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University Libraries - News, Events & Exhibits

"Altered Books" exhibit brings student art into the library

Thomas Cooper Library (Lobby)


This exhibit is on display through April 28, 2017, in the Thomas Cooper Library Main Lobby.

In "Altered Books: Memories Unhinged," 17 student artists take an interpretative trip down memory lane.

"Woman Who Rides Like A Man" by Bobbi Leavens

The students repurposed old and duplicate books, using them as platforms to share a personal memory from their childhood. The project was part of an assignment in a course taught by Natalia Pilato, Department of Art Education.

"Brynna vs. the World" by Brynna Colella

Pilato asked the students in her fall 2016 and spring 2017 Secondary Methods courses to use books to draw attention to the theme of a personal memory using a book they remembered from their youth.

The students' work was graded on its level of creativity, design and construction quality. The work also had to incorporate the senses and tell a story, and students were required to use at least three different materials and at least three different techniques.

"Untitled" by Journey Stein

The project is one of several faculty/library collaborations that bring student art into the library.

“The ’Altered Books’ exhibit seemed like an excellent use of our space: to showcase student work that relates to youthful memories and books,” said Outreach Librarian Jane Olsgaard, who worked with Pilato and her students to arrange the art and labels in the exhibit’s glass cases.

Pilato, who was a new instructor in fall 2016, first became aware of the library's services and spaces after she received a welcome email from Karen Brown, the library's Collection Development Liaison for the School of Visual Art and Design.

For information about student art in the library, contact Jane Olsgaard at

For information about Collection Development Liaisons, visit