"I'm kind of in love with the
Stengle is a visual artist working in artists' books and sculptural objects using found images and materials. Her work has been in dozens of
Like all book artists, Stengle plays with form, so some people might not think "book" when they see the chain of 2.25-by-2.25-inch folded paper squares. When the squares are folded up tightly, it looks like a small book; when they are stretched out, it looks like garland.
"The book is made up of pages from old books, accounting paper, drawings by kids, regular blank paper," Stengle says. "All of it is high-quality paper recycled or donated to the project."
Stengle considers this a process-oriented book.
"So often, artist books are fragile and you don't get to touch them," she says. "This is the opposite. If it rips, you just glue in a new page. I've gotten very OCD about making things perfect, and this is stepping out of that mentality for me. It's an organic sort of thing that is going to grow. When it's done, I don't know what will happen to it."
Stengle also wanted the book project to be community-oriented, so it has been worked on by several hundred children and adults.
"It's very different from section to section," she explains. "Adults are neat and tidy, and kindergartners glued at wonky angles. It's kind of nice it's not all the same."
When Stengle took the book project to schools, she invited the kids to do whatever they wanted. "It surprised me how the work divided along gender lines," she says. "Girls like to draw on and fold pages. The boys want to see how fast they can glue. They can make a chain 6 feet long in an hour."
When Stengle works on the project, she can fold 100th of a mile in five hours. She estimates it will take 500 hours to fold the whole book, made up of 32,000 pages.
Stengle expects the book to reach at least halfway across the
Anyone who wants to help unfurl the book Saturday should show up at noon at Capitol View park, the wedge of green space at Smith and Cherokee avenues across from the lookout and little flower garden.
"We'll hand the end of the book to one person who'll walk to the next one," Stengle says. "We'll need quite a number of volunteers to extend across the bridge."
After the "carry," the mile-long book will be at Stengle's studio,
Stengle, who lived in
Stengle's art is in a current exhibition at the
"I don't like to do the same thing twice," she says. "I'm looking at my desk right now where there's metal jars, plastic angels, toy train pieces, aluminum wheels, 19th-century electronics." All these found objects are candidates for inclusion in her art.
After creating serious exhibition pieces, Stengle says working on the mile-long book is "like a knitting project. It's extremely meditative to sit and fold and glue."
Art on the Avenue
Art on the Avenue will feature work by more than 20 local artists, two stages of music, children's activities and other events.
There will be art exhibits at BankCherokee, High Bridge Tattoo, Rascher Plumbing and
The event is organized by
What: Art on the Avenue community art and music festival
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