Originally from Denver, Rhiannon Alpers came to San Francisco in 2005 because of its large book arts community. She found the book artists of the Bay Area to be very welcoming, and has worked to become a part of that creative community. With both a BA and an MFA in artist books, the academic community has played a critical role in her wanting to teach both adult education and college courses. Rhiannon has taught papermaking, bookbinding and letterpress printing in various forms since 2001.
Rhiannon’s personal artistic creations often showcase themes of nature, remnants (the things left behind by animals, humans, or geology), and cryptology.
In her most recent series of work, Rhiannon has been fascinated by early women of science and the discoveries made from their studies. Her latest work, Jeanne Baret: The Woman Behind the Naturalist, centers around the story of the first woman to circumnavigate the globe (on a ship) in late 1760’s from France. Jeanne Baret’s story was largely undocumented; women were prohibited on French naval vessels, and she traveled disguised as a man
As an instructor, Rhiannon wants her students to take away a sense that she encourages students to make books in whatever language of art and storytelling they feel most comfortable, whether it be in photography, drawing, short stories, poetry or a combination of all. It is a medium that allows for many possibilities in the finished product. She also works to instill the theory that the most compelling artist books work to integrate four areas: narrative, sequence, flow, and imagery and bring them together in a “language” that makes sense to the artist/creator. Samples of Rhiannon’s work–and the work of some of her students–will be on display as part of Book Smart: Learning to Break the Rules, from September 14 – November 30.