Submitted by: Carmen Milenkovic, SCC Executive Director

I’ve only started here. July 2nd was my first day.
What I’ve come to know, seated at my desk on the second floor, is that I fashion any possible reason to wander down the staircase to the gallery below. Opening the door to that magical space immediately changes my mood, relaxes my sometimes frenetic mind and draws a gasp.

The exhibit on now – Art of the Book – is simply beautiful. If you haven’t made it to the Gallery you have until Saturday the 12th of July at 5PM to wander through its profound display of book binding and creation.

Susan Carr, Mexico, 2012. Photo by Mike Sullen

I take in one or two of the pieces with each descent down the staircase. I wonder at the inspiration and marvel at the execution. I’m not a creator but I’m a passionate book lover. And it’s not only the content that makes me a fan. I love the feel of the book, the softness of the front cover, the way the pages flip open, and the paper on which the printed word is lovingly held. I run my finger down the spine, and read the notes – the raves, the bios, the synopses – and I assess its possible place on one of my shelves (or more likely the piles that I’ve come to accumulate). I must say that I have to hold my hands behind my back as I wander through this exhibit – everything about the art pieces cries out to be touched, and yet I know I shouldn’t.

Patricia Owen, Collected Proverbs of Erasmus, 2013. Photo by Mike Sullen

On Monday, I was in the gallery at the same time as Martha Cole, a major Saskatchewan artist, one of our patrons, and a member of the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild – the organization that curated and is touring Art of the Book 2013. She was with a friend, a fellow artist, visiting the exhibit. Les Potter introduced us; following a brief exchange, we stopped to look at Collected Proverbs of Erasmus by Patricia Owen. Martha told us that this was a masterpiece as it was carved from wood and wrapped with a fine skin of goat leather that was then painted. I’ve looked at that piece many times, but it wasn’t until Martha told me about its intricacies did I realize how truly wonderful it was. I hadn’t picked up the catalogue, available to all gallery visitors, to read about the process. And so, even though my eyes recognized something special, I didn’t understand why – until I spoke with Martha.
Thanks Martha. I’ll pick up the catalogue from now on.