• '5' Book Arts Collection, 2009

    Barbara Zuckerman
    Assorted paper, cardboard, mixed media
    Collection of 88 Books, 5" x 5" each
    Project Description

    Books are containers. They can hold thoughts, words, images & ideas. Books can be so many different things: They can be narrative, functional, sculptural or any mixture of the three. For this project, visiting artist Barbara Zuckerman introduced the fifth grade students to the concept of Book Arts as a viable art form and a means for artistic expression. They learned three bookbinding techniques and selected one for their personal book project. The end result was an “encyclopedia” of 88 original 5”x5” books. This imaginative collection of books is on display in a custom-built glass case located within the SRS library. We encourage you to stop by and ask for permission to carefully page through some of these expressive art books.


    Inspired by the 5th grade “stepping up” ceremony, where each student chooses a single word with which to describe them, the students elaborated on the concept behind their chosen word to create or find relevant imagery and design their book. Techniques learned over the course of their elementary school education where applied to their personal books including collage, photography and illustration among others. Each student created two copies of their book for this project. In doing so, they were able to understand the concept of editioning, as well as reproduction and production.

    Project Chairs:  Diana Duque, Stephanie Kropac, Honnie Towned


    About the Artist

    Barbara Zuckerman is a Philadelphia-based freelance designer and artist.



    2006 the university of the arts Philadelphia, PA, MFA Book Arts & Printmaking

    1995 Syracuse University Syracuse, NY, BFA Communication Design, Illustration minor

    1994 Royal College Art London, UK, Summer Program

    Artist Statement

    My work is a celebration of the world that surrounds me and the things that I love. With a background in graphic design, I have recently immersed myself into the world of making books and prints. For the past decade (plus), I have faithfully carried a sketchbook around with me. In these sketchbook pages, and in these books that I now bind, I can communicate with myself as well as explore relationships of color, pattern, texture and language. I look for ways to bring the sweet yet quirky worlds that exist within the pages to the exterior world.

    I do have a strong affinity for the computer and digital technologies; however, I could not exist without a pencil and paper. My work is a marriage of both digital and traditional ways of working, or, as I see it, of “Math” and ”English.” I grant this influence to my parents, as my father was a math teacher and my mother taught English. I find that it is grids, graphics, nature and words, which inspire me the most. I have a tendency to be humorous and whimsical with my works, and my foremost intent is for viewers to have interaction with my pieces and walk away smiling.