Award: Research & Development Grant
Discipline: Visual Arts
I see the book as a fitting tribute to its author, but also as a contribution to a modern response to the treatment of fellow human beings, especially children, during times of political unrest. For a book that has traveled so far in space and time from the original events that forever altered the lives of its author and millions of Jews, this particular text seems to be speaking to us about what we are seeing in the children at our borders who are separated from their parents today.Excerpt from Kelly Houle’s R&D Grant application
Kelly Houle’s grant award will fund the completion of a fully-illustrated, hand-typeset letterpress book titled A Dream: Selected Poems by Abramek Koplowicz. This collection represents the first publication of the English translations of these poems by Małgorzata Koraszewska and Sarah Lawson.
In 1938, eight year old Abramek Koplowicz was sent with his family to the ghetto in Łódź, Poland. There he was put to work in a shoe factory, but also wrote poetry and plays to entertain his fellow prisoners. At the age of 14, Abramek died alongside his mother in Auschwitz.
While creating her stippled, black-and-white illustrations Houle has come to think of the book as a fitting tribute to its author, but also as a contribution to a modern response to the treatment of fellow human beings, especially children, during times of political unrest.
Houle has already completed the book’s design and approximately 3/4 of the typesetting and letterpress printing. Grant funds will provide assistance with printing the last few pages, as well as sewing and binding the edition.
Kelly Houle is an Arizona-based artist working in the book arts. She studied painting, drawing, and letterpress at Scottsdale Artist’s School, Desert Botanical Garden, and with painting mentor Abbey Ryan and letterpress printing mentor Sky Shipley. She is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London and a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists, the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, and Oil Painters of America. Her paintings, drawings, and artist books are in public and private collections around the world, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Belgium, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Israel, Lebanon, India, Japan, and Australia. A complete collection of her artist books is housed in Arizona State University Library’s distinctive collections. For Kelly, the book arts are an outlet for creative work across disciplines between the visual arts, poetry, science, and the humanities.