You can find amazing stuff in some storage rooms. And really amazing stuff in the storage rooms of arts institutions. Such as the 400 artists' books in the Ringling College of Art and Design's Kimbrough Library, which usually stay in a vault. Through Sept. 19, though, a selection is on view in the college's Selby Gallery.
An artist's book, also called book art, is not about an artist, as the name might suggest, but is created by an artist as a work of art in and of itself. Sometimes one has the literal appearance of a book but often they're elaborate constructions with multiple components as you see in this work by Julie Chen.
Also on exhibit is a collection of photographs taken by Russian photojournalists that spans the horrors of World War II through the drama of the Nuremberg Trials.
Both shows continue through Sept. 19. Selby Gallery is located at the Ringling College of Art and Design, 2700 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Note that it is not part of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, which is farther north. Hours in August are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. In September, they're 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday with extended hours on Tuesday to 7 p.m. Free. (941) 359-7563 or ringling.edu/selbygallery.
Lennie Bennett, Times art critic