Originally Published: February 26, 2012 9:56 p.m.
Early on in Linda Illuminardi's teaching career, she worked with a teacher that used bookmaking to teach second-graders about the writing process. She got hooked on books.
"We were publishing their work. We used wallpaper sample books and empty cereal boxes," she said. "There was something about that published book form that was a treasure for them."
A summer class with bookmaker Linda Lemke, who became her first serious mentor, hurled Illumanardi into the realm of book art as both an artist and an art instructor. She currently teaches visual arts at Park View/Canyon View Prep Academy in Prescott Valley.
"What I've discovered is that in every class I teach - whether it's a 4-year-old or an 80-year-old - they leave holding the book to their heart. That doesn't happen with digital books," she said.
Illumanardi has a collection of her book creations on display now at the Yavapai College Library in Prescott. At 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28, she will take visitors through the display, and tell about her inspiration and the creation of the books.
"I don't ever throw books away. I might hack them up. But I don't ever throw them away," she said, bringing out of the case a thick volume of poetry that now contains a huge crystal and tiny matchbox drawers she re-titled Alchemy. "Books are very forgiving. If you make a mistake, you can make it look intentional."
The exhibit is on display through Wednesday, Feb. 29, during regular library hours.