Paper artist Moe Snyder will be the guest speaker at the Thursday, April 4, meeting of the Coastal Arts Guild lunch, showcasing the skills she will bring as an instructor at the upcoming Newport Paper & Book Arts Festival.

Snyder’s fascination with calligraphy and the paper arts began when she was nine years old, watching her sister struggle to fill a practice sheet with thick black gothic letters, dipping her rusty metal pen in an old bottle of India ink. The smell of the ink, the scratch of the pen on the crisp white paper, the shapes of the letters and the spaces between them: it was all serious magic to the enthralled little sister.

The influence of that alchemy is everywhere in Snyder’s work: in attention to detail, in a love of structure — so related to the architecture of letterforms — in mark-making, the beauty of shape and materials. Nowadays, she can lose herself in the building of books and boxes and in collecting marks into a drawing in much the same way she always has with calligraphy.

Born in Toledo, Snyder was raised by stepmother Fritzie Clark, one of the founders of the Yaquina Art Association, in a home filled with art and studio work. An unexpected legacy from Clark allowed Snyder to realize her lifelong dream of attending art school. She graduated from Oregon College of Art & Craft in 2007 with a BFA in Book Arts, with Drawing as a second craft.

She has had a studio in her home ever since, and for the past six years has been delighted to teach at the Newport Paper & Book Arts Festival.

For her seventh year at the festival, Snyder has signed up to teach three workshops.

“A little daunting,” she said, “But I’m looking forward to it. Participants come from all over the country. I get to teach what I love to people who love it too. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Snyder said it is a particular honor to teach in the building where her stepmother taught and participated in so many art classes.

“I can’t go into the main room at the Newport Visual Arts Center without feeling Mom’s presence,” she said. “I think she approves.”

Snyder’s books, boxes and drawings can be found in public and private collections around the country. Her current works and her teaching focus on our relationship to the natural world, the joy of fine craft and the richness to be found in mindfully connecting the two. She lives and explores from her home in Seal Rock.

The Thursday, April 4, lunch will start at 11:30 am at the Newport Visual Arts Center, 777 NW Beach Drive. There is a suggested donation of $10 for non members. For more information and an invitation to attend, call Mary Holt at 541-765-4599.

• For more information about the Newport Paper & Book Arts Festival, go to npaf@costarts.org.

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