Only 23 medieval girdle books have survived in their original form, but visitors to Elgin Community College can see a replica of this status symbol circa 13th to 16th centuries at an exhibition now open.
The artwork of eight Elgin Community College graphic design faculty members will be displayed through Saturday, Feb. 16, in Safety-Kleen Gallery One.
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The medieval girdle book replica, by graphic design professor Connie Orbeta, would have been owned by monks or the very wealthy in its day. Bound in leather, it features a long tapered tail with a large knot which could be tucked into one's girdle or belt.
"Books secured on the girdle belt served both the utilitarian function of enabling hands-free carrying and protecting valuable books from theft and the elements," Orbeta stated in a description of her work. "The advent of printing marked the demise of the girdle book."
Other artwork showcased in the exhibit includes paintings, digital art and multimedia work.
"When faculty displays the depth of their skills and knowledge outside the classroom setting, they communicate their artistic visions in tangible and exciting ways," says Ed Krantz, the college's gallery curator, in a news release. "Through this exhibition, we reinforce our faculty members' strengths as artists and as educators."
In addition to Orbeta, the following faculty members have work on display:
• Tim Kaar, graphic design associate professor
• Alexis Bach, graphic design adjunct instructor
• Julie Becker, graphic design adjunct instructor
• Kevin Hunter, graphic design adjunct instructor
• Tina Leverenzzi, graphic design professor
• Yvonne Beckway, graphic design adjunct instructor
• Loretta McCallister, graphic design adjunct instructor
Safety-Kleen Gallery One is inside the ECC Arts Center, Building H, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Parking and admission are free.
For more information, contact Krantz at (847) 214-7405 or firstname.lastname@example.org.