September 2016

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film | October 1

The sixth annual Handmade & Bound Nashville festival will be happening at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film. The event will feature a vendor festival offering unique pieces of book and print art and an interactive gallery exhibition, Stitches + Stories.

“This is a unique event to Nashville and to Watkins,” says Anna McKeown, Watkins director of community education. “It’s a really great way to get involved in more community-based art in a very family friendly and fun way.”

During the festival, artists and independent publishers will sell, trade, and buy handbound publications and book-related art pieces. In McKeown’s estimation, book art lends itself particularly well to a marketplace-style event.

“With something that’s really tactile and utilitarian while also being an art piece, it kind of breaks down the elitism that surrounds art,” she explains. “Books are something that everybody has seen, everybody has held, everybody has their own associations with. So I think it’s a really accessible way to share artwork with the community.”

Stitches + Stories, to be held in the campus’s Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery, will showcase handmade books of poetry and collage work crafted during a series of community workshops throughout the year. This year, it will exhibit books made through Nashville’s Poverty & The Arts program, as well as pieces by local artists Lesley Patterson-Marx and Katie Gonzalez.

“I would want visitors to come away with the idea that having an art practice is easier than they might think,” McKeown says. “It’s as simple as having a book and filling it with your thoughts, your little drawings. Art is accessible; it’s out there for you to interact with; it’s out there for you to take home with you.”

Stitches + Stories will be on display at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film from September 30 to October 14 with an opening ceremony on September 30 from 5 to 7 p.m. The Handmade & Bound Nashville festival will be held on October 1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, please visit

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