“escape*… restrictions apply,” 11 inches x 15 inches x .5 inc 2003
This is Tom Virgin’s first artist’s book. It is the first of three books examining the concept of “escape” in the context of a trip from Miami to the Florida Keys. During the course of this journey (escape* part one) the artist views various landmarks that break up the miles between Card Sound Road and the 7-mile Bridge. Also addressed along the way are more metaphorical walls, bridges, and escapes of another nature.
“escape*… restrictions apply” is printed on Arches 88, containing 17 pages. The book block is sewn with a kettle stitch, and glued into blue denim covered wood covers, with Japanese Katazome paper end sheets. The book is 11 inches x 15 inches x .5 inch. Fonts used are arial and Scott Ulrich’s Cheap Signage. Content includes an essay by the artist, seven digitally colored original woodcut prints by the artist, and maps showing the location of the images in the prints by Mile Marker in the Florida Keys. Facts and figures about the Keys follow the essay and prints.
Thirty years of Florida living did not dim the memory of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Actually when I was a kid it was just plain Sleeping Bear Dunes, complete with Dune Rides in great big American Car dune buggies. A residency at Glen Arbor Art Association in 2005 gave me an opportunity to visit the area and recreate the the park and my childhood memories in this book. “Right There” was the Florida Artist Book Prize winner in 2006 and is now part of the collection at the Bienes Museum of the Modern Book.
This book is a tour through time and space, bouncing around the artist’s head, Glen Arbor/ Glen Haven, Michigan, and the early 1960’s. Much of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has remained unchanged. Memories however may have become better with the passage of time. The book’s covers are basswood, planed, sanded and tied together with leather thongs. The cover art is laser etched into the wood, front and back covers of each chapter. The papers used are Thai Unryu and Arches Cold Press Watercolor 300 and 140 lbs. The book was created in Adobe Photoshop CS2 and Pagemaker 7.0. The font used is Americana. “Right There” has seven chapters, and when closed creates a block approximately 10 inches wide, 12.5 inches tall, and 10 inches deep. A custom denim bag is included for transportation. Each chapter contains one woodcut print, one C-print, one digital scan, and one essay by the artist. The book is an edition of five. The photographs were taken at a residency at Glen Arbor Art Association/ Sleeping Bear Dunes in summer 2004. The toy images, woodcut prints, and book itself were produced in 2006. The essays are semi-accurate memories of the artist’s childhood growing up in Michigan during the 1960’s.
Mountain Tops 45 in x 11 in x 3 in (open) 2011
“Mountain Tops” is an accordion fold structure made from powdercoated watercut aluminum, rivets, aluminum mounted C-prints covered in plexiglass, dye on linen, canvas, and teak dowel. The font used for the haiku is Regallo Aplaya from T.26.
This book has two C-prints mounted under plexi on aluminum, one drawing and one print cut from aluminum plate, two panels of words (a haiku written by the artist), and a canvas carrying sling. The book is created in response to an artist’s residency at Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, Oregon during the summer of 2007. This book received an honorable mention in the 2010 Florida Artist Book Prize at the Bienes Museum of the Modern Book. It is an homage to Jim Findlay who helped me gain access to mountain tops with his support.