Elsi Vassdal Ellis – Washoe Pinned

FOBA 2021 Juried Exhibition

Completed 2021
Editions: 10
Dimensions closed: 8.125” x 12” x .875”
Materials: cut down manila file folders, binder’s board, Asahi book cloth, Chicago posts, cord, inkjet photographic papers
Artist resides in Bellingham, Washington

I do not possess a highly superior autobiographical memory; there are holes in my memory. The memories shared here are pinned memories, the product of the psychological primacy effect. Perhaps I have retained them because they were turning points in my life, not necessarily recognized at the time but later, upon reflection. This hybrid photo album combines the structure of early 20th century photo albums with the aged pattern of the self-adhesive three-hole letter pages with acetate covers. All photographs are glued to the pages. It is a record of and reflection upon memories retained, memories not retained, and my best friends in the 4th grade at Orvis Ring Elementary School in Reno, Nevada: Jackie Jackson and Karen Wong, and the first love of my life, Norman, a Native American. It is about accepting that if I were to make a pilgrimage to Reno, all the landmarks of that special time are gone: the library, the elementary school, our house, Jackie’s house, and Karen’s house. 

Elsi Vassdal Ellis (Bellingham, Washington)

Elsi Vassdal Ellis taught design production and book arts at Western Washington University for 40 years, retiring in June 2017. As EVE Press she has produced over 150 editions via offset, letterpress, and digital printing, and 127 unique books since 1983. Her work is permanently housed in many public collections including the National Museum of Women in the Arts, New York City Public Library, Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, Grabhorn Collection in the San Francisco Public Library, and Arts of the Book Collection in the Yale University Library.