Lucy Swope, who grew up summering in Woods Hole, has gone on to a quiet, yet illustrious, career in art, writing, and education. Her art has become specialized in wood cuts illustrating tiny handmade books, which she writes, prints and binds herself in limited editions of around one hundred. The books are mostly about animals.
From 1956-1976, Lucy actively worked with special needs people. More recently she has done residencies in art and poetry in schools with younger children across Vermont, usually producing a tiny book as a culmination of their time together. Most of her teaching through the past thirty years has been in Vermont, where she farmed and established her printing company Elizabeth Farm Press.
Her poetry has been published widely. She has received several grants from the Vermont Council on the Arts, and the Vermont Women’s Caucus for Art. In 2010 the Vermont State Legislature passed a resolution recognizing Lucy’s contribution to the life and culture of Vermont.
Recently she and her husband moved to Hudson, New York, and a smaller farm. Her new press is named Lucky Dog Press.
While she is visiting in Woods Hole, she will exhibit her work at the Woods Hole Public Library, starting on Sunday, August 2 at 3 PM when she will demonstrate how she makes her books. As one fellow poet has said “Lucy makes everything in her books except the paper and ink.”
As a Vermont librarian has said “ Her books reflect her deep love of rural New England……All of Lucy’s books reflect her respect for the animals that have been a part of her life. Her connection to these animals is a profound one- they are members of an extended family and she describes them as such using her careful, descriptive language and beautiful block prints…..The books themselves reflect the values that Swope describes in her stories and each is a work of art.” Her demonstration will be followed by a reception and sale. The exhibit of tiny books will continue for several weeks after the opening.
For more information, call the library at 508-548-8961.
On Saturday, August 8, at 2 PM the Library will run a simplified “woodcut workshop” for children aged 6 and up. Although all the materials are simplified, as a result of the hands-on exercise, the children should understand the basic principles of woodcuts as they create their own work of art.