about me...contact_me.html

Hi, I’m Ann Woods, and I’ve been freelancing as AIMIA ART WORKS and its divisions since 1981, specializing in custom hand lettering--on walls, mirrors, sprayed photographs, wood, sculpture, and ceramics, as well as on paper.  I also specialize in other book arts, including watercolor marbling, decorative papers with paste and other techniques, book structures and binding, and designing unique gifts and awards. I have been instructing adults and children in these arts for the last thirty-seven years, My training in ancient and medieval history has meant that along with theory and practice, the story of each of these art forms occupies a special place in my heart and in my teaching.

    In addition to adult programs through extension programs in central Ohio

and West Virginia and at the Columbus College of Art & Design, I now celebrate my thirty-third year among Columbus’ Artists in Schools.  Arts integration--in my case meaning integrating language arts, historical/cultural awareness, math, and science into my programs--has always been a guiding principle, as I work closely with teachers to assure advancement of their instructional goals and Ohio’s Fine Arts and academic Standards.

My art can be found in the permanent collections of Columbus Metropolitan Libraries, Wexner Center for the Arts, Congregation Tifereth Israel, MOMA, the Newberry Library, the Ohio State University/Logan Elm Press, and numerous private collections, including those of the King of Spain and percussionist Glenn Kotche (Wilco!).  Calligraphic pieces appeared regularly in the Calligraphers Engagement Calendar, an international juried competition for calligraphers, published (roughly) annually through 2004.

A singular and humbling honor of mine was to have been chosen as the first American calligrapher to participate in the Changan Conference of Calligraphers in Xi’an, China, in 1993, an experience of a lifetime.  So, too, to have been among the thirty calligraphers and papermakers whose proposals were selected for a juried limited-edition artist portfolio  combining handmade paper and calligraphy--one in a series of portfolios sponsored by Hand Papermaking--the professional nonprofit organization and publication dedicated to advancing the traditional and contemporary arts of making paper by hand.

And in 2007, I became the first triple Grand Prize winner of the World Handwriting Contest, taking first place honors three years running from 2005, in a competition that draws entries from pen men and woman from all over the world.  A list of other awards

and honors are available on request.

All of this and more I owe most of all to the love and inexplicable indulgence and patience of my husband, Alan, whose sense of humor has regularly kept me from tearing my hair out, or worse when projects collapse and must be relettered hours before they are due.  To our amazingly creative daughter, Kathryn, whose own artwork keeps me humble, to all my feline alteregos, of whom Sheba and Sybil were just the last, and to innumerable friends, family, and colleagues, my thanks for loving me in spite of my failures and shortcomings.  And to the long line of the finest lettering and book artists in the world by whom I have been inspired and with many of whom I have been privileged to study, my humble appreciation for the generosity with which you shared your insights. That holds as well for all the dedicated, patient teachers and professors--from my parents and siblings through my formal education at New Rochelle High School (New York State Regents Diploma), Barnard College, Columbia University (B.A., History-- Ancient and Medieval), Tufts University (L’Anno Classico in Italia), and the University of Southern California (M.A. and Ph.D., also in History, specializing in Ancient and Medieval studies).

For marblers, the new 2016 edition of my Trayside Handbook of Marbling can be seen at The Shop on this website and ordered from aimiaart@gmail.com. This is not a book of perfect marbled patterns--though you will certainly want those for inspiration--but a workbook for the serious beginning or intermediate artist eager to pursue this fickle but alluring art. It features instructions for building your equipment and preparation of materials, historical background, supplier lists, a bibliography, a glossary, and four tipped-in original hand-marbled samples. Perhaps most important is its exclusive Troubleshooting Guide (listing problems, causes, and solutions) which can be mounted by the work station

for on-the-spot reference.

For middle schoolers (and up), I authored two books designed for self-directed study, Calligraphy I:, and Calligraphy II: Formal Chancery,  for.

Finally, beyond my professional work, some will remember

The Public Book: Letters to Our Great-Great-Grandchildren--a project I created but carried through only with a mountain of help and encouragement from too many others to name here. All are named on the project website, www.thepublicbook.org, and each knows of my enduring gratitude.  Designed for the Columbus Quincentenary in 1992, the project was designated one of the National Quincentennial Projects and received formal recognition from the Franklin County Commissioners thereafter.  With a grant from the Columbus Foundation, the project is currently collecting oral histories of the many individuals and groups who made the book’s almost 150 extraordinary fabric pages. If you are among them and have not yet been interviewed, or perhaps know of a perfect venue to exhibit pages from the book, please contact me. aimiaart@gmail.com

or call 614-261-6268

 ©ann alaia woods 2008  .