Borland Project Space showcases contemporary approach to creating artist’s book

February 19, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Jean Sanders, associate professor of art at Penn State, will demonstrate processes and install portions of her artist’s book, "The Tendency of Nature," in the Borland Project Space through March 26. Sanders is collaborating on the book with artist/writer Elizabeth Olbert using the writings of naturalist Peter Kropotkin as an inspirational source. 

Sanders will conduct demos in the Borland Project Space from noon to 1 p.m. on Feb. 23 (printmaking and the artist’s book), March 1 (typesetting with the laser cutter), and March 15 (papermaking and cyanotype printing). In addition, the public can watch Sanders at work during her open studio hours in Borland on Wednesdays 10 a.m.–2 p.m.; Fridays 2–9 p.m.; Saturdays 6–9 p.m.; and Sundays 1–5 p.m. An artist’s talk and reception will be held in the Borland Project Space at 5 p.m. on March 22.

Peter Kropotkin's research into the social lives of animals, first published as "Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution" in 1902, explored the idea of cooperation as a central, crucial and highly sophisticated survival mechanism in animal and human societies alike.

“The late 19th century/early 20th century was a high point of invention, craft and dissemination of ideas through books,” said Sanders. “Stylistically, the choices we've made refer to this era. Handset type, photogravure, papermaking and bookbinding are all part of the process in making this limited-edition book. Technologies, both old and new, are inextricably fused, and I will be sharing my technological explorations during several noon-time lectures and demonstrations.”

According to Sanders, her book is a consideration of Kropotkin's ideas as they apply to the political landscape today, as well as a meditation on equine behavior. “Horses are a species that Kropotkin observed with interest, and a passion that Elizabeth and I share. It is our intimate understanding of these beautiful beasts that brought us together, and it is our shared political ideology that has fleshed out our experience.”

The Borland Project Space is used to showcase the vibrant research culture of the College of Arts and Architecture, with the term “research” intended to encompass the full range of practices in which faculty engage to create new knowledge in the arts and design disciplines. For more information, visit

Last Updated February 22, 2016