Lyall Harris "Winter Flame"

Lyall Harris, “Winter Flame”, book arts exhibit in place from Wednesday, November 29 through Sunday, January 14, 2018

at Barrister Books, book arts / paper arts: re-imagining the book

As part of a continuing series featuring book arts, Barrister Books presents “Winter Flame”, an exhibit of work by Virginia book artist Lyall Harris.  Lyall’s work will be on view at Barrister Books from Nov 29, 2017 through Jan 14, 2018. These works include structures from Harris’ A Year in Books during which she made a new project every week for one year, book objects, such as Outing Yourself, featuring text on miniature hangers, and fully developed artist’s books like Interior Landscape, a reflection on Sylvia Plath’s journals, and Paper Boats, a collaborative book Harris made with Patricia Silva about contemporary mass immigration to Europe. Most works are for sale, prices start at $10. 

About “book art,” Harris says: Book art might indeed look like a book and it usually references the book form in some way, but this art medium doesn’t have prescribed parameters. It allows for a broad range of expression through a unique combination of text and/or image, sequence, and structure, and in so doing, it does something a “regular” book just can’t do. Works on display at Barrister Books run the gamut from very simple structures to more elaborate works. Even in easy structures, I try to conceptually push what a “simple gesture” can accomplish as I often explore charged and layered content. My identity as an artist-mother is near at hand in much of my book art. Originally from Virginia, I am happy to be back, now living in Charlottesville, after 30 years on other coasts and continents. 

Bio: Lyall Harris is a visual artist and writer with a BA in Art History from Northwestern University (Phi Beta Kappa) and an MFA in Book Art and Creative Writing from Mills College. Her book art is held in dozens of Special Collection libraries, among these at Yale, Stanford, Smith, Vanderbilt, UCLA, UC Berkeley, University of Utah, University of Texas, Indiana University, Washington University, University of Vermont, Savannah College of Art and Design, Duke, UNC, VCU, and University of Virginia. Harris’ painting has been exhibited in over 100 juried group shows and several solo exhibitions across the US in venues such as National Academy Museum, Purdue University, Creative Arts Workshop, National Art League, Maryland Federation of Art, Sonoma Museum of Visual Art, City College of San Francisco, and many others. Her poetry has appeared in such publications as The New Guard, The Prose Poem Project, Pure Francis, and San Francisco Bay Guardian, and her creative nonfiction has been featured in The Montréal Review. She was a selected BANG! writer in 2016. Her writing has been a finalist in numerous writing contests, including The Bunchgrass Poetry Prize, The Briar Cliff Review Poetry Contest, The River Styx International Poetry Contest, The Ruth Stone Poetry Prize, and Glimmer Train Press Very Short Fiction Award; she received the Honorable Mention for the Mary Merritt Henry Prize in Poetry. Harris is the co-editor of the online literary and art journal The Sigh Press, which she co-founded in 2014.

Barrister Books, at 1 Lawyers Row, is celebrating its ninth year of buying and selling old, used, and rare books in downtown Staunton by featuring a series of exhibits of work by local book artists.  “We have taken on this direction in an effort to support local book artists, expand opportunity for book arts venues, and broaden the discussion about the nature of books; it is a natural extension of the bookshop's mission” said Anthony Baker, proprietor of Barrister Books.  “In addition, we are excited about the possibilities to collaborate with local artists, teaching venues, and arts organizations for future book arts exhibits at Barrister Books.”   

Lyall Harris “Winter Flame” exhibit at Barrister Books will remain in place from Wednesday, November 29 through Sunday, January 14, 2018.  Barrister Books is open Wednesday through Saturday, 10:30-5:30 and by appointment.   

Web Site:

Literary and Art Journal, The Sigh: