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Alex Appella

Amandine Nabarra-Piomelli

Amanda Watson-Will

Beth Uzwiak

Charlene Asato

Elsi Vassdal Ellis

Ewa Monika Zebrowski

Francesca Phillips

Frans Baake

Geirmundur Klein

Hanne Niederhausen

Jane Simon

Kristin Flanagan

Laura Russell

Leah Oates

Lila Pickus

Linda Morrow

Louise Levergneux

Michael Clements

Paula Gillen

Susan Brown

In the Reading Room:

Ann Lovett

Bill Westheimer

Emily Artinian

Joan MacDonald

Kevin Laubacher

Michael Peven

Mirabelle Jones

Phillip Zimmerman

Shu-Ju Wang

Tara O'Brien

Tom Finke & Jean Buescher-Bartlett



Alex Appella

San Antonio de Arredondo, Cordoba, Argentina


The János Book

digitally produced collages, printed on Colorspot Maiz paper, using an Epson Ink Jet Printer

8 ½ x 25 x 1 ½

© 2006


How long is 90 years?

From the silence of its long black cover, The János Book opens, and explodes with what had been unspeakable for over 70 years.

“90 years is long enough to be a child in World War One, a man in World War Two…”

“90 years is long enough for secrets to last 70…”

My Hungarian grandparents emigrated from Transylvania to California in 1923. They passed away before I was born, but left a legacy of questions that began to surface in our home in the 1980s. By then, the only remaining family member who could answer those questions was János (pronounced Ya-noash), my grandfather’s youngest brother, who had emigrated from Transylvania to Argentina in 1949. The questions were innocent enough. My mother always believed she had only two uncles—János and Imre. But then a photo of four young men was found among my grandfather’s things. Three faces were familiar. Who was the fourth man?

In 1994 I traveled to Argentina to meet János, to ask the questions. The answers—the secrets—revealed our identity, and revealed the pain of lying, even to protect those you love. The János Book not only encompasses a family’s history, it reveals the man who, at the age of 90, decided to tell it. The reader is taken on a journey from Oregon to Argentina, to Transylvania, and beyond. Original letters, photographs and paintings entwine János’ testimony with my poetry to reveal a family’s identity whispered away two generations prior.

12 years in the making, The János Book tells a novel’s sized story in 29 wide format, digitally produced collages of text and images.


Where Are You From?

collages/pages sewn onto linen tapes,

flat back bindin, printed on an Epson Ink Jet Printer.

6 x 8

© 2008


As an Oregonian living in Argentina, not a day goes by that I am not asked, “Where are you from?”—in the grocery store, paying bills, getting gas. I am heartened that my accent has improved: most of the askers assume I am from Brazil. But it is an accent nonetheless, and the question is constant. It is a notable opportunity for self-reflection. Over the last eight years, the answer has evolved significantly. The artist book, “Where Are You From?” explores my answers through collage that utilizes pop-up construction and moveable parts.

Alex Appella (born in Oregon) began bookbinding on a boat in Alaska before taking her creations to the streets and plazas of Latin America. What began as a temporary solution within a nomadic lifestyle has turned into a way of life. Alex now writes and binds from her home in the sierras of Córdoba, Argentina. Alex’s artist’s books can be found in The Getty Museum in Los Angeles, in addition to special collections at libraries and universities all over the US.