A Paper Narrative: Art at Browsers Bookshop

by Alec Clayton for OLY ARTS

Browsers Bookshop is going into the art-exhibition business. On August 12 it opens a show of works on paper by five local artists: Arrington De Dionyso, Aisha Harrison, Evan Horback, Nikki McClure and Madeline Waits. The show is called A Paper Narrative.

De Dionyso is an artist and musician and founder of the Olympia Experimental Music Festival. Recently labeled an “outsider artist” by Seattle Weekly, his prints take on legends, myths and the spirit world.

Harrison is known for her hyper-realistic sculptures of human figures created from salt, including some larger than life-size. Her work has been shown at Salon Refu and other venues. She’ll show drawings at Browsers.

Artists Horback and McClure approached Browsers owner Andrea Griffith with the idea of doing a show in Browsers’ upstairs community room, a renovated space used for author readings and book-club meetings. Horback and Griffith say doing this show is a response to a lack of art spaces downtown following the closure of Salon Refu. “We designed the show around the idea of visual narrative,” Griffith says, “since both McClure and Horback work in the area of book art. Then (we) expanded the group to include three more local artists.”

Horback is a collagist known for creating collages on old book covers, often incorporating parts of the original cover art in ways that comment upon contemporary, social issues.

Author and illustrator McClure is celebrated for intricate black-and-white, cut-paper illustrations. McClure’s papercut work has been the subject of multiple national gallery exhibitions, and her work is sold and renowned internationally. All in a Day, co-created with author Cynthia Rylant, was a New York Times bestseller, and McClure has subsequently published a variety of successful papercut-illustrated books.

Waits’s art delves into dream worlds and fantasy.

“As a small group of artists, this is somewhat a narrative of self-advocacy,” Horback says, “particularly in the face of Olympia’s surging development. This grouping of artists was assembled partially because of their work on paper, but also to create a juxtaposition within Olympia’s artist community. There are elements of Olympia’s avant-garde, sociopolitical considerations, visions of transcendence (and) images of marginality as well as experiences of being firmly rooted to our beloved Pacific Northwest.”

What: A Paper Narrative

Where: Browsers Bookshop,
107 Capitol Way N, Olympia

When: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Mondays – Saturdays;
11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sundays, Aug. 12 – Sept. 24

How much: free

Learn more: 360-357-7462 | Browsers Bookshop

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