BRUNSWICK – The exhibition “Threatened and Endangered: Artist’s Books Created by Rebecca Goodale” is currently on view at Bowdoin College’s Hawthorne-Longfellow Library.

The items appear in the library’s second-floor display gallery and in the third-floor Department of Special Collections.

The exhibition of artworks conceived of by the artist in book form focuses on Goodale’s long-term project of making books about the plants and animals on Maine’s endangered and threatened species lists.

“I want to inspire sensitivity for these rare species by using my background in book arts and textile design to interpret what I see with color, pattern, rhythm and transition,” says Goodale in the artist’s statement in the exhibition catalog.

Goodale began the project in 2000. The show features most of her creations since then: 29 items are on display, combining silk-screen, painting techniques and cutouts with a variety of book structures. The result is a colorful assembly of paper sculptures and other three-dimensional objects.

Among the works in the exhibition are:

• “Four Maine Butterflies,” four silk-screen printed folios with hand-painted pop-ups that hover over the pages, illuminating the fragile beauty of the natural world.

• “Black Racer,” a fold book of hand-colored silk-screen prints. It makes the endangered snake’s slithering movement and inclination to hide three-dimensional.

• “Vernal Pool,” a theater book, constructed so that when the side panels are pulled apart, like curtains on a stage, the illustration of a dried-up wintertime pool springs back to life.

• “Extinct; Extirpated; Endangered,” a set of three rotating rings charting a history of plant and animal disappearance. Because it is filled with materials that rattle, the book is able to illustrate the decline of a species by how loud, soft, or nonexistent the rattling is.

• “Eggs,” an accordion book that unfolds to reveal speckled specimens of different sizes, shapes and colors.

“Threatened and Endangered” runs through Dec. 15. It is open daily during regular library hours, which are Monday through Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.


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