Discarded Books Given Colorful New Life In Clifford’s ‘BiblioQuilt’ Collection
A collection of Hampden, Maine-based artist Larry Clifford’s art — vibrant original pieces created from old, neglected books — is on view this month and next at C.H. Booth Library.
A retiree from the healthcare sector, Clifford has taken his lifelong passions for visual art and literature and created breathtaking pieces one does not think of when hearing “abandoned books turned into art.”
The collection at 25 Main Street, “BibioQuilt,” was created using discarded books salvaged from basements, attics, and public libraries. Despite the name of the collection, the works are not made of cloth.
Instead, Clifford repurposes every part of a book. His original works are composed of thousands of laser-cut “tiles” harvested from the old books, from cover and spine to pages. He then supplements the old pieces with dyes, inks, and acrylics, breathing new life into pieces no longer readable or reparable.
The result is what visitors to Booth Library are now finding: large, colorful mixed media original works and limited edition prints that are almost dizzying in their patterns.
“BiblioQuilt” offers six original pieces, six giclee prints, and one poster.
Clifford earned a BA in Art at Northwestern University and an MA in Biomedical Communications from the University of Texas. He then spent 15 years producing award-winning biomedical illustrations, with an emphasis on traditional media such as pen and ink, carbon dust, and watercolor.
He eventually switched to strategic planning, marketing, and business development for the healthcare sector, “mainly because I didn’t want to render artwork on a computer,” he shares on his website.
Today, however, he has returned to his roots as a maker of fine art. His work has earned honors and is accepted into juried shows, including this month’s Compendium Exhibit at George Marshall Gallery in York, Maine.
Clifford was recently awarded a 2022 Artist Project Grant through Maine Arts Commission. He was also selected by Maine magazine in September as one of “18 Artists to Watch.”
Clifford regularly donates partial proceeds from sales of his art to public libraries, and has promised to do the same with his Newtown presentation. Ten percent of every sale — whether original works or limited edition giclee prints — goes to the public library of the purchaser’s choosing. In addition to those that are on view in Newtown, Clifford’s work is also available through his Flyleaf Galley (flyleafgallery.com).
“BiblioQuilt” is on view at Booth Library through November 30. Pieces are in the meeting room and lower entry hall. The meeting room is accessible any time the library is open, when programs are not being presented there: Monday through Thursday, 9:30 am-5 pm; Friday and Saturday, 9:30 am-8 pm; and Sunday, 12-5 pm. The entry hall is accessible any time the library is open.
Managing Editor Shannon Hicks can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.