Boreal Herbarium

Boreal Herbarium

Northwoods Book Art Guild team coordinators: Laurel Herbeck and Chris Greenfield-Pastro.

Artist members: Susan Campbell, Dawn Crass, Magdéleine Ferru, Chris Greenfield-Pastro, Laurel Herbeck, Yumi Kawaguchi, Mary Liston, Mary Baarlaer Maisch, Sherrill Peterson, Leila Pyle, Pat Sheehan, Karen Stomberg, Corlis Taylor, Ashley Thayer.

Book Arts consultants: Margo Klass, Mary Baarlaer Maisch, Chris Greenfield-Pastro, Laurel Herbeck.

Book binding team: Yumi Kawaguchi, Mary Liston, Leila Pyle, Lois Henderson, Gayle Hazen, Sherrill Peterson, Chris Greenfield-Pastro, Laurel Herbeck.

Consulting scientists: Christa Mulder, Blaine Spellman, Jason Grant, Naoki Takebayashi, David Murray, Jan Dawe.


Members of the Northwoods Book Arts Guild were inspired by the wildflowers, berries, and lichens of the boreal forest. It was our intent to make a visual record of the plants we encounter in our yards, on the trails, along the roadside, and off the beaten path. Many of the plants are common, and some are rare. We realize that the plants are fragile and may be threatened by wildfire, development, and the effects of climate change. 

As book artists, we were inspired to create and construct three handmade and hand-bound volumes of images and text, using a Concertina Album structure. Members chose one to three plants to research, observe, and sketch. Most draft copies were reviewed by UAF Professor Christa Mulder for botanical accuracy.

Artists created a folio page for each selected species, along with a short personal narrative. The team assembled the three Boreal Herbarium volumes on display in the gallery.  

The ITOC experience expanded our insights and knowledge of the science of the boreal forest. Other artists inspired us with their creative response to the scientific information and research addressed in ITOC presentations. Several of our members have deep roots in education, and the knowledge we have gained through this experience will inform our future teaching.  

At the intersection of science and art, we found knowledge and beauty. We realize our time here is temporary. These books are a personal and botanical documentation of our boreal forest in a time of change.  

Northwoods Book Arts Guild

Northwoods Book Arts Guild was founded in 2011 in response to a growing community of artists, teachers, and others interested in learning about the intersection of books and art. As the only book arts education program in the state of Alaska, the Northwoods Book Arts Guild is committed to education, outreach, and community service to artists and others, providing workshops, book arts classes, and online programs. The guild partners with the North Star Community Foundation, the Fairbanks Arts Association, and the Fairbanks Folk School. The guild has had three major shows in local galleries, and numerous displays at the Rasmuson and Noel Wien Libraries.


Northwoods Book Arts Guild