Octavofest 10 is coming to town

James Canary will be a featured guest at Octavofest 2018. (Photo courtesy Latse Library.)

Octavofest, an annual celebration of book and paper arts, is 10 years old this month, and it's bigger and better than ever. This year’s theme is “Books and Paper in Global Context,” and will feature lectures, workshops, demonstrations, exhibitions, museum tours, and hands-on experiences. Many of these events will take place in or near the Heights. 

The festival’s keynote presenter is James Canary, conservator at Indiana University’s Lilly Library and an internationally respected specialist in Asian book forms. He has worked with the International Tibetan Archive Preservation Project in Lhasa, which provided equipment and training in document conservation for an archive containing around 3 million documents. 

On Friday, Oct. 5, at Loganberry Books on Larchmere, Canary will describe the history of books in Asia, including their social roles and content, the challenges of conserving ancient documents, and contemporary efforts to preserve and revitalize the ancient traditions of book and papermaking. 

On Saturday, he will present “A Day of Asian Books” at the Lee Road branch of Heights Libraries. Following his illustrated lecture, attendees will have an opportunity to see and handle samples of handmade Tibetan paper, books in various styles, and carved woodblocks from which Tibetan books are printed. After a demonstration of printing techniques, audience members will be able to try the techniques themselves.

Cleveland Heights' Appletree Books is sponsoring several Octavofest programs this year, including a bookbinding workshop for kids, ages 6–9, on Oct. 3, given by Fran Kovac, local student and teacher of bookbinding. Kovac will also present an informal history of bookbinding on Oct. 26.  

On Oct. 19, Glenda Thornton, director of the Schwartz Library at Cleveland State University (CSU) and a collector of movable books, will present an illustrated lecture titled “Around the World with Movable Books,” which will include a pop-up exhibition of historic and contemporary examples. Appletree Books will feature a display by the Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory in the store windows during the festival.

A retrospective exhibition of 10 years of artist books by members of Art Books Cleveland (ABC) is on view through Oct. 6 at the Galleries at CSU, 1307 Euclid Ave.

ABC, the organization that founded Octavofest, began in Cleveland Heights, and many of its members are well-known Heights residents, bookmakers, binders, and artists. An exhibition of recent work by ABC members is on view through Nov. 8 at the Fritzsche Library at Notre Dame College.

For more information about Octavofest and a complete schedule of events, go to www.octavofest.com, where you’ll find something for booklovers of all ages and interests. 

Laura Martin

Laura Martin, professor emerita at CSU, has lived in Cleveland Heights since 1991. She chairs the Octavofest Steering Committee.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 12:22 PM, 09.27.2018