Artist Statement

        I come to the book arts after years of writing fiction.  The miniature book-objects I make are the very opposite of the huge novels I was producing in my writing career, and I have come to recognize this as an instinctive effort to distill expression to something more pure.  The painstaking labor of cutting and painting paper in such fine detail, of searching for language that will fit in these minuscule spaces and yet convey the fullness of what I am trying to express, reflects the intense process of examining the unanswered questions in my life.  The themes that permeated my novels, of wartime suffering, nostalgia for home, and the battle with profound depression and constant quest for meaning in the face of mortality, manifest now as three-dimensional artifacts of personal memory and experience.  I use a variety of papers and book boards, adding color with ink and paint, and incorporating childhood memorabilia, journal excerpts, and other writings.  Most recently I am exploring the juxtaposition of unique original artwork with inkjet-printed text, as well as experimenting with duplication.  Whether an original or a duplicate, the process of making each book-object is intensely personal, and sharing it is an intimate act, like revealing a fragment of my diary.


Current & ongoing:

--Collaboration: A Mixed Media Event (group show), Gleason Public Library, Carlisle, MA
     (Oct. 10, 2015 - Jan. 2, 2016)

--Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here (ongoing world-wide exhibits including 260+ artists
     comemmorating 3.5.2007 bombing of Baghdad booksellers' quarter)
     --Exhibits of the complete collection include The Cambridge Arts Council, Cambridge, MA (Jan.-Jul., 2013),
     The John Rylands Library, Manchester, UK (Feb. 6 - Jul. 29, 2013), and The Center for Book Arts, NY, NY (Jul.     10 - Sept. 14, 2013)

--Re/Vision (solo show), Gallery 263, Cambridge, MA (May 30 - June 23, 2013)
--Correspondence, 9th International Book Art Festival, Book Art Museum, Lodz, Poland
    (exhibits in 25 venues across two years, 2011-2014) 
See here
--Defining Moments:  artists books exploring themes of time and memory, Brickbottom Gallery, Somerville, MA   
     (May 30 - June 29, 2013)
--Visions From Afar, Mt. Ida College Gallery, Newton, MA (March 26 - Apr 27, 2013)
--Crossroads:  Book Arts on the Border
, Unsettled Gallery, Las Cruces, NM (April 13 - May 4)
--Members' Group Exhibition, Gallery 263, Cambridge, MA (April 18 - May 19, 2013)
5 x 5 (x 5) (juried show), Target Gallery, Alexandria, VA (Dec. 8 - 30, 2012)
Book Art of the Fertile Crescent: 18th Annual New Jersey Book Arts Symposoium, Princeton, NJ (Nov. 2, 2012) (lecture, panel, and exhibit)
canceled due to Hurricane Sandy!! :(
--Annual Artist Members Show, ArtSpace, Maynard, MA (Sept.-Oct., 2012)
--Beyond the Book 6,
Boston Public Library (Honan-Allston), Boston, MA (May 5 - Jun. 23, 2012)
    (Jurors' Distinctive Merit & Librarians' Choice Awards)
--Re/Vision, Featured Artist Project, Center For Book Arts, New York, NY (Jan.-Apr. 2012) (artist talk 3/14/2012)
--Frances N. Roddy Open Competition
(juried show), Concord Art Association, Concord, MA (Sept. 14-Oct. 16, 2011)
--Annual Artist Members Show, ArtSpace, Maynard, MA (Sept.-Oct., 2011)
--Beyond the Book 5
(group show), Boston Public Library (Honan-Allston), Boston, MA (Mar. 26-May 7, 2011)
--Book Art: The World of the Limitless (group show), ArtSpace, Maynard, MA (Dec. 15, 2010-Jan. 14, 2011)
--BLUE (juried show), Cambridge Art Association, Cambridge, MA (Nov. 18, 2010 -Jan. 12, 2011)
--Frances N. Roddy Open Competition
(juried show), Concord Art Association, Concord, MA (Sept. 18-Oct.17, 2010)
--Annual Artist Members Show,
ArtSpace, Maynard, MA (Sept. 2010)
--Teeny Tiny Art Show
(goup show), Three Graces Gallery, Portsmouth, NH (Feb. 2010)
--Re/Vision (two-person show), Albright Art + Craft, Concord, MA (Oct. 11-Nov. 14, 2009)
--Alter-A-Tions (group show), Experimental Art Gallery, Salem, MA (Jul. 3-Aug.3, 2009)


--The Book As Architecture, Paul Johnson, North Bennet Street School, Boston, MA (2010)
--Binding a Classic Hardcover Book, Susan Mills, The Center for Book Arts, NY, NY (2008)
--Fellowship, Fine Press & Letterpress Printing Seminar, Barbara Mauriello, The Center for Book Arts, NY, NY (2005)
--Carousel Books, Maria Pisano, The Center for Book Arts, NY, NY (2005)

Professional Affiliations

Since I returned to writing these memberships are not current
The Center for Book Arts, New York, NY
Gallery 263, Cambridge, MA
ArtSpace, Maynard, MA
Concord Art Association

patricia sarrafian ward

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