Artist Spotlight: Sarah Gibson

By Grace Stafford, Features Editor —

Graphic design student, Sarah Gibson, has maintained her passion for bookbinding while studying in UTC’s art department.

Sarah Gibson is a senior from Knoxville and recently presented her thesis which is on display in the Cress Gallery through April 13.

While Gibson enjoys her studies in graphic design and has done freelance work, her primary creative hobby is bookbinding.

“I am a self-taught bookbinder, and I’ve been doing that for about three years now,” said Gibson. “That’s mostly what I do with my free time. I make jewelry and other things, but bookbinding is something that I want to pursue pretty heavily when I graduate.”

Gibson started this hobby out of curiosity and has continued thanks to the experimental nature of the craft.

“I don’t know why I started doing it really,” said Gibson. “I guess I was just always fascinated by books and how they’re put together, so I just researched it one day, decided to make one for myself and then just kept doing it experimenting with different techniques and materials.”

Gibson enjoys the change in pace to a more hands-on craft as compared to her digital work as a graphic design student.

“I really like it because it’s so technical and has a lot of different parts,” said Gibson. “I just like learning more efficient ways of doing things and using different types of paper of different sewing techniques.”

The end result and seeing her books being used also adds to the thrill of the art form.

Gibson hopes to start selling her books to wider audiences beyond friends and family at arts festivals.

Gibson’s thesis, surprisingly, has no connection to her books, but rather her Filipino heritage. Gibson is half-Filipino and found great interest in how other artists define their experiences growing up and living in the Philippines.

Visit the Cress Gallery oncampus to see Gibson’s and other senior art students’ theses. For the gallery’s hours, visit

Grace Stafford

Grace Stafford

Features Editor

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