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Books of art: Arts Clayton exhibiting Gutenberg replicas

JONESBORO — Hampton resident Tim Yancey has displayed his bound replicas of the Gutenberg Bible in Germany and in Washington D.C., but it was an exhibit at the Arts Clayton Gallery in Jonesboro that made him choke up with pride.

Yancey opened his two-month exhibit titled “The Artistry of Gutenberg’s Bible” at the gallery on Friday. He has been binding replicas of the Bible using 15th century bookbinding techniques.

About 50 people gathered in the gallery’s main exhibit hall to hear the father of two talk about the joy of getting to exhibit his work in the county where eight generations of his family have been born.

“This is home for me, and for me to be able to come back here and give back to a community that I love dearly is a tremendous blessing to me,” said Yancey.

The Gutenberg exhibit will run until Sept. 28 at the gallery, located at 136 South Main Street, in Jonesboro. “I’m not sure how we were blessed to have this, but it has been an incredible journey,” said Arts Clayton Executive Director Linda Summerlin.

The pages in each Bible that Yancey and his bookbinding teacher, Michael Chrisman, have put together are facsimiles Cooper Square Publishers made in 1956 for the 500th anniversary of the printing of the original Gutenberg Bible.

Each Bible is being bound into two volumes, which Yancey has said is the way the original Gutenberg Bible was compiled.

The exhibit includes stations that explain the process of creating a Gutenberg Bible, from the creation of the pages through the book binding process.

“This is wonderful history, and just something that we have to preserve,” said Arts Clayton Board of Directors President Krystal Pate. “I know a lot of people are going to enjoy seeing this.”

Yancey announced Friday that he is donating one two-volume set to Arts Clayton for the arts group to care for as long as the organization exists.

People who attended the opening of the Gutenberg exhibit said they were impressed with the work that has been put into binding each copy of the Bible.

“It’s fascinating even though I can’t read them because they’re in Latin,’ said Peachtree City resident Jean Augensen.

Arts Clayton Board member Donna Parker added, “It’s just so amazing with the artistry and all of the been involved in making it.”

Arts Clayton will host two workshops led by Yancey on the process of bookbinding while the Gutenberg exhibit is on display. The first workshop, entitled “Hand Tooling Leather Books in Historically Correct Style — A Lost Art” will take place on Aug. 18. The second workshop, entitled “How to Make and Cover Your Own Book or Journal” is set for Sept. 15. It costs $25 to sign up for each workshop.

Call the Arts Clayton Gallery at (770)473-5831 for more information about the Gutenberg exhibit and the workshops.