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Notre Dame College Faculty Members Exhibit, Demonstrate Handmade Book Art in Reg
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Notre Dame College Faculty Members Exhibit, Demonstrate Handmade Book Art in Regional Showcase

The art and authorship of two Notre Dame College faculty members are among the works featured in Northeast Ohio’s month-long celebration of book and paper innovations.

Rachel Morris, M.A., associate professor of fine arts, and Amy Kesegich, Ph.D., assistant professor of English and chair of the English, communication and theatre department, are not only exhibiting their works but also giving presentations and demonstrations to area artists, printmakers, paper sculptors, conservators, bookbinders and literature lovers as part of Octavofest 2013.

Morris, who creates handmade art books, will demonstrate her craft during the Octavofest Art Books Cleveland Travel Journal Project 2013 lecture from 6:30-9 p.m. Wednesday, October 16, at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

A first-generation American, Morris will share her sketchbook as well as her final “Journey Back to Italy” art book about the small town of Patrica, Italy, where her father was born. The book of original prose, hand-lettered by Morris in calligraphy, features artistic presentations of maps, historical photos and her father and grandparents’ original passports from the 1920s.

Morris’s travel art book also is part of the Octavofest Tour: Celebrate the Book at the Cleveland Museum Art, a special display from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Saturday, October 19, at the museum. In addition to Morris discussing her work during that weekend event, her book on Italy will be on display at the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Ingalls Library through October 31.  

Morris recently opened the Octavofest Art Books Cleveland 6th Annual ABECEDARIA Exhibition at the Morgan Conservatory with a second creation: a handmade A to Z flag book of Cleveland landmark postcards, called “Nostalgic for Cleveland.” Her alphabet art book is on display at the Conservatory through November 30.

A long-time member of Art Books Cleveland (ABC), Morris will demonstrate her craft again during the Octavofest WatchART with ABC Members event from 1-3 p.m., Saturday, October 26, at the Conservatory.

Morris actually helped inspire Kesegich’s art when they team-taught a course on “The Artist Journal” at Notre Dame. Kesegich since has been chronicling her travels─to New Mexico, France and the geography of her own mind─in a series of colorful journals. Kesegich toured France with the College’s educational travel program this past spring.

Kesegich will present her personal and travel journals, which feature original poetry and trip mementos and are made with fine art papers, in the Octavofest Around the World in 80 Books lecture from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., October 19 at the Kelvin Smith Library of Case Western Reserve University.

Notre Dame, along with other Ohio universities, museums, libraries and art groups, has been a sponsor of the annual Octavofest celebration.

Octavofest is a month-long series of events each October celebrating the wide-spread interest in the book as an art object, the product of traditional artistic practice and the site of modern innovation. The festival is named after the octavo, a traditional book format that refers to the size for pages used in the printing of early books in which a large sheet of paper or parchment is folded three times to produce eight leaves.