Trained as a printmaker, Susan Goethel Campbell did not start working with artist books until 1999 when she was researching new formats to present her images of building implosions. After taking a workshop with Daniel Kelm in metal bookbinding, she found she liked the weight of her book more than the binding or the contents. From there she began to consider the book as a remnant of a larger event and created two books carved entirely out of magnetic sheeting that had the weight and feel of a clay brick.
Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Campbell developed her passion for art from her mother and her appreciation for ink on paper, from her father, a paper salesman who sold unique papers to commercial printers. As an undergraduate at Alma College in Michigan, Campbell apprenticed with Kent Kirby, the founder of Light-Print Press which was devoted to the revival of collotype, a continuous tone photographic print process. Campbell frequently uses photomechanical processes to create her artist books and attributes her tonal drawings of industrial emissions in part to her love of the halftones found in early photographic prints.
Since earning a Master of Fine Arts in printmaking from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Campbell’s work has focused on the aesthetics of nature, industry and technology. The notion of human progress as seen in the alterations of land and sky continue to fuel her work. In addition to Campbell’s studio work, she teaches printmaking and studio art at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan.
Biography courtesy of Susan Goethel Campbell
Alma College, Alma, MI, USA
Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield, MI, USA
The Book as Art: Twenty Years of Artists' Books from the National Museum of Women in the Arts
The Book as Art