Tara Bryan is a painter and a book artist. She studied music at the University of New Mexico and also holds a MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Bryan discovered the magic of letterpress printing and typography and took a course taught by the conservator of the University of Wisconsin Library. Her first books in grad school were published with the imprint Pterodactyl Press, later changed to Walking Bird Press.
Between 1987 and 1992, she took courses at the Center for Book Arts in New York City. She had the good fortune to take classes with Carol Barton, Hedi Kyle, Barbara Mauriello, Scott McCarney, Susan Share, Carolyn Chadwick and other inspiring books artists. In one of these workshops, she met Zahra Partovi, binder for Vincent FitzGerald & Co., who was looking for an assistant. She worked part-time with Partovi for about a year, and then began teaching Art at Rockland Country Day School in Congers, NY.
In 1992, Bryan moved to Newfoundland with a Vandercook and 6 cabinets of type. She continues to paint and make books and have taught workshops to all ages, from kindergarteners to adults. Bryan has worked in the ArtsSmarts and Artists in the Schools programmes, as well as teaching classes through MUN Lifelong Learning, the Anna Templeton Centre and St. Michael’s Printshop.
Tara Bryan loves the tactile experience of holding and reading a book– the intimacy created between the viewer and object. In her experience, the creative process in making books is also quite different from the act of painting. She continues to make books because the process uses a different part of her brain than painting, and gives her a chance to combine verbal ideas and interesting materials in work the viewer can touch.