Milissa Burkart, a staff member at Special Collections, has been featured in this month’s edition of Art Focus Oklahoma in the article, “A Visual Narrative: The Work of Milissa Burkart.” The article highlights four pieces of Ms. Burkart’s recent work: Memory Aids for Non-Scientists: Skins; Seed Bank 1; Soap Box Series: Saving Trees; and Martha Graham and Dance Troup B. Ms. Burkart’s work conveys her interest in the natural world and incorporates ecological themes. Seed Bank includes actual seeds, which Ms. Burkart compares to “jewels” because of their variety of beautiful shapes and colors. For more examples of her work, please visit her website:www.storybirdstudio.com.
All of the pieces discussed in the article are examples of “artists’ books,” a three dimensional art form that frequently requires the viewer to interact with the piece instead of passively viewing it. Artists’ books often contain moveable parts that must be handled in order to be properly experienced. For example, Saving Trees consists of a box that, once opened, reveals an artistically rendered game of chess, complete with tree-shaped game pieces and a rolling die. A non-traditional art form, artists’ books are currently a rare collection focus. However, Special Collections houses a large number of artists’ books and is dedicated to acquiring more.