Plan your visit: Some galleries may be closed in preparation for our upcoming summer exhibitions. Read more.

Water Is…
Past Exhibition

Cynthia Sears and Catherine Alice Michaelis curated this water-themed exhibition, from the Cynthia Sears Collection of Artist’s Books. Artists include Amadine Nabarra-Piomelli and Shu-Ju Wang.

Water Is …

essential to life on, above and below the earth. It makes up
60% of the human body and appears in our aqueous
humors and secretions such as tears, sweat and urine.
transformational—It appears calm and quiet in ponds and
lakes; tumultuous in ocean surf. river rapids, waterfall;
silent as the slow fall of tears.
transformative. In nature, over time, water can level
mountains, carve canyons, create islands – or erase them.
symbolic. It represents creativity, new beginnings, redemption.
Water is what all our arguments should hold, what (in
financial matters) we should keep our head above, what (if
we’re stuck in one place) we are probably treading.

Curator’s Statement:

Water is… features over 50 works by different book artists meditating upon what water means to them personally—literally, figuratively, and symbolically. In How Swimming Saved My Life, by Ellen Knudsen, water is the element in which emotional equilibrium is temporarily found, and in Deep Time by Radha Pandey, water is erosion brought on by climate change. Gail Watson offers us stories told as teardrops in tiny containers at The Water Department and Lisa Banks explores cultural and personal depths in Water, handwritten on delicate textiles. Terry Schupbach-Gordon shows grace, strength, and purpose in a body that is Bent Like a River. Some book structures employed by these artists seem to seek to contain water, while accordion books suggest eternal cycles. Cloth books soften the water’s fall and flag books create waves.

– Cynthia Sears and Catherine Alice Michaelis


Jan 11 – Jun 27, 2021


Sherry Grover Gallery


Tour Water Is... with Cynthia Sears, exhibition curator & BIMA Founder

Water Is... - Artist's Books Unshelved