Monthly Meetings

NOTE: The Monthly Meeting for May 2018 has been canceled because Pacific Beach Library is being renovated.

The Next Meeting:


Margit Smith on The Medieval Girdle Books
Wednesday, June 13, 4 to 6 p.m.
Cardiff Library
2081 Newcastle Avenue, Cardiff

Wednesday, July 18, 4 to 6 p.m.
Pacific Beach Taylor Library
4275 Cass St, San Diego

It is a special thrill to handle and examine books spanning the early 14th to the late 16th centuries, to feel, touch, smell, listen to their history, and to realize that our current desire for instant access to information can be traced to these objects. Girdle books were always with the owner and could be used without being removed from the belt. 

Margit will explain her initial fascination with the girdle book format and how she came to dedicate fourteen years to exploring its history, construction, use, and symbolism. She will share two girdle books she made herself, as examples of the two types that remain from the Middle Ages. 

The extreme rarity of the girdle book, often not recognized even by people who deal with rare books, prompted her decision to document and describe the known twenty-six girdle books still in libraries, museums and private collections. Margit received permission to examine them all. They are located in nine European countries and three libraries in the US, and she was able to take photographs in most cases. 

Free to SDBA Members!

Mingei International Museum Docent Led Tour of
VOLUMINOUS ART –Treasures from San Diego’s University Libraries

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Mingei International Museum
Plaza de Panama, Balboa Park,
1439 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101

Saturday, March 17 at 10:00 a.m.
Wednesday, April 4 at 1:00 p.m.

This spring, Mingei International Museum will shine a spotlight on the lesser-known libraries of UC San Diego, San Diego State University and University of San Diego in VOLUMINOUS ART – Treasures from San Diego’s University Libraries. This exhibition will celebrate the art of the book by showcasing approximately 25 volumes from each library collection, a sampling that will hint at centuries-old practices of book design, typography, binding and printing. Additionally, there will be multiple examples of so-called artists’ books – contemporary creations,usually in very small, one-off editions of eccentric art works.

The museum has generously offered free to current SDBA Members two different docent led tours (one hour) of the exhibit.
RSVP required: email Laurel Moorhead:


Quarterly Potlucks

Four times a year, food and friendship bring San Diego book Arts members together in a private home to enjoy the special pleasure of spending time with other artists. Past programs have focused on members' sketchbooks and showing the books made by Over the Moon participants from the reproduced pages. No two were alike and the creativity was astonishing. Recently, attendees brought the first and most recent books they've made. It turns out that some SDBA members have been making books from a very early age.



Latest News

Collaborative Projects





UPDATE: February 21, 2018

In February 2017, an administrative committee was formed to launch an SDBA Collaborative Art Project, and the committee agreed on a mail art project. After taking into consideration US Postal Service and other requirements, the committee settled on a 4x6 postcard format for the project.  At subsequent meetings, project timelines were established and subcommittees were formed to concentrate on Exhibitions, an Exhibition Catalog, and Publicity.

In May 2017, SDBA members were invited to attend a kick-off meeting for the project.  Members were invited to sign up for the project,  and participants paid a small administrative fee to help cover costs.  Several themes for the project were proposed, and participants chose a “San Diego County Landmark” theme.  Over the next several months, participants created their art. The target end-date for mailing completed postcards was December 31, 2017.

Thirty (30) participants have completed and mailed their postcards to each other, and we are delighted at the variety of art that has been produced!   A “sneak peek” is shown below.


Participants are now combining all the work received from individual CAP members into unique handmade books. The focus of the January and February meetings held at the Cardiff and Pacific Beach libraries was on book structures that could work well with postcards.

The deadline for completed books is May 1, 2018.  No doubt these books will be as varied as the art within them!

Check this website again for exhibition dates and locations now in development.  A mid-to-late summer 2018 date is anticipated for the opening exhibit.

Over the Moon, SDBA's 2016-2017 collaborative art project

It takes a tremendous amount of effort to get 40 people together to form a collective vision and then transform it into works of art and community events. Meetings, checklists, more meetings, and the participants headed off with three sheets of watercolor paper to embody one of member Diane Gage's moon-themed haiku. Work on Over the Moon had begun.

Because the participants came to the project with a broad range of experience and skills, classes were set up to teach methods of creating images and ways to bind the sheets into books. The finished images reflected the diversity of artistic practice brought to the task of creating a page: watercolor, printing, calligraphy, collage, and pen and ink.

It was a feast for the eyes. At the first showing of the images everyone was Over the Moon, and it was only the beginning. The original pieces were photographed and each participant received a set to bind.

The completed books were all beautiful and unique. Finally, the original art was collected in a handmade clam shell box.





Theme: California Natives

Save the dates and start creating!

Exhibition Dates: Nov. 11, 2018 - Jan. 5, 2019
Opening:  Sunday Nov. 11, Noon to 2 pm
Location: Front Porch Gallery
2903 Carlsbad Blvd, Carlsbad, CA 92008

RSVP Required. To commit to the show and for any questions, please email Krista Neis   ( )

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Here's a chance to stretch your creativity and share your love of book arts with others. The last members exhibit was in 2016, so don’t miss this opportunity! Wall pieces are appreciated/requested, though the gallery does have pedestals for display.


July 5:  Commit to being part of the show via email ( Get on the list to make sure you get email updates with details about the show.  Each member may submit one piece.
Sept. 4:  Submission of JPEG for the Postcard mailing.  The gallery will select one or more images to create and mail out a postcard advertising the show.
Oct. 2:  Submission of Art if delivering it to Clairemont Mesa location for transportation to the gallery
Oct. 2:  Submission of Artist and Book Art Statement
Oct. 31 - Nov. 2:   Submission of Art if delivering directly to the gallery
Opening Reception Sunday, Nov. 11, Noon to 2 pm.  
Nov. 11, 2018 Jan. 5, 2019:  Members Exhibition open to the public
Jan. 6 - Jan. 12:    Pick up Art at the gallery