BCCC students’ bookbinding featured in exhibit

BALTIMORE – Students from the Baltimore City Refugee Youth Project (RYP) will participate in a unique book arts exhibition celebrating the cultures of refugee youth from April 23 tp June 1 at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture (RFLM).

The exhibition, Interweaving Traditions: Bookbinding Across  Cultures, features work by RYP high school students who have utilized creative bookbinding methods and non-traditional materials to form an extraordinary and artistic look at their lives. Audiences at RFLM will gain insight into the sensitive experience of individual refugee youth through stories told in their books.

Interweaving Traditions is part of a thesis by Victoria Timpo, a student at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) who is studying for a Master of Fine Arts degree. For the project, Timpo partnered with RYP students, who have fled from Bhutan, Nepal, Eritrea, Ethiopia, the Congo and other places.

Interweaving Traditions celebrates diverse traditions and promotes cultural exchange in Baltimore. Over the course of two years, book artists facilitated workshops that taught RYP students storytelling techniques and bookbinding skills. The artists include Arlington-based educator Sushmita Mazumdar and Baltimore-based bookbinders Martha Edgerton, Ingrid Schindall, and Suzanne Coley. Completed books have been previously exhibited at the Creative Alliance and Enoch Pratt Free Library. Additional books will be on display at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum.

RFLM will also host related programs which offer an opportunity for cross-cultural understanding and appreciation of the refugee population in Baltimore.

Public programming for Interweaving Traditions includes opening reception cultural performances by RYP students and the Sankofa Dance Theater; a short film screening of The Paradise that Wasn’t by Baltimore-based Congolese student artist Evodie Ngoy; and a panel discussion with BCCC RYP Coordinator Kursten Pickup and Dr. Martin Ford, associate director of the Maryland Office for Refugees and Asylees.

The Exhibition

Interweaving Traditions: Bookbinding Across Cultures

On View: April 23-June 1, 2014

 Opening Reception: Thursday, April 24, 2014, 6-8 p.m.

at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum

 For more information, contact Kursten Pickup, BCCC Refugee Youth Project coordinator, at 410-558-3194.

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