Thomas Brian Virgin ~ Florida

Escape Series  
conversation too

Text by John Dufresne, Michael Hettich, and Yaddyra Peralta
Illustrations by Kari Snyder, Laura Tan, and Tom Virgin.
Coconut Grove, Florida: Extra Virgin Press, 2014. Edition of 50 + 4 proofs.

12.5" x 9"; 38 pages. Hard bound in cloth-covered book board with the title letterpress printed on the front of the book. Kettle stitch binding on exposed tapes with waxed linen thread. Katazome paper endsheets. Letterpress printed on the Vandercook 4 Proof press at the Jaffe Center for Book Arts. Hand coloring, folios cut from katazome paper. Signatures from each contributor as well as the artist's stamp. The book conceived, designed, printed, and produced by Extra Virgin Press, while the Virgin was the Helen M. Salzberg Resident Artist at the Jaffe Center for Book arts at Florida Atlantic University.

Tom Virgin: "This book follows an earlier related volume (Conversation). The written content in this volume includes both poetry and prose from three South Florida writers: John Dufresne, Michael Hettich, and Yaddyra Peralta. The visual content includes a natural spread by each of three visual artists (Kari Snyder, Laura Tan and Tom Virgin) as well as other images produced for this book."

John Dufresne is a professor in the MFA Creative Writing program of Florida International University. His contributions: "House Hunting / Polk Street,""House Hunting / Hollywood Boulevard,""Know Parking,""Mexican Cowboy," and "Classified / Advertisements."

Michael Hettich, a resident of Miami, has published twelve books and chapbooks. He is the winner of two Florida Individual Artists Fellowships. His contributions: "The Hurricane" and the poem "The Shells" and "The Ordinary Wonders".

Yaddyra Peralta graduated from Florida International University and refers to herself as "a poet stranded in Miami." Her contributions: "Saint Peter in Denial,""Cicatrix," and "20."

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"Can't See It From My House"
With an essay by Dr. Paul George
By Thomas Brian Virgin
Miami: Thomas Virgin, 2008. Edition of 20 plus 5 artist's proofs.

9.25 x 12"; 24 pages.The cover is blind embossed Murillo, with Foldovers and Tackets. Paste papers front and back are real estate listings laminated in Mulberry paper, as are the end sheets. Title page includes a pop-up. The body pages consist of seven folded sheets, 12 x 18" long, of Hahnemühle Copperplate paper. The book block is sewn together with a kettle stitch and bound to the cover with a Complex Multi Quire binding. Illustrations are archival inkjet photographs, one mixed media drawing, and five woodcut prints (reduced and recreated with polymer plates as relief prints with letterpress printing). Font used throughout is Garamond. Designed and laid out with digitally captured original artwork in Adobe Photoshop CS3 and InDesign CS3. Introduction essay by Dr. Paul George. Closing essay by the artist.

Tom Virgin: "The images in Can't See It from My House were originally intended as an homage to Miami shelters from years past: their craftsmanship, durability, and beauty inspired me … even while they were being destroyed and replaced by newer, taller, slicker, more profitable edifices. Their ultimate inclusion in this book was a by-product of 'progress' visiting me a bit more directly. On day upon returning from my photo trips to Downtown Miami to visit wrecking balls, implosions, and piles of rubble, I found the neighboring apartment building half gone…."

Colophon: "Can't See It from My House was created from woodcut prints, photographs, and other ephemera gathered between [2005 and 2007] in Miami and Coconut Grove, Florida. It is the story of one neighborhood being replaced by another, although it is far from being a completed story. The story will continue to be told by the City of Miami for years to come…."

Dr. Paul George (Miami Dade College and the South Florida Historical Museum) introduction essay: "Tom Virgin has captured in this sensitive, expansive work a Miami in rapid transition owing to the unprecedented building boom of recent times. Downtown is Virgin's focus, as it should be, since the boom's impact holds out great changes for that historic quarter....

"Study Tom's work, whether it be the downtown area or Coconut Grove, which is his home neighborhood, and you will understand his sensitivity over the tug of war between the old and the new. His photos beg the questions: What price development? Where is historic preservation in this rush to develop? Who will patronize these behemoths when they are completed?"

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Leila Times Thirteen
By Thomas Brian Virgin
2005. Edition of 20.

9.25 x 9.25"x 1.25"; 13 pages. Created in Adobe Photoshop CS and Adobe PageMaker 7.0. Thirteen linoleum cut prints photographed digitally and scaled for digital reproduction. Fonts are Americana and Blossomy from T.26. Printed on Arches Cover Black and Arches 88 with a HP DesignJet 500 printer. A dos-a-dos binding that opens, seven pages to the left and six pages to the right, with pop ups on each page.

Thomas Brian Virgin: "This book is born of spending the best part of the last eighteen months in the company of an artesian well full of ideas. Thirteen prints of Leila tied themselves together into this little peek into the well."

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Escape . Restrictions Apply series:
Escaping (verb): to break loose from confinement: get free. To issue from confinement or an enclosure.
Escape (noun): The act of an instance of escaping. A means of obtaining temporary freedom from worry, care, or unpleasantness.

A three part series using narrative and linoleum cuts to play with the idea of escape. Virgin lives in Miami, Florida, but says that periodically it becomes necessary just to get out of the "Magic City."

Thomas Virgin: "What generally prompts my exit has ... to do ... with excitement overload. The cacophony that is a result of banging all these folks together on a strip of land bordered by swamp on two sides and ocean on the other can overwhelm. I need to leave Miami from time to time so I can look to the sky and actually see it."


Escape ... Restrictions Apply
By Thomas Brian Virgin
2003. Edition of 13.

15.25 x 11.5 x 1", 17 pages. Printed on Arches 88 paper. Fonts used Ariel and Cheap Signage by Scott Ulrich. Blue jean cloth covered boards with patterned paper pastedowns and end pages.

Part One of his Escape trilogy has Virgin heading South to the Keys. Eight full page scenic markers identify his travels through the islands. Also articles on poverty "to show that in spite of the wealth of our nation, we have an increasingly large proportion of people who are as unfortunate as the poor in what we refer to as 'third world countries.' "



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Escape 2 ... Restrictions Apply
By Thomas Brian Virgin
2003. Edition of 20.

15.25 x 11.5 x 1"; 24 pages with 4 inserted single side printed pages. Printed on Arches 88 and Unryu Japanese Paper with a HP Designjet 500 inkjet printer. End pages Japanese silk screened Kimono designs. Photographed, scanned, sized, and colorized in Adobe Photoshop CS and laid out in Adobe PageMaker 7.0. Illustrations include photographs, maps, and original woodcut prints.

This is the second in a projected three-part series playing with the idea of escape Virgin lives in Miami, Florida, but says that periodically it becomes necessary just to get out of the "Magic City."

This book takes the reader from the 7 mile bridge to Key West - and to places only a local can go.

Thomas Virgin: "In Book Two, I have included articles on boats and other 'toys' from international marketing statistics and news accounts to illustrate the point that we (that would be the WE of the United States of America) have overwhelmingly more opportunities to travel and play on everylevel."

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Page last update: 07.11.14


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