Art and design student Tim Vermeulen recently accepted
a summer internship hosted at the Smithsonian Institution to work in the art
history program researching artists’ books.
“I actually came across the internship by typing
‘artists’ books internship’ into an Internet search engine,” Vermeulen said.
“The Smithsonian Institution’s internship program was one of the first on the
list. I was curious to see what was available to someone with my level of
experience and decided to give it a shot and apply.”
Vermeulen’s definition of “artists’ books” are books
that are conceived and created by an artist who intends the work to be viewed
and experienced as a work of art, much like a painting or sculpture. This might
mean that the artist writes the text, designs the structure, makes the paper,
prints it or binds it.
“Essentially the artist makes many creative decisions
regarding the presentation of the book. The internship will involve touring the
libraries of the Institutions many museums looking at the artist’ books in
their collections,” Vermeulen said.
By speaking with the librarians throughout the
Smithsonian, asking for their impressions of the work and conducting research
to better understand the history and methods of development of the books, the
internship is meant to generate an awareness of what artists’ books are.
“I won’t be restricted to undertaking my research to
any one museum, but rather in as many museums that hold artists’ books in their
collections,” Vermeulen said. “I may also be traveling to visit a rare book
dealer and a local art center where artists’ books are being created in the
Washington D.C. area.”
Vermeulen will be reporting to the Hirshhorn Museum and
Sculpture Garden Library on the National Mall, as well as working in the
National Museum of African Art, the American Art Museum and the National
Portrait Gallery. Each institution will play a role in his research throughout
A strong interest in artists’ books drove Vermeulen to
search for this internship online. Vermeulen explained that Stevens Point has a
little-known nexus of three respected book artists: Brian Borchard, Caren Heft
and Jeff Morin.
“I’ve had the chance to practice my hand at creating my
own artist book here on campus. Taking a couple of classes with Caren and
acting as her studio assistant over the summer is how I really got involved in
creating work like this,” Vermeulen said.
Without the professors and courses he has taken through
the Art and Design Department, Vermeulen explained that he would not have been
ready for the internship.
“It’s been really hard to keep myself from creating
more work like this,” Vermeulen said. “I feel as though the education I have
received here at Point from all the instructors I have studied with has had
some influence on my preparation for this internship, and for that I am
Students interested in receiving more information about
artists’ books can attend a show at the Scarabocchio Art Museum in downtown
Stevens Point. Vermeulen and alumnus Shannon Pueschner will be co-curating a
show of student-made
books from July 11 to October 3.