Southeast San Francisco? Building the Art House answers that question with a resounding yes! And offers a compelling example of how this might look. A multigenerational roster of artists brings this swathe of working class San Francisco to life in the Rosenberg Library at City College of San Francisco. Building the Art House assembles three exhibitions that explore visual art, gardening, and performance. Work comes from the Bayview-Hunters Point, Portola, Excelsior, Visitacion Valley and Ingleside districts. Building the Art House gives insight into the cultural production and gathering places that few outside the neighborhoods are aware of.

At the edge of Southeast San Francisco, City College stands as a resilient emblem of survival in a fast changing city. This convergence of exhibitions and programs at City College invites artists to identify with other cultural producers of Southeast SF. This is an opportunity to explore the regional history and possible future of this vibrant corner of the City. The vision for Building the Art House grew out of the Moving Art House Project, a mobile cultural space created by Kate Connell and Oscar Melara (Book and Wheel Works) in Southeast SF in 2015. In this series, guest curator Emma Spertus brings a new perspective and complementary artists to Book and Wheel’s Southeast SF expertise and extensive creative partnerships.

In addition to the exhibitions on display during the spring and fall 2017 semesters, Building the Art House will include an art fair, a tour, a publication and an artists’ panel in fall 2017.

Bling Blang participating artists:

Adam Weiss, Anne Seeman, Andrew Kleindolph, Anthony Ryan*, Andy Vogt*, Arthur Koch, Caitlyn Galloway, Carey Lin*, Cecilia Peña-Govea, Charles Dabo, Charlene Tan, Diane Olivier, Emory Douglas, Estelle Akamine, Floyd Solder, Gustavo Vazquez, Jarrel Phillips, Keith Scott Ferris, Juan Fuentes, Lisa Magruder, Mark Myers, Matt Christienson, Mel Prest, Micholiano Forks, Nancy Hom, Nathan Watson, Lereneo Neo Ve’ave’a, Phillip Hua*, Refa 1, Ron Moultrie Saunders, Sarah M. Newton, Sarah Smith*, Tine Ferrer, Kate Connell and Oscar Melara

*These artists also contributed commissioned site specific backdrops for the exhibition to hang on top of or sit upon.

Download Building the Art House Press Release

For more information:
Guest Curator, Emma Spertus, or
Library Exhibition Curator, Kate Connell,




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Filed under Art and Activism, Book Arts, City College Community, Cultural Studies, Fine Art, Neighborhoods

Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here: Transcendent Hope

Exhibition: October 29, 2016-April 13, 2017
Madeleine Haas Russell Gallery, 2nd Floor, Rosenberg Library
Library Hours


Opening Event: Art as Activism, Art as Memorial, artists’ panel moderated by Art Hazelwood in conversation with Kahlil Bendib, Golbanou Moghaddas, Nancy Hom and Juan R. Fuentes
Wednesday, November 2, 2016, 3:45-4:40, Room 305 Rosenberg Library Light Refreshments to follow in the Gallery

On March 5th 2007, a car bomb exploded in the booksellers district, Al-Mutanabbi Street, in Baghdad. Poet Beau Beausoleil working from his bookstore in the Sunset district sent a plea to the cultural world to stand in solidarity with the victims of this tragedy and preserve its memory. He did this for his fellow booksellers in Iraq, but also in defense of culture against those who would destroy it. The project has been embraced by poets, broadside printers, and artist book makers.

This exhibition is a selection of prints, broadsides and artist books. The printmaking on display represents the work of fifty artists from around the world.

Click here forthe Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here exhibition assignment and list of library resources.

Artists represented in the exhibition include:

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Books Equal Art


October 2014 – January 2015
4th Floor Reference Case West, Rosenberg Library
Library Hours

Books Equal Art/Books = Art, especially when they’re handmade books from Tara Books, printed books from Nobrow Press, books made of bamboo or an interactive book by young artist Ruby Alaniz-Hamer or I have Seen the Promised Land, a collaboratively created graphic novel by Bengal painter, Manu Chitrakar, African American griot, writer and performer Arthur Flowers and Italian designer Guglielmo Rossi at the provocation of Tara Books.

Tara Books’ blog lead us to another fascinating press:
Los lenateros title

All books on display were lent by the artists or purchased from Bird & Beckett, book lovers and presenters of free concerts in Glen Park, San Francisco, California.

Tara Books’ I Have Seen the Promised Land and Sita’s Ramayana will both be added to the CCSF Library in Spring 2015.

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Between the Leaves… Pictures Nestle on the Pages of Books

4th Floor, Rosenberg Library
City College of San Francisco,
Ocean Campus

Location and Hours

Between the Leaves

Art doesn’t just hang on museum walls. When it appears in books, you can hold it in your hands. The City College Library collection has millions of beautiful images nestled on the pages of books. Like text, pictures are information. Paintings, photographs, etchings, sculpture, collages and illustrations, all convey visual information in unique ways. Within a book, text supplies a context for images, making it even more possible to decipher them. What do the images in these books bring to mind? The work of internationally known artists from the present and last decades is on display: Chris Ware, Ben Shahn, Norman Rockwell and more. The images range from woodcuts in Wild Pilgrimage (1932), a wordless novel by Lynd Ward to drawings by Edith M. Cowles who used colored pencil to draw the frescoes of artist Giotto di Bondone for the 1931 portfolio Giotto, the Legend of St. Francis as Depicted in the Assisi Frescoes. Chris Ware’s multi-publication Building Stories, 2012, is also on display. Can you find the names of artists and illustrators of books as easily as you find the book’s author? Sometimes this depends on what era the book was published in.

Between the Leaves 

Between the Leaves Rockwell cover      Between the Leaves Face pages

Between the Leaves Master of the Day of Judgement

Click here to download the Library assignment on the Between the Leaves exhibition

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Filed under Book Arts, Libraries and Reading, Visual Literacy

White Collar:

A Depression-Era Graphic Novel
About Work

3rd Floor, Rosenberg Library, City College of San Francisco
October 25, 2013-April 12, 2014

White Collar

White Collar, by Giacomo Patri

Artist Giacomo Patri envisioned White Collar as a book that would dramatize, explain and solve the problem of the non-unionized white-collar worker who had been crushed by the poverty of the Great Depression in the 1930s. White Collar contrasts isolated poverty with the alternative: united action of the middle-class worker, it urges white callar workers to join unions and to join with their blue collar fellow workers. Patri had experienced many of the struggles depicted in the book personally. Using the linocut, a technique of carving linoleum attached to wooden blocks, he hand-printed the first edition with the help of his wife Stella, a book designer.  The second and third editions were commercially printed.

The Great Depression was the worst economic crisis of the 20th Century.  After the stock market collapsed in 1929, nearly half the country’s banks failed and some 13 to 15 million Americans were unemployed – nearly one in four workers. California’s unemployment rate was 28% in 1932, and in San Francisco the number of unemployed nearly doubled in one year from 1930 to 1931, reaching its peak in 1933.  Many people lost their homes and their life savings. The U. S. government, led by President Franklin Roosevelt, responded to the crisis with a series of laws and programs called the New Deal. Banking regulations were passed to prevent the financial speculation that led to the stock market crash, social safety net programs such as Social Security were created to prevent poverty, and protections were put in place that legally allowed workers to organize into unions for the first time.

Using strong graphic illustrations and just two colors, White Collar  depicts the impact of the Great Depression on ordinary people through images rather than words. The novel is a wonderful example of the powerful graphic style of the 1930s and an example of the dynamic collaborations between artists and the labor community during this period.  Shortly before World War II began, Giacomo Patri became the Director of the Art Department at the California Labor School. The Labor School’s curriculum included training in various trades, along with history, philosophy and other humanities courses taught from a working class perspective.  The art programs were among the most popular and any many leading artists, musicians and actors taught at the school. Financial support for the California Labor School came primarily from unions and after the war students were able to use GI Bill funds for tuition. Because the School was ethnically diverse during the Jim Crow era and many of the students and faculty were politically progressive, it was targeted as subversive during the McCarthy anti-communist 1950s, which led to its eventual closure in 1957. 

The exhibition White Collar is a collaboration with the Labor Archives and Research Center (LARC) at San Francisco State University. The LARC collection includes many works by Patri.

For good stories on the labor movement, checkout the LARC on Facebook.

Download the White Collar Assignment and list of books and other resources in the CCSF Library

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Letterpress Alive! 78 Years at CCSF

April 12-October 193rd Floor, Rosenberg Library
Check Library Hours Here

Letterpress Wooden TypeLetterpress exampleLetterpress Studio City College

Janet Ellliot, a member of the Letterpress Club at CCSF, discovered the rich history of letterpress printing at CCSF by talking with instructors and conducting research in the CCSF Archives. Her love of letterpress and printing lead her to develop Letterpress Alive! In addition to developing this exhibition, she is conducting interviews with faculty who have taught printing at CCSF over many decades. Her interviews will be added to the CCSF Archives. She describes her experience:

Having a Hand in Letterpress

It all started when I took Letterpress Printing with Bob Pinetti at the Mission Campus in 2009 and became quite enamored with letterpress. Fellow students did as well and we formed a Letterpress Club. The club had several events. One was an open house and round table discussion in May 2012. It was intended that a timeline be created for the occasion noting letterpress history at CCSF.The timeline wasn’t completed for the event, but is in this exhibit, tracing printing-related developments at the institution from 1935-2013. Research was necessary to devise a timeline. I contacted the Rosenberg Library in March 2012, and was connected to Librarian Christopher Kox. He provided me with an outline of key resources in the archive and at the reference desk for the topic. College catalogues from the institution’s beginning in 1935 to the present were searched, as well as class schedules for the last 78 years.An ever-changing curriculum was encountered as printing technology evolved over the years from letterpress, to offset, to digital, with the department changing names and course offerings over the years to keep up with the times. The timeline identifies these technological changes that also reflect industrial, societal, cultural and educational progressions. Librarian Kate Connell at the reference desk helped me with materials and asked questions about the research. From those conversations, she encouraged me to submit a libraryexhibit application which became the Letterpress Alive! 78 Years at CCSF exhibit in the cases before you. All the letterpress equipment inthe exhibit is from the CCSF Letterpress Shop. All the graphic pieces in the cases were designed and printed by CCSF students.May items in the exhibit stimulate your eyes and minds! Plan a visit to see the CCSF Letterpress Shop.Enroll in a Letterpress Printing or a Contemporary Letterpress class to discover the rich experience of letterpress printing by hand!

Letterpress assignment and bibliography

IMG_5062 little devil IMG_5066 IMG_5069



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CUBA: Two Views

La Familia, Roberto Chile  El mar, Steven Daiber
Esta Rojo, Steven Daiber Palomero by Roberto Chile

Afrodescendientes/Afro Cuban Guanabacoa
Photographer Roberto Chile

El Calor del Sol
Steven Daiber and Red Trillium Press

November 13, 2012-April 13, 2013
Rosenberg Library, City College of San Francisco
(Campus is closed for winter break December 20, 2012-January 14, 2013)

These two exhibitions offer a chance to see Cuba from two very different perspectives, from both inside and from the outside. Here in the United States we don’t often get to learn about Cuba’s kaleidoscope of unique history, rich culture and powerful role in the history of the Americas. In 1960 the U.S. instituted a trade embargo against the socialist island nation, a blockade that is still in place, having just been re-insituted by a vote in the United Nations General Assembly. Cuba also maintains some travel restrictions although occasionally, musical groups (including Orquesta Aragon and Septeto Nacional Ignacio Piñeiro de Cuba recent visiors) and others are able to secure both Cuban and U.S. visas in order to perform here. The U.S. embargo limits travel to Cuba to for U.S. citizens to educational and religous purposes. The City College Travel Abroad program leads trips to Cuba during the winter break, click here to learn more.

For the exhibition Afrodescendientes/Afro-Cuban Guanabacoa , prominent Cuban photographer and documentarian Roberto Chile chose to capture life in the community of Guanabacoa in Havana. This collection of photographs was created for the UNESCO International Year for people of African Descent, 2011. In celebration of that year, Afrodescendientes, has been shown in Havana; Madrid, Spain; Buenos Aires, Argentina and in Washington DC.

Over his forty year career as a photographer, Chile has served as the staff photographer (1984-2006) for Fidel Castro, President and Minister of Cuba and has produced bodies of work—films and photography collections—on a range of subjects: Cuban dance, children’s theater, Afro-Cuban religion and Alberto Korda, the photographer who created the famous image of Che Guevara that is seen around the world. Chile has been described as a chronicler of his time, in the words of the Historian of the City of Havana, Eusebio Leal Spengler:

“Roberto Chile has forged a unique image of Cuba, always dignified and luminous. His images make up a universe of faith and spirituality, visible to those who, like him, are able to love. “

El Calor del Sol
features artists books from Steven Daiber’s Red Trillium Press Based in Massachusetts, Red Trillium publishes artists books in collaboration with Cuban artists. Daiber travels back and forth between the United States and Cuba and has worked in eight different silkscreen workshops in the city of Havana. Subjects for his books include daily life in Havana, the Cuban Revolution, U.S./Cuba relations, Baseball, gay and transgender life in Havana and daily food rationing—as Daiber travels in Cuba, his experiences, and those of the people he meets and the artists he collaborates with are all possible subjects for his handmade books. Daiber says:

“My work facilitates dialogue between Cuban and foreign artists. Red Trillium Press books create real, metaphorical objects: palaces of the memory in which each element underscores a meaning. The collaborative books co-created with Cuban artists tell their stories of the lived reality in Cuba during the 21st century.”

Daiber’s recent trips to Havana in 2010 and 2011 included teaching book arts and book collaborations with Cuban artists. Poder (Power), created in 2010, is the first book in a series of three books based on themes Cuban artists feel describe their social and political relationships: power, privacy and waiting. These ideas developed during a number of meetings and conversations in 2007 with the artists. The second book, Privacidad (Privacy), was created in 2011 and the third book, Esperando (Waiting), is planned for  2013.

Almedrones y Roberto Chile Roberto Chile at CCSF CCSF Student, Cuba Exhibition cuba red trill muro cuba red trill will Afrodescendientes w Lori CCSF Student studies Red Trillium Red Trillium at CCSF CCSF Librarian views Afrodescendientes

Cuba Two Views Assignment and Book List

Check back as we add more links!

Cosponsored by the City College Study Abroad Program and the Latin American and Latino/a Studies Department.


Filed under Art and Activism, Book Arts, Cultural Studies, Heritage Months, Libraries and Reading