Thursday, March 6, 2014

New ABAD 2014 Call: The Royal Cambrian Academy, Wales

A BOOK ABOUT DEATH was launched as an underground, global art project in September 2009 at the Emily Harvey Foundation Gallery in New York City, New York. It was conceived and curated by American artist Matthew Rose as an open, unbound book on the subject of death. Taking the name, A Book About Death from the artist Ray Johnson, Rose paid homage to the founder of mail art and at the same time offered artists to explore the theme of death through post card sized works in an edition of 500; thus the “book.”

The NYC exhibition was extremely well attended and set off a series of exhibitions around the world – ABAD – numbering thus far, 27, the most recent taking place in Australia in the Fall of 2013. With an archival set of the New York ABAD show (487 works) new exhibitions touch upon particular, local themes but draw from a growing and global well of artists. All exhibitions invite artists to mail in their works, usually in post card format.

The Royal Cambrian Academy ABAD Show in Wales will be the 28th ‘A Book about Death’ exhibition. Included will be the work from the original 2009 New York exhibition, as well as works from from ABAD Wales at MoMA Machynlleth. This show is being organized by Sonja Benskin Mesher, an artist that participated in the original show and also curated the 2010 show at the MoMA Wales.

Exhibition dates: October 18 to November 15, 2014

How to Enter:
Open call for art work from visual artists and writers etc to create a postcard size artwork 4 x 6 inches based on the theme of Death. All work will be exhibited and archived and the artwork will not be returned but become part of the project.

Please post your artwork to address below by 30th September 2014

Address work to:
Sonja Benskin Mesher
Y Stiwdio, Tynllan, Llanelltyd, Dolgellau, Gwynedd, LL40 2SU

Inquiries to

Please send your works well-packed and write NO COMMERCIAL VALUE on the envelope. The organizers are not responsible for any damage during the transportation.
There is no participation fee and the work may be exhibited in the future.

An online “live” archive will record the work and other details of the exhibition as the works come in.

Opening of the NY International Bookart Biennial Featuring Our "ABAD: The Ties That Bind" Books

October 6, 2013 – The NY Bound International Bookart Biennial Opening was beautifully done. The installation was lovely, the harpist and the refreshments were excellent. The Museum was packed with people in the five different galleries that contained books from global artists. In fact, one of our ABAD: The Ties That Bind artists was in with her own book – Jussara Pires.

Here are photos of our installation and a copy of the information that was posted with the books. The info sheet contains a brief history of the original ABAD, the Ties that Bind Show, and also lists every artist that appears in the books.

This show will run until the end of 2013.

Click Here to download the Information Sheet.   (There are two files for you to choose from -- a jpg and a pdf.)

I am very proud that our two volumes were selected to be exhibited with such an amazing group of talented artists.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

"ABAD: The Ties That Bind" Books in the NY International Book Art Biennial

Our beautiful and amazing "ABAD: The Ties That Bind" books will be in a new exhibition this fall---New York Bound: International Book Art Biennial, curated By Dorothea Fleiss of the Museum of Art Satu- Mare Romania. The show runs September 22 - December 29, 2013 at the Islip Art Museum, East Islip, NY ( and for those ABADers in the area, the reception is October 6 from 1-4pm.

The exhibition will feature a selection of artist-made books from around the world. The show seeks to promote and encourage artists' unconventional ideas about books. I will be fitting both books for clear protective covers this week.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

ABAD 23 Books to be Entered in New Show

I am preparing to enter our 2 handbound art books from ABAD 23 into a new exhibition at the Islip Art Museum. The show is called "New York Bound: International Book Art Biennial." It is billed as the first of its kind in the US, and is scheduled to open in September 2013. Dorthea Fliess of the Museum of Art Satu-Mare in Romania is the guest curator.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Ray Johnson and ABAD Show Gets Archived

CW Post College of LIU in Brookville, LI, NY, has archived the ABAD collection along with two boxes containing New York City catalogs, invitations, and announcement cards from the 1980s, which were donated to the college by Matthew Rose.

Artist and Professor Joan Harrison worked tirelessly to get the work into the collections at CW Post. Along with ABAD artist and Post alumna LuAnn Palazzo, she co-curated the wide ranging exhibition  Ray Johnson and A Book About Death in 2010 at CW Post. 

Joan writes: "Don't you love the signage? 'A Bad Archive.' Ray would have loved that and would have had to make a 'Good' archive."

The Post librarians and specialists who archived and stored the collection are pictured here: top – Jarron Jewell, Senior library assistant; middle – Erin de Marco Library School Graduate student, Queens College; and bottom – Bonnie Gallagher, Library School Graduate student, LIU Post.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Another Continent Goes ABAD

Heather Matthew and Julie Barratt are bringing ABAD 2013 to Australia! The show is scheduled to open at the Tweed River Art Gallery in Murwillumbah, Australia on October 13, 2013. Click here for the artists' call and join the fun down under. Help the ABAD Universe flip off the Mayans.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

New Mixed Media at Divaworks

I've launched a website, "Divaworks," that includes a new body of work I've been playing with. The project is called "Union,' and my intent is to mix the digital with the traditional; the new with the old.

I begin with one of my original photographs and turn it into a watercolor style image on the Mac. Then I print it out on 120-140 lb cold press watercolor paper and finish it by hand with traditional watercolor pigments.

I'm very excited about the result, and I've just hung a new show featuring a dozen of these images at the Town Hall in Islip, NY. If you're in the area, it's open now through Oct. 1, M-F 9am-4pm on the second floor.

Or, click here to see a few of the images on my new website and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Kali Comes to Long Island

The crazy talented team at Seeking Kali is mounting their first show at the Second Avenue Firehouse Gallery in Bay Shore, NY. It opens on Saturday, August 3, with the Artists' reception from 6-8pm.

Quoting William Evertson: "As a collective one of our objectives is to explore ways in which to utilize social media as an artistic tool enabling long distance collaboration among artists.  Ria Vanden Eynde works from Belgium, Susan Shulman is in Montreal, Canada and I have my studio in Connecticut.  Through the use of groups in Facebook, Skype and Google+ hangouts we have created a virtual studio where our explorations take place."

Among other things, they will be showing the Kali print edition, which marked the beginning of their  collaborative experiments. Occasioned by a Facebook thread concerning iconography associated with the Hindu goddess Kali, their association and explorations have continued since January of 2010.   

William Evertson and Susan Shulman will be in attendance; they are original ABAD artists. Show them some ABAD love and come on out for the show!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Really? No New ABADs?

I simply cannot believe it's June and there have been no new ABAD calls! There was a reshowing, I think, of the original 2009 collection at Fluxfest 2012 in Chicago but, can that possibly be all for 2012?

If anyone hears of a new ABAD call, please let us know. :(

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Happy 2012 To All!

As I sit by the fire, looking out on the bright landscape of the first snowfall, I feel so lucky to be a part of the wonderful ABAD Universe. I look forward to some exciting shows this year and I really treasure being a part the lives of my ABAD friends on FB.

Long live mail art and long live the internets!

Monday, November 14, 2011

List of All ABADs to Date

After some research and consultation, it seems that this is the most complete listing of ABADs, their dates and curators. If anyone has any further info, please let me know! 

Quetzalcoatl Gallery, Seattle, WA / November 10 – December 10 / Curators: Kathleen McHugh, Herb Sundvall

Second Avenue Firehouse Gallery, Bay Shore, NY / ABAD: The Ties That Bind / July 31 – September 2 / Curator: LuAnn T. Palazzo

Willo North Gallery, Phoenix, AZ / ABAD: Memento / May 3 – 28 / Curator: Patricia Sahertian

Chiesa S. Antonio Piazza La Rotonda Badoere di Morgano, Treviso, Italy / Un libro sulla Morte omaggio a Ray Johnson / April 9 – 17 / Curator: Virginia Milici

Elizabeth Stone Harper Gallery, Presbyterian College, SC / ABAD: Life / January 20 – February 25 / Curator: Ann Stoddard

SAL Gallery, CW Post Campus-LIU, Brookville, NY / Ray Johnson and A Book About Death / November 1 – 6 / Curators: Joan Harrison, LuAnn. T. Palazzo

Belknap Mill Gallery, Laconia, NH / October 29–November 1 / Curators: John Moriarty, Melissa McCarthy

The Fluxmuseum, Fort Worth, TX / October 8 – 30 / Curator: Cecil Touchon

Jaffe Center for Book Arts, Florida Atlantic University, FL / July 15 – October 18 / Curator: Ginny Lloyd

The RNG Gallery, Omaha, NE / Till Death Due Us Part / July 31 – August 28 / Curators: Louise Millmann, Rob Gilmer

Villa Torri and Biblioteca Comunale, Vimodrone, Italy / May 8-19 / Curator: Gianfranco Maletti (this show only presented a very small selection of the 2009 NY Exhibition)

Museum of Modern Art, Wales, UK / April 27 – May 8 / Curator: Sonja Benskin Mesher

Exit 11 Contmeporary Art, Grand-Leez, Belgium / April 11 – June 27 / Curator: Luc Fierens

ASA Art Gallery, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina / April 1 – 15 / Curators: Ivana Rezek, Nataša Stanišić

Prostor, Zagreb, Croatia / March 22–30 / Curator: Ivana Rezek

Steppling Art Gallery, San Diego State U, CA / ABAD Mexicali / March 10 – April 9 / Curators: Bibiana Padilla Maltos, Sheila Dollente

Vladimir Nazor Library, Zagreb, Croatia / February 26 – March 21 / Curator: Ivana Rezek

Museu Brasileiro da Escultura, Brazil / Um Livro Sobre A Morte / February 6 – 28 / Curator: Angela Ferrara

La Sexta Literary Arts Festival, Tijuana, Mexico / November 21 / Curator: Bibiana Padilla Maltos

Queens Museum of Art, NY / November 1 –15 / Curator: Louise Weinberg

River Mill Art Gallery, East Westfield, NJ / October 17–31 / Curator: Michael Chan 

Ripe Art Gallery, Greenlawn, NY / October 11–18 / Curator: Louise Millmann

Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA / October 11–31 / Curator: Mara Thompson

Mobius, Boston, MA / September 19 – 20 / Curator: Jane Wang

Emily Harvey Foundation Gallery, Soho, NY / September 10 – 20 / Curator: Matthew Rose

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Newest ABAD in Seattle

The call is out for the latest ABAD in Seattle, Washington. It is being curated by original ABADer Kathleen McHugh at the Quetzalcoatl Gallery. CLICK HERE for details and get your work in asap!

Monday, June 20, 2011

There WILL BE New Orleans Second Line Jazz at the Artists' Reception / August 13, 7pm

Thanks to the efforts of all the ABAD Angels, this is going to be a truly historic ABAD! This will be the first show to expand the movement to include live musical performance at our reception with The Joe Saylor Brass Band. Now the ABAD vanguard can claim poets, visual artists, performance artists, multi-media artists and musical artists!

The Joe Saylor Brass Band is comprised of some of the most exiting and talented young musicians on the Jazz scene today. The band members come from all parts of the world and their influences range from the beats of Africa to the horns New Orleans. 

The band came together at Harlem parades led by Jonathan Batiste, piano virtuoso from New Orleans. Leader Joe Saylor has played with many Jazz greats including Jonathan Batiste, Wynton Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis, Roy Hargrove and Ben Wolfe. Joe recently appeared on an episode of HBO’s “Treme,” along with Jon Batiste. 

The JSBB is perfect to be the first musical performance artists at a “A Book about Death” exhibition, and we are absolutely thrilled to have them! The band will perform New Orleans Second Line (Funeral) Jazz selections including:

Whoopin' Blues
Just A Closer Walk With Thee
Bourbon Street Parade
When The Saints Go Marching In
The Second Line
Oh, Didn't He Ramble
What A Friend We Have In Jesus
In The Sweet Bye and Bye

Saturday, June 11, 2011

ABAD Angels Come Through

The incredible ABAD community pulled together and funded the next show at  

ABAD: The Ties That Bind, scheduled for this summer in Bay Shore, NY, will not only be the first show to bind all entries into a handmade book, but also be the first show to feature live New Orleans Second Line funeral jazz.

There will also be other performances scheduled for the Artists' Reception on Saturday, August 13, 2011 at 7pm. Further information will be posted on the website. Don't miss it!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


...and get some cool ABAD art too!

Click on the logo above to go to Kickstarter – and donate to bring live New Orleans Funeral Jazz performers to this exhibition.

There are some pretty good rewards being offered for donations of $10 and $15.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

From One of the Curators That
Brought You the Awesome RJ+ABAD Show...

LuAnn Palazzo (me!) sends out a NEW CALL:

Friday, March 13, 2009 | Sunday, March 13, 2011
Two years ago ON THIS EXACT DATE, Matthew Rose issued the original ABAD International Call.

Today, we send out the OPEN ARTISTS CALL for
A Book About Death: THE TIES THAT BIND

Reception: Saturday, 13 August 2011
Exhibition: 31 July–2 September 2011
At The Second Avenue Firehouse Gallery, Bay Shore, NY

Artists are invited to create their own book pages that illustrate their unique interpretations of THE TIES THAT BIND all living things universally through death. They may also choose to celebrate the ties that now bind all ABAD artists throughout the world (courtesy of Ray Johnson and Matthew Rose). Any interpretation is welcome.

All these pages will then be bound together in a handmade book (or books). A BOOK ABOUT DEATH will finally become a hand-bound book produced by global artists.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

NEW CALL: From Matthew Rose

Matthew Rose, creator of the international "A Book About Death" movement, has launched a new project. Make a poster on any subject (political, band, art, ecological, promotional) and submit it to the Defense D'Afficher Project for worldwide global distribution. Everything about the project is free. This project is about showcasing great poster design, distribution in the world's streets and commentary concerning all things "affiche (poster)."

See the blog here...

Friday, February 11, 2011

NEW CALL: ABAD Treviso, Italy
Deadline March 20, 2011

Here is another call for an ABAD in Italy. The twist is, this is the first show to request an actual book. I believe that now the number of global ABADs is 22! You can go here to see some books that have already been submitted:

 Un Libro Sulla Morte : ABAD ITALIA Altered Book Artist Call 
Artist’s Book or Altered Book, e.g. small Moleskine book, or any other suitable "book." Your book can be several postcards bound together. Please add the title somewhere on your work: “Homage to Ray Johnson: A Book About Death” (In your own language).
No returns
Technique/Medium: Free
Deadline: 20 March 2011
Documentation: Web

Mail your "altered" book to:
Virginia Milici
Via G. Verdi 18/A
31038 Paese (Treviso) ITALY

Please send photos of works submitted in jpg format : maximum 1800 pixels / 300kb / 72dpi

Deadline April 25, 2011

In an effort to keep all ABADers in the loop and help expand the ABAD Universe, I will begin posting calls for new shows here. 

The latest one is being curated by artist Patricia Sahertian. The ABAD Memento exhibition is set for May 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona at the Willo North Gallery.

Please see the site for all information on the exhibition, including deadlines, guidelines, venue and how you can get involved:

Deadline for postcard and memento: April 25, 2011
Show dates: May 3 to 28, 2011
Reception: May 6, 2011

Patricia Sahertian
1517 W. Willetta Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007 USA

Please send jpgs (no larger than 600 x 400 px) of your work (for posting on the ABAD Momento blog), with your name and your website/blog or contact link to Patricia. Tell the story of your momento here. 

Call for: one work on paper, post card size: approximately 6x4 inches (either vertical or horizontal) any medium, original art or reproduction is acceptable. 

Optional twist: include a memento
Mementos play an important role in our remembering. A simple thing like a toothbrush, a letter, a toy, a paperclip, or a swatch of fabric, can be a fond reminder of a lost loved one. So please also send a tiny memento, if you like. See memento guidelines. Mementos will be displayed with your work.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

ABAD Evolution


I'm optimistic that this Year of the (dead?) Rabbit will be good to us all. Hopefully, you're enjoying good things already!

Amazingly, as of today there have been 20 ABADs with 2 more on the way. And we keep participating, creating and growing. The exploration continues to increase exponentially all the time. ABAD never sleeps.

Now, what I'd like to know is: how many have you been in? And how many new pieces have you done? What variation on the theme would you like to see in a future show? Please post your answers below... xxo