Artists’ books are their own medium. They can have a traditional book structure with a cover and sequential pages, or they can be sculptural objects, or elaborately folded constructions. Whatever their form, the books published by WSW are created by artists, hand printed in limited edition, and are thoroughly engaging. Artists’ books present artists with a way of developing aesthetic ideas, telling personal stories or making political or social commentary.
An early proponent of the medium, WSW has produced over 190 limited edition artists’ books, and is the largest publisher in North America. WSW has artists’ books in collections world-wide and eight institutions are repositories containing copies of all artists’ books published by WSW: Indiana University (Bloomington), Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Delaware, Vassar College, Virginia Commonwealth University, Yale University, University of Michigan and The Library of Congress. These books, chosen through a juried international competition, reflect the wide range of subject matter, cultural diversity, and aesthetic perspectives of the artists who come to work in our studios. WSW’s artists’ books are characterized by the combination of media available at WSW and may incorporate handmade paper, letterpress, silkscreen, photography, intaglio, or ceramics.
The artists’ books we publish do not easily fit into any one category. An open selection process continues to be the most vital element in implementing our book arts grants. This democratic process has resulted in a wonderful and varied collection. All submitted books are considered, and the selection is made by a rotating jury of practicing book artists. The jury changes annually, and always includes at least one artist who has previously been awarded a WSW Artist-In-Residence Grant.