Published January 25, 2018.
Meet the Center For Book Arts’ new winter interns, Jacey, Eve, and Sydney! Or, crosses between Beatrix Potter, Peggy Olson, and Kate Bush. Check out their profiles to learn about: how they react when distant cousins say an arts major won’t be profitable, the things they enjoy making, and how your children will turn out if you read to them—and do all the voices.
Too, of course, about the whimsy of interning here and installing Our Anthropocene: Eco Crises.
Jacey Davidson is a native New Yorker, but she’s absolutely in charge of the greenery—at her Brooklyn domain, and this week, at the Center’s exhibit.
She proudly selected and started germination of the Rainbow Moss growing from “Earth Volume,”a mounted book-planter in our current show, Our Anthropocene. She’s installed the work vigorously, but is never stingy with her positive adjectives—UH-mazing, IN-credible. Especially when it comes to florae.
Before her internship, she single-handedly restored late grandma Harriet’s Massachusetts Garden, digging up weeds so far down it made her head spin, and replacing them with rosemary, lavender, tomatoes, and mint.
Double majoring in Creative Writing and Art History at Oberlin, she maintains there’s a difference between what an art historian likes to look at and study. For instance, every last mug in her house is a van Gogh mug. Every one. She loves van Gogh so much. One day, she will re-write Irving Stone’s Lust For Life. This, as the first of many art-historical fiction projects. She’s also intrigued by post-world-war era pieces, though it’s really depressing, she says, and they were quite racist. She prefers 17th century botanical prints, and Dutch still lives, because they’re constantly reminding you you’re going to die… “how fun!”
Jacey’s early book-life began with falling asleep to her mother doing the Harry Potter voices. Also, with Mr. Putter and Tabby, an old man and cat confidante, who set out on mundane misadventures, like preparing Fruit Cake. She remembers the soothing rustle of pages, and favorite smell of old books—something she’s since defined as the smell of allergies, since old books smell like dust and make people sneeze. In middle school, she read more than her friends did, at least, when she wasn’t detailing her ennui on her prolific Tumblr blog, and dashing off to Paris, where she penned her first good short story in the Rodin Gardens—a meet-cute. Her wardrobe is almost entirely Chenille, even though it falls apart easily.
She doesn’t let people get her down when they call her major “funnn!” She refers them to her mom, a successful set-designer and patron of CBA, who finds her own fun to be working out. Jacey embroiders Chanukah gifts; lemons; lotuses. She would rather be in Brooklyn, but what is she gonna do, NOT go to the Met? She doesn’t know how she feels about how often her peers say “like,” because it allows teenagers and adult-teenagers to remain non-committal, but also opens the English language to more interpretative ways of describing—less physically, more representationally. The girl didn’t say she liked the movie. She was like, I like the movie.
Jacey’s future does not hold money (joke), or math. She will, however, be germinating plant refuses from logs, and growing an indoor mushroom farm. Does her Tumblr still exist? “Well, they can’t take it away!” So if you find yourself weeping over the 2012 musings of the most sensitive thirteen-year-old ever, paired with a Polaroid of a Weasley mermaid, it’s Jacey’s page, and you’re welcome, it was her pleasure.
If you spontaneously receive a linocut print of a bird in the mail, along with a letter asking to be pen-pals, it is likely from Eve Mefferd.
A Social Psychology and Public Policy student at Bennington, Eve does justice to what her friends describe as her “hippie upbringing.” She was her mom’s guinea pig during acupuncture certification. She ran barefoot around her Waldorf-like lower school in California, talking to trees. “We left not really knowing how to spell, but we could write really great stories.” The saddest moment of her pre-teen years was the inevitable transition to skinny jeans from her loose bell-bottoms.
Among Eve’s countless crafts, she looks forward to mastering a good French bread, as baguette is really hard to pull off. Also, how to make paper out of plant fibers—though she’s already pulped paper from reused paper, she hopes to “get some grass and blend it up,” proving that the best kind of overachiever is a woodland fairy.
Fascinated by books that push formal boundaries, she recommends Ship of Theseus to all who want to understand the joys of book art and involved reading. In the Doug Dorst and JJ Abrams collaboration, there are at least three overlapping narratives—the story, the footnotes, and in the margins, a conversation between two people who find and trade off the book, getting wrapped up in the mystery—not to mention the physical clues and snippets tucked into its pages.
While her classmates overuse “Neoliberalism,” and her mom works “side-hustle” into many sentences, Eve anticipates no longer living in the weird bubble of school, as, it seems, the world is huge. Her father hoped she’d pursue Marine Biology, but she has a fear of live fish, though she eats them to assert her dominance. Instead, Eve aspires to work in arts nonprofit management. “Normally at museums, there will be one cool book in an exhibition, a piece that’s sort of thrown in, and it’s my favorite one each time.” She was excited to learn there exists a gallery whose entire collection consists of just the stuff! She hopes to glean bookmaking skills through osmosis and workshops while working with CBA’s exhibitions and administration team.
Enjoying her first cold bath in Manhattan, Eve will surely fill the shorter, darker days with mustard yellow, her favorite color, home-cooked Vegetarian cuisine, and with fewer trees to talk to, a heart-to-heart with our new exhibit’s log sculptures.
This time last year, Sydney Bradley was diving out of the way of a pregnant donkey’s hind legs in the mountains of Ecuador. During her stay at the permaculture commune, she figured out she much preferred coloring with little girls to hours of manual farm work.
A graduating Literature student at Bennington, she writes experimental short stories. She dreams someone might prefer reading one to their Augmented Reality Goggles, which are slowly thrilling Sydney’s hometown of San Francisco, much to her terror.
She bitter-sweetly recalls reading Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events in first grade when, late at night under the covers, [SPOILER ALERT] the first-person narrator coyly suggested he might be the villain. This triggered inconsolable sobbing, and, devastated by the untrustworthiness of who had been her charming storyteller, she did not finish the saga. The incident taught her there is no veil between fiction and reality.
Prior, her book arts memories consisted of reading a Halloween story with her dad, locating the spider on each page, and debating whether or not it looked more like a tick. Also, falling asleep to bedtime tales her mother and aunt made up, like Joe the Giant and The Princess of Marshmallow Mountain. She was elated to discover the Center For Book Arts— a place where adults keep the magic alive.
Her favorite piece in Anthropocene is artist Nuno Henrique’s O GRANDE ATLAS DO MUNDO, an Atlas made entirely of light linen, with the daintiest bunches of cream hairs coming out from the pages. The volume looks like a fuzzy little creature, and almost renders its maps neutral, presenting serene-looking charts and pale territories.
When she’s not figure drawing a stranger and his thought bubble at the airport, (because there aren’t enough still, nude models hanging around), you may find her eating plain bread. Or walking out of a movie. Or staring blankly at a tech bro for his monologue on making the world a better place with code. She’d like to be a doula or write a screenplay, and bind the screenplay?
She’s working with CBA’s outreach and marketing, as well as blog development. Her professional alter ego wrote these profiles. Sydney usually likes to write shorter sentences.
About the Center for Book Arts
The Center for Book Arts is dedicated to exploring and cultivating contemporary aesthetic interpretations of the book as an art object, while preserving the traditional practices of the art of the book. The Center seeks to facilitate communication between the book arts community and the larger spheres of contemporary art and literature through exhibitions, classes, public programming, literary presentations, opportunities for artists and writers, publications, and collecting. Founded in 1974 and still located in Manhattan, it was the first not-for-profit organization of its kind in the nation, and has since become a model for others around the world. Visit our website for up-to-date details on all events and programs: www.centerforbookarts.org
About the Center for Book Arts Summer Internship
Primarily aimed at undergraduate students, The Center’s Summer Internship Program is designed to provide hands-on training in traditional book arts techniques as well as an overview of non-profit management. While the Summer Internship is unpaid, it may be used for school credit. Summer Internships are 3 days per week, 10am-6pm, for a period of 10-12 weeks. Start and end dates vary depending on The Center’s schedule and students’ availability, but the general timeline is mid/late May to mid/late August. Summer interns spend 2 days each week acquiring practical skills in the studios, learning bookbinding and letterpress printing with artist instructors, and producing editions. Interns also spend 1 day each week in the Center’s office in one or more of the following departments: Administration, Development, Education, Exhibitions, Collections, and Marketing. Deadline: Friday, April 13, 2018.
Online applications only.