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Florida CraftArt presents: What is a Book? Beyond Words: Celebrating Books as Art

Beyond Words: Celebrating Books as Art is a juried exhibition showcasing fine handcrafted work by 36 artists from Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee. The diversity of contemporary books as art is highlighted by the 75 pieces on exhibit at Florida CraftArt. 


“This exhibition celebrates the book as art through a varied collection of inventive works. that challenge preconceptions of what a book is and can be,” says Cindy Bartosek the exhibit curator. “For an artist, ‘book’ can be medium of artistic expression. It is a space for experimenting with innovative combinations of images, text, and formats to address topics ranging from politics to poetry, from whimsy to deeply personal narratives that explore and communicate important themes and visual ideas in a very individual way, limited only by the imagination of the maker.”


“Each book represents a personal story, a reflection of cultural heritage or international sensibilities,” says Bartosek. There are thought-provoking pieces and conversation starters around social justice and state of the world issues. Some are pieces that stretch the imagination or relate personal joys and sorrow; others remind us of the beauty and wonder of the world around us and its peril. Others take the book structure beyond everyday expectations, challenging our preconceptions of what a book is and can be.”


Beyond Words: Celebrating Books as Art, June 10 – July 30, 2022, is made possible by a sponsorship from Elizabeth Reilinger, City of St. Petersburg, and Florida Department of State Division of Arts and Culture. Docent tours are available upon request.


Showing in the exhibit are artists Kathy Arrowood Oates, Kingsport, Tenn., Robert Barancik, St. Petersburg, Fla., Barbara Beyhl, St. Petersburg, Fla., Kim Borowy, Tequesta, Fla., Harry Bower, Dunedin, Fla., Karen Brown, Tampa, Fla., Bonnie Bruner, Lake Worth, Fla., Lisa Co, Gainesville, Fla., June Colburn, Largo, Fla., Mary Correa, Lakeland, Fla., Neverne Covington, St. Petersburg, Fla., Liliana Crespi, Port St. Lucie, Fla., Rima Day, Thompsons Station, Tenn., Christine Di Staola, Clearwater, Fla., Lauren Dykes, Tampa, Fla., Helen Ensign, East Point, Ga., Melissa Fair and Emily Hashagen, Tampa, Fla., Judy Flescher, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Eric Folsom, Gulfport, Fla., Kristina Gintautiene, Holiday, Fla., Carla Golembe, Delray Beach, Fla., Mary Grieco, St. Petersburg, Fla., Kally Harvard, St. Petersburg, Fla., Andrea Huffman, Sunrise, Fla., Kianga Jinaki, Riviera Beach, Fla., Jack King, Tampa, Fla., Ryan Lutz, Cape Coral, Fla., Elizabeth Neily, Gulfport, Fla., Polly Perkins, St. Petersburg, Fla., Rose Marie Prins, St. Petersburg, Fla., Stephen Sidelinger, Venice, Fla., Rebecca Skelton, St. Petersburg, Fla., Shelly Steck-Reale, St. Petersburg, Fla., Jacob Wan, Orlando, Fla., and Kathy Wood, Port Charlotte, Fla.

Florida CraftArt is located at 501 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg and is open Monday through Saturday from10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, visit or call (727) 821-7391. Florida CraftArt is a nonprofit organization founded in 1951 and headquartered in St. Petersburg. Its mission is to grow the statewide creative economy by engaging the community and advancing Florida’s fine craft artists and their work. Fine craft art is presented in its 2,500-square-foot Florida Artist Gallery and curated exhibitions are featured in its adjacent exhibition gallery. Florida CraftArt is the only statewide organization offering artists a platform to show and sell their work.


Mark your calendar (Zoom links available on or on


Sunday, June 12, 2 p.m.: Artists' talk: Barbara Beyhl, Mary Correa, Christine Di Staola, Melissa Fair, Eric Folsom, Emily Hashagen, Kristine Gintautiene, and Kally Harvard. 

Tuesday, June 28, 5:30 p.m.: Author Deb Carson, multimedia presentation based on her book, "Becoming FLO, A Mostly True Story"

Saturday, July 30, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.: "One Sheet Wonders: Folded Books from One Sheet of Paper," Workshop with curator Cindy Bartosek.

Saturday, July 30, 4 p.m.: Artists' talk: Karen Brown, Lauren Dykes, Mary Grieco, Andrea Huffman, Kianga Jinaki, Elizabeth Neily, Polly Perkins, and Rebecca Skelton; and closing reception.


CUTLINES (More images of work available on request.) 


1. FCA-Covington, Neverne-Alchemical Text.jpg

Neverne Covington of St. Petersburg, Fla., created her 24”x48” book, The Alchemical Text, using tin, rust, linen, intaglios, lithograph, and monotype prints.


2. FCA-Di Staola,Christine-Tea Leaves.jpg

Measuring 16”x2,” Tea Leaves by artist Christine Di Staola of Clearwater, Fla., is a concertina book with sgraffito ceramic covers and monoprint pages.

3. FCA-Dykes, Lauren-Globe.jpg

This 9”x5.25” book Globe by Lauren Dykes of Tampa, Fla., was created by folding pages into a design.


4. FCA-Prins, Rose Marie-As Each Moon Passes.jpg

Rose Marie Prins of St. Petersburg, Fla., created As Each Noon Passes that features a poem by her late son Jaro Majer. 


5. FCA-Sidelinger, Stephen-Matisse' Love.jpg

The Cutting Out of Matisse’s Love of Chinese Samba is a 5.5”x8.5” book by Stephen Sidelinger of Venice, Fla. 


6. FCA-Steck Reale, Shelley-Banned.jpg

Shelly Steck Reale, St. Petersburg, Fla., created Banned, a 28”x15”x15” sculpture of paper clay and India ink. 


7. FCA-Bartosek, Cindy-Curator.jpg

Cindy Bartosek of Palm Beach, Fla., is the curator for the Beyond Words: Celebrating Books as Art exhibit.



Elizabeth Neily

Special Projects

Florida CraftArt

501 Central Avenue

St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Office: (727) 821-7391  


Our mission is to grow the statewide creative economy by engaging the community and advancing Florida’s fine craft artists and their work.


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