BAG Meeting on Saturday, May 13

Saturday, May 13, 2023, 1 pm to approximately 3 pm MT, via Zoom (online)
Free; Open to the Public; All are Welcome


  • Welcome and Announcements by President Linda Zwick
  • Update on the Exploding Book Project at the New Mexico Museum of Art by Sally Blakemore
  • Upcoming Programs and Workshops by Julie Filatoff
  • Update on Exhibits of Members’ Works in 2023 and 2024 by Will Karp
  • Upcoming Salons by Gail Murray
  • Artist Trading Card (ATC) Swap Update by Ruth Anna “Annie” Abigail
  • June Mail Art Description by Linda Zwick
  • June Anything Goes Description by Linda Zwick
  • Call for Comments: Tell Us About Your Favorite Tool for Making Art (2 minutes each person; we will call on you and time you) by Attendees
  • Community Announcements (calls for entry, upcoming exhibits and workshops, other highlights) by Attendees (2 minutes maximum, please)

Please note: For security reasons we never put the Zoom link on our website. If you did not receive an email from Santa Fe Book Arts Group with the link, please check your email program’s “spam” or “junk” folder. Still not there? Email with your name and your email address.

New Collaborative Book; Signup Deadline is April 15, 2023


Santa Fe Book Arts Group is leading a joint collaborative book for BAG and Libros New Mexico Book Arts Guild. This will be BAG’s 2023 collaborative book.

The structure will be a drum leaf binding, proposed by Gail Murray, and based on a drum leaf binding designed by Elizabeth McKee for a workshop she taught this year. The theme is “geometry.”  Pages will be 5” x 10”, folded to 5” x 5” for the book. Pages will be attached back-to-back, and only the front side of each page will be visible in the completed book. Participants are expected to use Arches Text Wove paper for their pages.

The deadline to sign up is Saturday, April 15, 2023; email Linda Zwick at to sign up.

By the end of April participants will be notified of the number of pages to make. Pages will be due by Friday, July 21, 2023. Compilation meetings will be scheduled in mid-August, probably the week of August 14 and/or the week of August 21, on Zoom, in-person, or hybrid.

Participants must be a current member of either BAG or Libros.

WORKSHOP FULL: Animated Pop-Ups Workshop with Shawn Sheehy

Presented by the Santa Fe Book Arts Group
Saturday, April 29, 2023, 10 am to 4 pm (with a break for lunch; nothing open on campus, please bring your lunch)
Santa Fe Community College, Room 700
$63 for BAG members; must be a member in good standing
PLUS $30 materials fee, payable to Shawn at the start of the workshop

THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL.  To get on the waiting list, please send an email to

Pop-ups are dimensional and come to life when a page is turned. Movables are flat and come to life when a tab is pulled. Both strategies alone can animate a page; combining the two can make the animation even more exciting. In this workshop you will assemble and explore a variety of applied foundational structures for paper engineering, and you will bind the collected structures into a simple case. All skill levels are encouraged. Maximum of 15 students.

Materials Shawn will supply for the $30 per person fee:

  • 20 sheets (per person) of 8.5″ x 11″ 80-lb. cover stock, various colors, some of which will have patterns printed on them
  • 1 sheet of 12.5″ x 5.5″ 140-lb. cover stock
  • PVA adhesive
  • Glue cups
  • Double-stick tape
  • 12-page pattern set

Supply List (bring these tools):

  • Bonefolder
  • Ruler
  • Xacto knife/blades
  • Self-healing mat
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Microspatula (optional)
  • Tweezers (optional)
  • Screw punch (optional)

Questions? Email

Stab Binding: 3 Variations Workshop with Pamela MacKellar

Presented by the Santa Fe Book Arts Group
Saturday, June 17, 2023, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm
Online via Zoom
$49 for BAG members; you must be a member to participate
Maximum of 12 students

Register here:

The Stab Binding is a simple, non-adhesive, side-stitched binding that was practiced in China, Japan, and Korea. The binder stabs holes along the spine edge through the entire book block in a straight line or in a more complex pattern to create a decorative stitch that is visible on the outside covers. We will make 3 variations (4-hole, Noble, and Tortoise Shell) incorporating single sheets, folded sheets, soft cover, wraparound cover, and hinged hard cover.

This class is designed for beginners; however, experienced book artists are welcome.

Students will provide their own supplies, materials, and tools. BAG will send the supply list and Zoom link to registrants prior to class.


  • Brief history of Stab Bindings
  • How they are constructed
  • Examples and resources
  • Squaring the block
  • Stabbing the holes
  • Gluing/covering boards
  • Hinged hard cover
  • Sewing variations
  • Following patterns
  • Questions and sharing

Questions? Email Pam at

Monthly Art Challenges Announced

Mail Art–12 in ’23: Color

Each month you will create a 4×6 postcard (using cardstock) that focuses on one color.

Then email Linda Zwick ( with your address before the third Saturday of the month. She will email you the name and address of your recipient the next week.

You have the entire month to work on your card. Please mail it to your mail art recipient by the end of the month. (For example, if you sign up in December for the January mail art, please mail your card by the end of January.)

Also email a photograph of your card to BAG ( These images will be used on social media, the BAG website, and occasional BAG slideshows. If you would prefer not to have your card exhibited in any of these venues, please just skip sending in an image.

Anything Goes! Adventures in Art: Famous Artists

Create a piece of art, any size, shape, and with whatever materials you choose.

There is no assigned exchange involved in this project, so send to anyone you like or keep for yourself.

Please photograph and email an image of your creation to BAG ( by the end of the next month. As with Mail Art, your image may be used on social media, the BAG website, and for a Zoom presentation. Emailing an image serves as your permission for BAG to use this photo of your art.

BAG President Linda Zwick has given us a challenge. Create a piece of art of any kind (no limitations on size or structure), send to friends and family if you like, and send a photo to (for posting on the website and social media, and inclusion in a likely future slideshow at a BAG membership meeting). The themes are just suggestions; create whatever suits your fancy!

Click the links below to see examples of the artists’ work.


January 28 is Jackson Pollock’s birth anniversary. Experiment with poured paint and spatter!


In February 2022, Cuban-born artist Carmen Herrera died at age 106, having worked in relative anonymity until age 89. Experiment with abstract geometric shapes.


In March 1891, Georges Seurat died at the age of 31. Following his lead, experiment with techniques he devised: chromoluminarism and pointillism, or use Conte crayon to draw on rough surfaced paper.


Lyubov Popova was a Russian avant-garde artist. This month, try your hand at Suprematist art, that is, focus on pure artistic feeling rather than on visual depiction of objects.


Barbara Kruger is a contemporary artist most well known for her collage style consisting of black-and-white photographs overlaid with declarative captions. Suggestion: create a collage of an image overlaid with text.


M.C. Escher was a Dutch graphic artist who made mathematically inspired woodcuts, lithographs, and mezzotints. As noted in Wikipedia, “his work features mathematical objects and operations including impossible objects, explorations of infinity…truncated and stellated polyhedra, hyberolic geometry, and tessellations.” Suggestion: create an exploration of infinity or mathematical objects.


Chuck Close was a visual artist, photographer, painter, and printmaker who made many abstract portraits of himself and others. He is known for many styles of artwork, including tapestry portraits and portraits made of many miniature photographs. Suggestion: play with a portrait or self-portrait with a unique design.


We all, I bet, know of Andy Warhol, who was a leading figure in the pop art movement. Suggestion: step away from fine art and experiment with imagery from popular culture, that is, focus on a mundane image from an ironic view.


Alma Thomas became known for “exuberant, colorful abstract paintings” (per Wikipedia). She had a long career teaching art and did not become a professional artist until about age 68. About this time, she developed a style of pointillism using dramatic contrasts of colors in a mosaic style; most of her works have circular, horizonal, or vertical patterns.  Suggestion: experiment with contrasting colors in mosaic configurations.


John Dwyer McLaughlin was an abstract painter and a pioneer in minimalism and “hard edge” painting, in which abrupt changes occur between color areas that are often of unvarying shades. This style of paining is related to color field painting (see December challenge). Suggestion: create an image of bold shapes and strong colors.


Margarete Bagshaw was born in November 1964. She died (an untimely death) in 2015. She was a member of Santa Clara Pueblo; her grandmother Pablita Velarde and her mother Helen Hardin were both famous New Mexico artists. Bagshaw was a modernist artist and many of Bagshaw’s paintings incorporate designs based on the Fibonacci sequence, a mathematical formula that’s called “nature’s secret code” or “nature’s universal rule” (an example being the shape of the nautilus shell). Experiment with harmonious components in a piece.


Helen Frankenthaler was an American abstract expressionist painter. Per Wikipedia, “her style is notable on its emphasis on spontaneity.” In 1960, the term “color field painting” was used to describe her work. According to Wikipedia, Frankenthaler often painted on unprimed canvas with oil paints heavily diluted with turpentine, a technique she termed “soak stain.” Suggestion: create an image based on “color field” design, using large areas of color and hues similar in tone or intensity.

Tribute to Douglass Rankin (with link)

Recently we said goodbye to a dear friend, Douglass Rankin.

Douglass was a potter, poet, photographer, printmaker, pastepaper marker, postage stamp collector, mail art maker, journal keeper, book artist, beekeeper, butterfly counter, bird and fish watcher, cat lover, gardener, cook, hiker, star gazer, traveler of paths least traveled, wife of Will Ruggles, and most of all, a great book arts friend. We miss you, Douglass!

The photography in the slideshow tribute was supplied by Gail Murray, Dorothy Rankin, and Douglass herself. Paul Murray assisted with the technical aspect of the slideshow, which you can view at

2023 Membership Dues Increase

The Santa Fe Book Arts Group Board voted to raise membership dues to $40 annually as of January 1, 2023. This is the first dues increase in several years. Members who renew by December 31, 2022, however, can do so at the 2022 rate of $30.

Over the years Santa Fe BAG has consistently expanded the number and breadth of programs we offer as a membership benefit. Programs include meetings, workshops, presentations, and exhibition opportunities. This dues increase will enable us to continue to support and enhance our broad range of programming, because we are committed to supporting your growth as book and paper artists.

Renew today! Visit

Artwork by Douglass Rankin.

BAG Meeting This Saturday, October 8

Saturday, October 8, 2022, 1 pm to approximately 3 pm MT
Free; Open to the Public; All are Welcome


  • Welcome and Announcements by President Linda Zwick
  • Art Flea Market Update by Cynthia Leespring
  • In Memoriam: Douglass Rankin by Linda Zwick and Gail Murray
  • Meet Your Board Member: Kim Walter, Form + Content
  • Art Journal Page and ATC/Rolo Swap Update by Ruth Anna Abigail
  • Round Robin Art Journal Swap Update by Cynthia Leespring
  • November Mail Art Description by Linda Zwick
  • November Anything Goes Description by Linda Zwick
  • Community Announcements (calls for entry, upcoming exhibits and workshops, other highlights) by Attendees (2 minutes maximum, please)

Please note: For security reasons we never put the Zoom link on our website. If you did not receive an email from Santa Fe Book Arts Group with the link, please check your email program’s “spam” or “junk” folder. Still not there? Email with your name and your email address.

BAG Meeting This Saturday, August 13

Saturday, August 13, 2022, 1 pm to approximately 3 pm MT
Free; Open to the Public; All are Welcome


  • Welcome and Announcements by President Linda Zwick
  • Materials and Concepts: Books Developed through Sensory Observation and Engagement, a Presentation by Marci Ross Easterbrook (see below)
  • Art Flea Market Update by Cynthia Leespring and Julie Filatoff 
  • Announcement of Fall Book Arts Courses at SFCC by Gordon Fluke
  • Round Robin Art Journal Update by Cynthia Leespring
  • Art Journal Page and ATC/Rolo Swap Update by Ruth Anna Abigail
  • September Mail Art Description by Linda Zwick
  • September Anything Goes Description by Linda Zwick
  • Community Announcements (calls for entry, upcoming exhibits and workshops, other highlights) by Attendees (2 minutes maximum, please)

Please note: For security reasons we never put the Zoom link on our website. If you did not receive an email from Santa Fe Book Arts Group with the link, please check your email program’s “spam” or “junk” folder. Still not there? Email with your name and your email address.

Presentation: Materials and Concepts: Books Developed through Sensory Observation and Engagement with Marci Ross Easterbrook

Marci Ross EasterbrookMarci will present her work through different projects that show how the use of materials developed a concept. She will also talk about using your sensibilities to observe what happens as books in different materials stimulate ideas and can translate into other projects.

Marci Ross Easterbrook is an illustrator, printmaker, papermaker, book artist and teacher at Santa Fe Community College. Marci strongly believes that materials are a key source for knowing yourself as an artist and will lead each person to creative new work through text and image. She uses materials of paper, Tyvek, altered pages, and mixed media to create unique surface design that leads to discovery of creative concepts and content for books.

And the Next Day, an Online Workshop!

If you would like to sign up for this workshop after hearing Marci’s presentation, please go to the registration page here, send a check or pay for it with PayPal, and text Julie Filatoff at 505-660-9942 so she sends you the supply list and prompts!

Sense and Signatures: A Materials and Book Workshop with Marci Ross Easterbrook

Sunday, August 14, 2022
10 am to 2 pm (with a lunch break)
Via Zoom Online Platform

Sense and Signatures Workshop

In this four-hour workshop you will develop your five senses (touch, smell, taste, hearing, and sight) into materials for concept and content development. This will become five signatures which you will bind into an artist book with a side-sewn accordion spine and Tyvek covers.

You will receive a supply and tool list prior to the workshop. The sequence of events: surface techniques on paper, staining Tyvek, making the accordion spine, lunch break, making signatures, sewing the spine and cover, and sharing your books with the other students and Marci.

Marci will also provide a printable .pdf document with directions, a jig, and concept prompts.

Limited to 15 students; held on Zoom. $69 per person (no materials included). Questions? Email

Register here: (NOTE: You must fill out the form; simply paying for the workshop does not secure you a spot.)

Opens August 5: Santa Fe Origins & Ancient Travelers

Santa Fe Book Arts Group’s Santa Fe Origins & Ancient Travelers Exhibition
Opening Friday, August 5, 2022, 5 pm to 7 pm
Exhibition Continues Through August 26, 2022

Historic Santa Fe Foundation (HSFF) is pleased to host the Santa Fe Book Arts Group. Santa Fe Origins & Ancient Travelers is a 12.5’ long, handmade book exploring the history of Santa Fe from its beginnings. The exhibition will open at El Zaguán, 545 Canyon Road, Suite 2, Santa Fe, NM on Friday, August 5, 2022 from 5-7 pm.

Santa Fe Origins & Ancient Travelers is a collaboration between paper and book artists from the Santa Fe Book Arts Group (BAG). The group is made up of working artists who love the fertile creative spirit of Santa Fe and have contributed to the piece throughout the pandemic by hand making and cutting paper as well as through providing individual paper mechanics and illustrations. Sally Blakemore, as BAG Artist in Residence from 2020-2022, proposed the book as a collaborative project promoting Santa Fe’s fascinating human history of Native people, migrants from Mexico, colonization through European influences, the Catholic Church, scientists, archeologists, and adventurers.

Click on any image to enlarge.

Santa Fe Origins & Ancient Travelers is a handmade, interactive book which features the history of Santa Fe from her beginnings.

Who traveled to Santa Fe?
Why did they travel to New Mexico?
What did each group contribute to the diverse culture?
How diverse is Santa Fe’s history?
How has tourism enriched the experience?

Santa Fe Origins & Ancient Travelers is a folding, accordion book that is 15.5″ by 20.5″ closed and 12.5’ long when fully opened and appears as a wild scrapbook of historical facts. Each spread contains a central piece of adobe and historical architecture hand cut from lokta paper, dyed to match the adobe colors of Santa Fe. The following buildings are the centerpiece of their respective spread: the Oldest House, San Miguel Chapel, St. Francis Cathedral, the Palace of the Governors, and La Fonda Hotel. These structures provide a starting location for the stories and historical entries contained in small books which are comprised of illustrations in paper engineered formats, paintings, drawings, and articles by scholars concerning Santa Fe’s diverse history. Each group of travelers has brought wisdom, beliefs, foods, the wheel, honey, agriculture, music, dance, ritual architecture, business, and stewardship to the Southwestern region. The public is encouraged to explore the piece and acquaint themselves with the mystery and wonder of Santa Fe by removing the small books from their cases and flaps.

More information:

Poetry Workshop on March 19 with Lauren Camp

The Surprising Form of Memory: Writing a Pantoum, a workshop with Lauren Camp

Saturday, March 19, 2022
2:00 pm to 3:30 pm
Online via Zoom
$25 (BAG members); $30 (non-members)

The ancient pantoum is an ideal form for writing about the past. With a little direction, even uncertain writers are eased into shaping their crystalline memories, and more experienced writers will have the chance to delve into subjects that might not have opened up for them before.

Lauren will offer brief historical background on the form, then lead students in an idea-generating exercise to produce raw material for each student’s unique pantoum. Students will begin to see the juxtaposition and reverberation of sound and themes. Excitement builds quickly as students follow the form through to its ending.

Open to all levels.

Lauren Camp has written creative nonfiction and poetry for magazines, newspapers and journals. Her fifth collection of poetry, Took House, was published by Tupelo Press in 2020.

Register here:

Mail Art for 2022 Announced

12 in ’22: The Months of the Year

Mail ArtEach month you will create a 4×6 postcard (using cardstock) about anything that interests or inspires you about that month of the year. A holiday, a birthday of someone famous (or not), a feeling the month generates… whatever the month means to you.

Then email Linda Zwick ( with your address before the third Saturday of the month. She will email you the name and address of your recipient the next week.

You have the entire month to work on your card. Please mail it to your mail art recipient by the end of the month. (For example, if you sign up in December for the January mail art, please mail your card by the end of January.)

Also email a photograph of your card to BAG ( These images will be used on social media, the BAG website, and occasional BAG slideshows. If you would prefer not to have your card exhibited in any of these venues, please just skip sending in an image.

Anything Goes! Adventures in Art

Anything GoesEach month at the Zoom member meeting (and in an eBlast the following week), BAG will introduce a new adventure. Create a piece of art, any size, shape, and with whatever materials you choose.

There is no assigned exchange involved in this project, so send to anyone you like or keep for yourself.

Please photograph and email an image of your creation to BAG ( by the end of the next month. As with Mail Art, your image may be used on social media, the BAG website, and for a Zoom presentation. Emailing an image serves as your permission for BAG to use this photo of your art.

The Anything Goes! Adventures in Art for January is:
“January 31 is Inspire Your Heart with Art Day.”

Two More Paper Engineering Projects

Today at the end of the BAG meeting Sally Blakemore will demonstrate two more paper engineering projects. This is part of an ongoing series for those working on the “Santa Fe Origins” collaborative book, and anyone interested in paper engineering.

First are the animated tabs and pulls. This mechanic operates with multiple slots through the front that contain items that lift when the tab is pulled down. Use it for any kind of reveal-and-conceal idea; for example, bugs under leaves or birds flying up or dancers or a village where the houses and the trees pop up.

You can add as many windows and struts as you wish.

Click on any photo to enlarge.

Click on the diagram to open it in a new window to download and print.

The second mechanic is the two-track wheel with two windows. This can be used for showing comparative things. In her example, Sally has humorously shown things you can accidentally run over with your car in New Mexico: snakes, tarantulas, scorpions, stink bugs, rabbits, chipmunks, ravens, beetles, and more. (Don’t worry, folks—it’s not real.)

Click on the diagram to open it in a new window to download and print.

Sally Blakemore’s Artwork in Shanghai International Paper Art Biennale

BAG Artist-in-Residence Sally Blakemore is one of 100 paper artists who were invited to submit their work to the 2021 Shanghai International Paper Art Biennale.

The theme of the Biennale is “Feasts on Paper,” focusing on paper as contemporary art against the backdrop of the pandemic. The Biennale opens September 25 and includes an exhibition, a seminar, an International resident creation project, and a series of cultural and artistic activities (theme handicraft workshops, on-site cultural activities, parallel exhibition, Environmental Art Market, etc.). The themes of the three exhibition areas will be intertextual, sharing faith, and strength for the global fight against the epidemic.

“The pandemic that began at the end of 2019 has sealed each individual in an independent space, while at the same time being engulfed in a closely related human community,” note the organizers. “This is an era full of various uncertainties and possibilities. Questions about oneself, the space, and the world are endless, and the meaning of existence and unbounded love emerge. We need paper art more than ever. As an outlet for expression and writing, it comes from life and is a daily poetry regained in the world’s great torrent, and it shows a great love that connects everyone while bringing hope to each other.

“The Biennale will present various thoughts of artists around the world concerning the epidemic, nature, life, promising hope, and great love. The paper that has always written history will continue to write in the form of contemporary art at this moment, taking the real-time picture of epidemics and the river of consciousness. At the same time, we are able to swim through the cold winter and head toward the next spring, along with the soft-yet-tough power of paper.”

Sally’s book is “History Mountain,” which she describes as a “matriarchal/patriarchal look at human adaptation to change, both gradual change and catastrophic change.” The book contains four spreads; on the back of each is a visual warning or subtext to the topic in the spread.

  • Spread 1—PreHistory represents the Earth before technology. A humanoid emerges on the right wearing a spiritual costume.
  • Spread 2—Discovery of Fire represents the power of control and the resources found in this discovery of energy. How to use it is the real education and the responsibility it requires.
  • Spread 3—When a Bird Saw an Airplane is the view through Nature’s eyes. How long does Nature take to adapt to human-made detours and inventions?
  • Spread 4—Technological Blight represents a positive thing in a blighted world: that humans continue to search for beauty and energy. These include beauty products, commodified for markets, and found beauty, which is free to the self-educated and in the eye of the beholder.

The materials that Sally sued include watercolor, handmade papers, inks, acrylics, photocopies, acetate, jute, paint, Tyvek, Mylar, fabric, cover board, and tape. Her cutting methods include laser, plotter, hand cutting, and paper engineering. (Click on images below to enlarge; use back arrow to return to this page.)

Sally drew her inspiration from authors and cultures:

  • Oliver Sacks (Migraine, Awakenings, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat) was a brain specialist and author who wrote case histories on brain anomalies like migraine aura and how resilient and flexible the brain really is.
  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari and Homo Erectus.
  • Work of the Dead by Thomas W. Laqueur is an astonishing history of human remains, just how they were disposed of and made sacred, from the Neanderthal to modern humans. Burials reveal so much of how cultures adapt and change.
  • Stiff, a book by Mary Roach, is a modern look and an update onthe understanding of remains and their value to science and art.
  • The Chinese Blue Willow Legend as shown on the manufactured dinner plate porcelain.

Here’s the video of the opening day (Sally’s book is shown at :55): There may be additional videos on the YouTube channel later:

The Biennale is under the guidance of the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture and Tourism, the Organizing Committee of the Oriental Beauty Valley Art Festival, and the Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts, with several sponsors including the International Association of Hand Papermakers and Paper Artists. For more information visit

Ann Kresge: Places/Spaces Exhibit Catalog

BAG member Ann Kresge’s exhibit, Places/Spaces, is no longer up at the Remarque Print Workshop gallery, but we are fortunate that the gallery has the pieces in an online catalog, which you can view here:

“This retrospective exhibition is composed of work inspired by a sense of place,” Ann said. “Many of these prints and artists’ books were created on site in these places and spaces.

“I am fascinated by people’s connection to geography. The patterns and impressions of places I have worked, lived, and visited inspire my art. These places include India, Japan, China, Egypt, Argentina, and throughout the US. Rock formations, caves, canyons, earth’s rims and edges compel me. I think about ideas, forces and people gathering and dispersing.

“As a contemporary printmaker and book artist I think in paper, pattern, series, sequence, layers, and interiors. I explore my sense of place in painting, drawing, and printmaking. My artists’ books are collaborations with poets and storytellers. I am interested in collaboration, interarts and books as objects.”

Here’s just one of Ann’s pieces. Be sure to click the link above to see the entire exhibition.

Shadow Play | Ann Kresge | Limited-edition artist’s book | 14″x18″x1″

Poetry Posts at SFCC

When you’re on the Santa Fe Community College campus, be sure to look for the poetry posts. Santa Fe Poet Laureate Elizabeth Jacobson, along with Miriam Sagan (who originated the posts), will curate 12 poets in the next 24 months, ending June 30, 2023. Expect a gathering of voices and some fresh poetry. There are 10 posts for a walkable literary experience.

The inaugural installation is poetry by Elizabeth Jacobson, to celebrate her appointment, and is up through August 31, 2021.

Poetry post on SFCC campus.

Community Project: Origins in Mud

“Elsewhere the sky is the roof of the world; but here the earth was the floor of the sky.”
― Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop

Artist-in-Residence Sally Blakemore and Community Projects Liaison Barb Macks are spearheading an amazing project, and you, as a BAG member, can be part of its creation. “Santa Fe: Origins in Mud” is sponsored by Santa Fe Book Arts Group (BAG) in cooperation with the Palace Press at the Palace of the Governors/Santa Fe History Museum and El Zaguan (located on Canyon Road and part of the Historic Santa Fe Foundation).

“Origins in Mud” is an interactive, paper-engineered book celebrating Santa Fe’s multi-cultural diversity and reflecting the origins of a society that literally grew out of the Southwest mud. The book consists of five spreads, each page being 15” wide by 20.5” high with 1” spines. When it is extended flat it will be 12.5’ long, dense with interactive flaps that engage the viewer to explore the hidden treasures. The mechanical paper forms will lift, pop up, rise, and unfold, reveal and conceal, or unfold and extend when the viewer opens a page. Architectural details will be cut into the papers with further details added.

Prototype of “Santa Fe: Origins in Mud.” Click image to open larger in another window.

For the exhibit at El Zaguan in Spring 2022, we envision a dark, empty gallery with a 20-foot-long table in the middle of the room. Under the table a wooden trough will contain all of the incredible colors of earth in the region, from yellow ochre clays to green sand to red earth. The actual earth will ground the brown colors in the handmade Lokta/Abaca papers created for the project by Tom Leech of the Palace Press.

The book is designed to be viewed in 360 degrees. Visitors will use flashlights to see inside and through the structures. From the back, painted rooms and silhouetted human life will create shadows that live in the paper as the light moves.

As you can imagine, it takes a lot of artists with skill in many disciplines to make this book a reality. Sally and Barb will hold in-person workshops for 2 or 3 people beginning in September.

Below is a description of each spread; the * and bold text indicates that artists are needed to create this piece.  If you would like to create a piece, contact Sally at right away.

1. The “Oldest” House

  • Corn stalks and river, inside flap painted with workers planting and showing corn
  • Foods made with corn, beans, squash, meat, and peppers *
  • Medicine bag of curandera herbs and sage *
  • Inside of the “Oldest” House (seen from the back): people and belongings and working with other people *
  • Vegetation to be added to the spreads, trees, bushes, flowers *
  • Fauna and flora of New Mexico *
  • Beaded and embroidered cloth map of El Camino Royale *
  • Ravens (The Raven’s Tale is a small book based on an Indigenous story but a modern book based on what the ravens observed for 10,000 years) *

The origins of this house reside in the relationship between the Catholic church and the curanderas of Mexico. The architects were the Aztec (Tlaxcalan) from Mexico City who set the standard for early building in New Mexico. The Urrutia map of 1766-68 shows a structure near the San Miguel Chapel in the approximate position of this house. It is believed that it was built by hand from mud and trees found in the area and constructed on top of an ancient footing from an Indigenous village underneath it. Tree-ring specimens taken from some of the vigas in the lower rooms’ ceilings show cutting dates of 1740-67. The house remains a unique remnant of the type of building once prevalent in the city—part Indigenous, part Spanish, low-ceilinged and rugged, with dirt floors and thick adobe walls.

2. San Miguel Chapel

  • Tlaxcalan (Aztec) builders *
  • Moorish Matachine Dancers on the plaza in front of the chapel *
  • Interior painting showing the altar and seating *
  • Pop-up of unique bell made in Spain and rung against the Moors *
  • Adobe and rammed-earth building components and hornos *
  • Ravens

The chapel was built around 1610 and is recognized as the oldest church in the United States. It is believed that it was constructed by Tlaxcalan people (Apaches) who came to New Mexico from old Mexico in 1598. In its early years, the church served a small group of Tlaxcalans, laborers, and Spanish soldiers who lived in this area. The church was partially destroyed in 1640, then reconstructed but severely damaged again during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. In 1955, a major restoration uncovered the original dirt floor and sanctuary steps that can be seen today.

3. St. Francis Cathedral and Original Chapel

  • Conquistadora portrait and story of rescue to El Paso during the revolt *
  • Altar and candles
  • Relic case with acetate window*
  • Pet Parade
  • Rose Window and Dove Window
  • Finger Labyrinth cut from handmade paper on the flap of the Pet Parade
  • Sculptures on the plaza: St. Francis, Corn Maiden, Dancing Maiden
  • Ravens
  • Cross of the Martyrs

The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi was built by Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy between 1869 and 1886 on the site of an older adobe church. Influenced by the French-born Archbishop Lamy and in dramatic contrast to the surrounding adobe structures, the Cathedral was designed in the Romanesque Revival style. The concurrence of the soil and color at the Cathedral is echoed in this passage from Frank Waters’ People of the Valley:

“Before her, fresh plastered, new-adobe Santa Gertrudes shimmered in the hot afternoon. The walls of Bishop Lamy’s new church rose clean ash-grey with adobe brought from Guadalupita. Behind it, chattering like a flock of blackbirds, the Sisters of Loretto watched their convent school being given its first coat of yellow tierra amarilla. In the row of stores, trading posts, and cantinas, Maria recognized the relumbroso from the red clay banks around Turquillo. And north and south, the scattered adobes reflected white and clay-blue from Cañoncito and Chacón. It was a single village street sprawled along the winding, rutted road between the pine hills and the cottonwoods lining the river. But with its colors the girls saw in it all the clay banks and canyons, the hills and chalk cliffs of the one long valley she wandered from end to end.”

4. La Fonda Hotel

  • The Ghost Fountain and story of the casino days (pop-up flap) *
  • Inside La Plazuela restaurant, with its painted windows *
  • La Titilla Peak in various light and seasons
  • Trees in the vicinity *
  • Ravens
  • Roof bar showing Titilla Peak and Caldera
  • Flamenco scene and Mariachis

City of Santa Fe records indicate that La Fonda sits on the site of the town’s first inn, established when the city was founded by Spaniards in 1607, making it the oldest hotel corner in America. In 1821, Captain William Becknell and his party found their way to La Fonda during the maiden commercial route across the plains from Missouri, establishing the Santa Fe Trail. The structure today was built in 1922 and features the influence of architects Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter and John Gaw Meem. In this book La Fonda represents an end-of-the-trail place of welcome (bienvenidos) and hospitality. It existed as a casino and brothel for many years at the edge of the St. Francis Cathedral, highlighting the contrast between sanctity and sanctified partying.

5. The Palace of the Governors

  • Plaza flap with another flap of the obelisk as it was and toppled *
  • Note about the Time Capsule *
  • Low Rider Parade with low riders in the accordion fold
  • Festivals around a suggested bandstand *
  • Baumann House *
  • Pop up of Tom Leech and the Palace Press letterpress *

As Spain’s seat of government for what is today the American Southwest, the Palace of the Governors’ adobe structure is the oldest continuously occupied public building in the United States. In the following years, the Palace changed hands as the territory of New Mexico did, seeing the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, the Spanish reconquest from 1693 to 1694, Mexican independence in 1821, and finally American possession in 1848. This piece of architecture holds our ancient mud history along with more modern histories. The seduction of the pristine Southwestern land preserved by Indigenous people is a planetary experience grounded in culture and mud. Indigenous hunter-gatherers came from Mexico City in search of water. Santa Fe was considered a cornucopia because of the Rio Grande and the Santa Fe River at San Isidro Crossing. The City was born from the dust of the Santa Fe Trail. Trains created larger markets for travelers, establishing the tourist economy.

Book Arts Bugs Abound at the Santa Fe Children’s Museum

Thanks to BAG members Sally Blakemore, Barb Macks, Helen Fabel, and Lynn Grimes, Santa Fe kids are going to look at bugs in a whole new way. Recently the four artists decorated two windows at the Santa Fe Children’s Museum: one with Nature Bugs and one with Urban Bugs.

“The installations are a wildly diverse experiment using materials as inspiration,” said Sally. “We created a Mylar ‘waterfall’ filled with bugs made from repurposed cookbooks from Kitchenality and Barb’s Tyvek color experiments.”

While working on the installation, the team heard that Eric Carle died. “Eric was a beloved children’s writer and illustrator who created bugs from paper and was one of our heroes of children’s publishing,” explained Sally, “so we dedicated the whole Bug exhibit to his memory.” The 91-year-old author was best known for his book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”

The BAG Bug Team also created kits for the Museum’s Garden Camp that starts in June.

The Santa Fe Children’s Museum is at 1050 Old Pecos Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87505; visit or call (505) 989-8359 for more information. The bug windows are in the Lego building and will be on exhibit through September 2021.

Here are a few photos of the Bug Team at work.

Two Pop-Up Designs by Sally Blakemore

Sally Blakemore, BAG’s Artist-in-Residence, will be demonstrating pop-up engineering at the BAG member meeting on Saturday, April 10, 2021. She will do this because it’s fun, but also to help those who are interested in being part of the “City of Mud” large pop-up book project. Here are two of Sally’s designs. Click on the image to open in a new tab.

Update: Pantone Postcard Project: Mail Art 2017-2019

Many of you are familiar with BAG’s new book published in fall 2020, documenting the Pantone Postcard Mail Art project. But what you may not know is how we came up with the idea.

On Valentine’s Day  2013, Emily Martin, professor at the University of Iowa Center for the Book, was given a box of 100 Pantone postcards by her sister. On the one hand she thought she would like to keep the collection intact—“pristine and complete,” but on the other hand, “I wanted them to be used.”

Her inclination to have people do something creative with these cards won out. So on her Facebook page she posted a request for volunteers to receive these postcards, respond to the color in their own ways, and mail them back. In 17 hours, all the cards had been claimed. She mailed them in April 2014, and the 100 cards came back that fall, each individually treated by 100 people.

In 2017 Emily published a book of all 100 cards. The BAG mail art co-chairs got wind of the project, and thought it would be fun to use the idea for our monthly mail art exchange. Emily generously gave her permission.

With 54 BAG members participating, we got so excited we made not just 100, but 200 cards! In fall 2020, BAG’s own compilation of Pantone postcards came out in book form, and Douglass Rankin mailed a copy of the book to Emily. In January she replied:

Dear Douglass,

I was finally in the office at school and picked up my mail. What a treat to find the Santa Fe BAG Pantone postcard project catalog! Well done. You have a wonderfully active group out there. I hope you are keeping well, fingers crossed for vaccines soon for everyone.

My best to you,


Copies of the BAG Pantone Postcard  book are available from the Blurb Bookstore:

Thanks go to Emily, Greg Berg, Barb Macks, Gail Murray, Douglass Rankin, and the BAG board of directors for inspiring, supporting, and instigating the project, and putting together the book. And a special thanks to the BAG artists who created the exceptional Pantone postcards.

Challenge: Books with Fabric and Fibers

Throughout this year the BAG board is challenging the members to create something, then photograph it and send it to BAG. We’ll post it here on the website and on social media.  Challenges and challengers so far (click links to see the results): Holiday Greeting Cards by Liz Faust, Valentines by Ashisha, and Postage Stamps by Linda Zwick (due Wednesday, March 31, 2021; click here for submission details).

Books with Fabrics and Fibers Challenge

BAG Vice President Julie Filatoff is challenging BAG members to make a book using fabric and/or fibers. The percentage of fabric/fiber content is not important; use as much or as little as you wish. The book can be any structure you like, from simple to complex.

Take one or more photographs of your book–or even a short video–and email to no later than Friday, April 30, 2021. (If you’re sending a video, email Julie separately to ensure she received it.)

To inspire you, here are a few artists who work with fiber/fabrics:

Sharon McCartney

Ro Bruhn

Ingrid Dijkers

Frances Pickering

Paula Hertfordshire

DJ Pettit

Yuko Kimura

Susan Hart Henegar

Julie Filatoff (shown above: Both Sides Now)

A Pandemic Remembrance

BAG member Austa Oliver created a greeting to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the pandemic. “I want to wish all BAG members well as we have just finished a year of hibernating,” explained Austa. “I made the word cloud (below) at the beginning…on 3-12-2020. And on 3-12-2021, I decided the part about changing my age number! Just a thought, as we all think about how long this has all been going on.”

See Austa’s artwork below. (If you’re receiving this via email, click on the title of this post–A Pandemic Remembrance, above–to view it in a web browser.)

Valentines by BAG Members

What a talented, loving bunch of people are BAG members! We received photos of more than 50 valentines from these artists: Ruth Anna Abigail, Monica Andersen, Tracy Armagost, Ashisha, Sally Blakemore, Kim Burkholder, Jill Cowley, Andrea Cypress, Freya Diamond, Liz Faust, Julie Filatoff, Leah Gibbons, Cathleen Higgins, Marjie Kamine, Cynthia Leespring, Elizabeth McKee, Pat Moses, Mavis Murphy, Gail Murray, Austa Oliver, Victoria Rabinowe, Douglass Rankin, Helen Spielman, Susan Surprise, Kim Walter, and Amy Thompson West.

Click on any image to start the slideshow. Click the < or > arrows to advance; click X to close. You can also view a .pdf document with artists’ names here (large file).

Why BAG? A Visual Explanation

At the December 2020 membership meeting, Kim Burkholder led us in an exercise to create a “Word Cloud” by submitting words/terms of what comes to mind when we think of BAG, or what we are thankful for about BAG. She used the tool at, and the larger the word and more centrally located, the more people submitted it.

Below is a screenshot; click to enlarge. You can also see it by clicking here.

Why BAG? A Word Cloud

2020 Year-End Greeting Card Project

Because we won’t be able to gather in person at our Annual Meeting on December, we asked BAG members to send their year-end greetings digitally.

We’ll continue to update this page as we receive more cards, so check back!

Click on any image to start the slideshow. Click on the < and > arrows to go forward and backward. Use the X to close the window and come back to this post.

Year-End Greeting Card Project

Because we won’t be able to meet in person at our Annual Meeting in December, we would like to give you an opportunity send your year-end greetings to your BAG friends.

All members are encouraged to make a greeting card. It can be a holiday card (Christmas, Hanukah, Solstice, Kwanzaa, New Year’s, or any other holiday you want to celebrate). It can be a card that communicates any message you want to send out in December that is not linked to a specific holiday.  You are artists; I don’t have to explain the concept of “no rules.”

Once you have completed your card, photograph it and send the photo to no later than Tuesday, December 1. You can send a single photo of the front of the card or two photos—one of the front of the card and one of the inside. These will be assembled into an online gallery that will be posted on the BAG website. Also, send me a greeting from you to other BAG members. This greeting will be displayed along with the images of your card.

Cards can be any size and shape that you can dream up. If you would like some help kickstarting your creative process, our Artist in Residence, Sally Blakemore, has designed some pop-up templates that you can use as a starting point for your design. The templates are listed below.

Liz Faust

Sally’s Templates

All of these are just formats, so I encourage artists to just the the idea for themselves and do something totally in their own styles!


Tiny Book Holiday Greeting Tree

Download the template here.

Tyvek (FedEx Envelope)
Angel Wing Prayer Flag

Slot Movement Mechanic
(Butterfly, Bird, Bee,
Sugarplum Fairy—
Anything That Flies)

Download the butterfly template here.


Download the bird template here.

Skinny Comet
Pop-Up Card Using
Mylar for the Comet

Download the template here.

Soft Pop-Ups
Using Florals Made of
Tyvek and Paper,
Platforms Stacked

Download the template here.

Slot Designs:
Floral or Cactus Pop-Ups

Download the template here.

Pop-Up Basketball Court
(Can be Adapted to
Fireplace With Hanging
Christmas Stocking)

Download the template here.


Order Now: Pantone Postcard Book

Pantone Postcard Project: Mail Art 2017-2019

217 full-color pages! This book showcases a collection of mail art postcards from members of the Santa Fe Book Arts Group. It is a visual fiesta, a diverse exploration of art that illustrates the range of talent within the BAG membership, keeping alive the mail art tradition.

This book tells the story of the two-year project, fashioned after Emily Martin’s similar project. The project was based on the Pantone Matching System (PMS), considered the “universal color language” used in art and industry. The cards, created by 54 members of BAG, are original and very creative.

You can order the book here:

Left, The “plain” Pantone postcards that artists used as the basis for their artwork. Right, the cover of the book showing a selection of the cards by 54 artists. Click to enlarge the photos.

Online Book Art Gallery 23 Sandy Relaunches Under New Ownership

23 Sandy is excited to announce the relaunch of its online gallery and a transition of ownership.

23 Sandy was founded in Portland, Oregon, by book artist and photographer Laura Russell in 2007. For 10 years it was a brick-and-mortar gallery space exhibiting a wide range of unique and edition artist books and paper art. 23 Sandy closed its physical doors in 2017, becoming an online gallery. In July 2020, the gallery is relaunching under the ownership of book artist Erin Mickelson, 23 Sandy’s long-time gallery assistant until her relocation to Santa Fe, New Mexico.

23 Sandy’s new online gallery will feature book and paper art as well as maintain a record of the gallery’s rich and vibrant history through exhibition archives, a vast catalog (over 1,000 titles) of available and sold works, and historic posts. Over its years, the gallery hosted 91 inspiring exhibitions—20 of which were international juried exhibitions featuring thoughtfully curated works by a talented roster of artists from around the world. In addition to featuring creative and contemporary works, the online gallery is an extensive resource for anyone curious about artist books.

In addition to managing the online gallery, Erin will represent 23 Sandy at book arts workshops, conferences, and visits to institutions, and will work with local art spaces to exhibit artist books. She will continue to grow and diversify the gallery’s catalog of works.

A few words from Laura and Erin:

“It is such a thrill to pass 23 Sandy into Erin’s knowledgeable and capable hands. For four years she played a vital role in the success of the gallery, and I’ve always been grateful for her time and energy. Erin’s well-trained, critical, and thoughtful way of looking at books will bring a fresh and considered viewpoint to the wide world of book arts. I am thrilled to be able to retire into my studio and that 23 Sandy will live on with such an exciting vision.”
—Laura Russell

“Much gratitude is due to Laura Russell for creating such an impactful and inspiring art space. 23 Sandy has been an invaluable resource and platform for the book arts community, thanks to Laura’s diligent efforts and creative thinking. I’m excited and honored to carry the torch.”
—Erin Mickelson

Visit the gallery online at and contact with any questions or comments.

Creative Reuse Center Opens in Santa Fe

The Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival nonprofit is opening northern New Mexico’s one-of-a-kind creative reuse center, Resourceful Santa Fe.  It is at 2879-A Industrial Road (off Siler Road). A creative reuse center is a well-curated thrift store with real thrift store prices, an unofficial art supply store, a dumpster diver’s paradise, a community space, an economic development driver for local artists, and a local nonprofit. Its mission is to divert material from the waste stream by collecting and redistributing discarded items to artists, educators, social service providers, and the community for reuse and repurposing.

You can:

  • Donate items (see the guidelines here; then make an appointment with Sarah Pierpont by contacting her at (505) 603-0558 or All donations are tax-deductible.
  • Make an appointment (contact info above) to shop or to be placed on the mailing list for future pop-up events.
  • Attend the grand opening later this fall.