Pop-Up Engineer & Book Artist, Chicago, IL
THE MESSAGE: My artist books explore the dynamic ecologies that operate in both wild and cultured environments. In the wild, I'm interested in the feedback loops that maintain healthy proportions among carnivores, herbivores and plants in a given ecosystem. I suspect that adopting these wild-world ecologies might be useful in our efforts as humans to live sustainably, and they might serve as antidote to a Western production model that requires growth, expansion and an ever-increasing profit margin. I also enjoy studying the ways in which biological evolution and cultural evolution inform each other.
THE MEDIUM: Artists' books uniquely communicate through image, text and structure. Pop-ups exploit the expressive potential of a book's structure. They provide the sculptor the opportunity to create 3D form and they provide the engineer the challenge of bringing those forms to life. Pop-up books are powerfully sneaky; they knowingly cultivate the 'unsuspecting audience.' Pop-up books attract adults with as much ease as they attract children, and provide the perfect vessel for exploring the content that exists in the borderlands between youth culture and adult culture.
Speaker Bio: Shawn Sheehy combines paper engineering with an interest in biological and cultural evolution to produce limited-edition pop-up books. Shawn has taught workshops at PBI, Penland, the Centers for Book Arts in Chicago and New York, and many other venues across the U.S. His commercial pop-up clients include the American Girl Company, Vintage Magazine and PeeWee Herman. Candlewick Press is publishing his book "Welcome to the Neighborwood." Watch for it spring 2015."
Sponsorship: Wriston Galleries, Fox Valley Book Festival, thINK Printmaking Club, The Paper Fox Printmaking Workshop, and The Art & Art History Department