Thursday, March 21, 2019

Heed the Call for the 10th Anniversary ABAD - The Last Waltz


Create your art piece exploring any aspect of Death.

The only requirement is that it says A Book About Death somewhere on the card.

Send your art to a printer to get 500 post cards [size 4” x 6” up to 6” x 9”] made.

Send your box of 500 cards to:
    The Islip Art Museum
    Brookwood Hall
    50 Irish Lane
    East Islip, NY, USA

Send an email with a jpg of your image and identifying your country of origin to LuAnn Palazzo, The DesignDiva NY for inclusion on the website.

Deadline for receipt at the museum is August 14, 2019


Thursday, March 6, 2014

2014 Call for ABAD at the Royal Cambrian Academy in Wales, UK

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.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Book Biennial Opening

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

We're 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 – Jewell, Senior library assistant; middle – Erin de Marco Library School Graduate student, Queens College; and bottom – Bonnie Gallagher, Library School Graduate student, LIU Post.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

New Open Call for Long Island, NY Artists

The Last Book of Small Art is a new project specifically for Long Island, NY artists, led by Dave Rogers. He puts forth this mission statement:

"In this overwhelming digital age of mass media, mass production rarely do we see a large collection of small fine art published in a printed book for all to see and collect. While there is no doubt that the digital age is able to bring us art at a reasonable cost and spread to a much larger audience, there is no substitute for seeing the original works of art collected in one place. “The Last Book of Small Works of Art on Long Island” is meant to bring together a collection of small fine arts of living artists on Long Island together into one place."

I have signed on to hand bind the book, similar to what I did for the "ABAD: The Ties that Bind" Exhibition in Bay Shore, NY in 2011. Come on out and play!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Another Continent to be Conquered by 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!

Wednesday, July 11, 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!

Click here to visit the Kali website.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Read My Lips: No New ABADs?

Is it really June and there have been NO new ABAD calls? What's going on, world? Isn't anyone planning a new show? Anybody....anybody....?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

HAPPY 2012!

I can't believe it's really 2012. I've heard hints of new ABADs being planned for Germany and Chicago, IL but no solid dates as of yet. I will post details here as soon as I have them.

In the meantime, here's to a year full of creativity, discovery and love!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Newest ABAD in Seattle, WA, USA

The call is now 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, August 15, 2011

The Artists' Reception! August 13, 2011

"The best ABAD ever!"
"The ABADest!"
"What a great show–and the music was the icing on the cake!"

ABAD: The Ties That Bind Artists' Reception was a fantastic evening. With performances from the Joe Saylor Brass Band, AnnMarie Tornabene, Antonia Palazzo, Meera Thomas and Steve Dalachinsky, it was a truly unforgettable night!

We began with a short Second Line Parade from the Pentaquit Post Office (get it? mail art?) led by the incredibly talented brass band. We danced through the streets to authentic New Orleans Funeral Jazz music, arrived at the gallery and installed the hand bound books on their respective podiums.

Throughout our perfectly beautiful summer evening, there was more fabulous music from the band, visits from Life and Death, a Live Portrait performance and an impromptu poetry reading. All the festivities highlighted beautiful work from 173 worldwide artists and new work from Ray Johnson himself. Art under the stars...

The Joe Saylor Brass Band is: 
Joe Saylor - Snare Drum and Tambourine
Ryland Kelly - Bass Drum
Eric Miller - Trombone
Joe Boga - Trumpet
Pete Reardon-Anderson - Clarinet 
Ibanda Ruhumbika - Tuba

[Photos by Shirley Hathaway, Steve Ceraso, Joan Harrison, Lynn Sedler, AnnMarie Torabene, Greg Commodore and Yelena Romanoff.]

The Joe Saylor Brass Band performs a traditional funeral dirge while we gather.

The Second Line Parade
That's the Bound Books wrapped in black lace and red roses.

We conclude the parade and open the reception.

Steve Ceraso and Barry Rivadue in the Gallery

Deb Kasimakis and Joan Harrison, bound by ties!

AnnMarie Tornabene's Live Portrait performance

Meera Thomas performing as Life tied to a favorite piece

James Hathaway in the crowd

AnnMarie with Life (Meera Thomas) and Death (Antonia Palazzo).

It was a perfect summer's night

The wonderful Susan Barbash

Steve Dalachinsky reads his Jazz Poem with some improv thrown in

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Installation

It took a team of four two days to install this show! Thank you Steve, Joe and Jim!
The handmade cedar boxes that house the books will have glass tops. (The books will not be sticking out like in these photos.)