Kelly Parrett, “A Carefully Constructed Campus”

My project, A Carefully Constructed Campus, intends to take the reader on a tour of Geneseo’s campus; however, only the physical aspects of Geneseo’s scenery that are discussed on official campus tours are featured in this artist book. As a tour guide, I am trained to craft a specific aesthetic of Geneseo, and only discuss the things that campus administration deems worthy of discussion. Therefore, this project is a handmade, hand-drawn representation of Geneseo’s carefully constructed aesthetic.

My book is made out of an old cardboard box, and the pages are handmade. On the inner pages, I used pieces of the Lamron, Geneseo’s student newspaper, to glue random pieces of unsequential text onto the pages of my book, much like a flat version of paper mache. The function of placing the text onto the pages is to add a visually interesting and Geneseo-specific background for my drawings and words. On top of these pages, I placed hand-drawn sketches of Geneseo scenery (outdoors) that are discussed on campus tours– the front of Doty Hall, the Kindergarten sign on the side of Welles, the view of the valley, the stained glass windows on Brodie Hall, the College Green, the Seuss Spruce, the Greek Tree, the Sturges Clocktower, and the Gazebo. The pages are in this order, as this is sequentially how a tour moves through Geneseo. Accompanying these drawings is an overlay of text to explain the images. My book is presented kind of like a scrapbook, except it will only feature the pieces of Geneseo’s aesthetic image, while all else will be omitted.

Overall, my project is a handcrafted scrapbook of the aesthetic pieces of Geneseo that are discussed on tours of the academic campus. It is important that the book itself is handmade— with everything done by hand—  because my handcrafted book is representative and symbolic of the handcrafted image of Geneseo that our administration has created.

To view the digital content of “A Carefully Constructed Campus,” click on this hyperlink.