Illahe Gallery celebrates books, poetry and art

This is the last week to check out the art books exhibit at the Illahe Studio and Gallery in Ashland, so hurry over there.

For five years, the Illahe has held an April exhibit of art books made by national and international artists. A couple years ago, the Illahe staff was looking for ways to include local artists in the exhibit. With the help of retired Southern Oregon University Professor Michael Holstein, they decided to include books created by the public, and Illahe’s Community Press came to life. Community members and artists came together and created a bunch of fantastic books. Some people made blank books and others filled them with poems, stories, art and whatever they can imagine. It’s a kick to see all the creativity and joy people put into their work.

In addition to the community made books, the exhibit features some draw-dropping professional artists books. These are hand-printed, stitched and bound works of art that visitors can handle and look at (the Illahe provides white gloves to keep the books protected). There is a fabulous book by Sabine Nies, a beautifully handcrafted, leather bound copy of a “Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Nies’ attention to detail and meticulous craftsmanship is apparent in all the small details. It’s one of the many joyful objects filling the gallery this week. Also, check out Elan Chardin Gombart’s “Inside Out Book,” where she deconstructs a large book into a full-bloomed flower.

Next month, Gombart’s paintings will be among several art works that feature the natural world. Gombart paints landscapes then cuts them into small pieces and reassembles the parts like a puzzle.

Illahe Studios & Gallery is located at 215 Fourth St. in Ashland’s Historic Railroad District, at the corner of 4th and B streets. For more information, call 541-488-5072 or visit the website at

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    Linda Barnes

    Linda Barnes began her writing life with a little diary she received at the age of 10. She has degrees in English and psychology and is a former counselor who has “retired” into consulting, teaching, and training in journal writing and poetry ... Read Full
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