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Memoir + Art Book = Artobiography

Tina Collen never uses the word “spiritual” in her memoir, “Storm of the i: An Artobiography,” yet the book just won the Nautilus Book Award for promoting “spiritual growth, conscious living and positive social change.” Recent gold medal winners whose books “stimulate the imagination and offer new possibilities for a better life by changing the world one book at a time” include the Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, Andrew Weil and Barbara Kingsolver.

She also never uses the word Jewish – “Bubbie” is as close as she comes to an overtly Jewish reference. Yet she has often been told by readers that her memoir is deeply Jewish. “I think it’s the intensity of the family relationship that makes it such a Jewish book,” she explains.

Audiences can judge for themselves on Thursday, June 2, when the Boulder JCC hosts a multi-media presentation and book signing. The presentation by the Boulder author is sponsored by the BJCC’s Maimonides Wellness Center. The author talk is at 7:00 pm and tickets are $5 at the door.

A compelling memoir, “Storm of the i” is filled with Collen’s memorabilia and art. Some of the pieces are a bit risqué, like Fleurotica, her whimsical, erotic collages that were exhibited in Paris, Barcelona and Germany. There are playful pieces that the reader interacts with: foldouts, cutouts, a mildly scandalous lift-up flap and even a pop-up that hands the reader a fortune cookie with a message inside.

In contrast to all this light-heartedness, the book is driven by the narrative of Collen’s difficult relationship with her father.  At the time she wrote the book he hadn’t spoken to her in 15 years — and she never knew why. What emerges is an intimate self-portrait-mystery, a story of empowerment and healing.

According to New York Times best-selling author Joan Borysenko,

Collen has created a rare masterpiece of memoir brimming with wit, wisdom and beauty. Using the languages of both word and image her vibrant inner journey is transmitted on dual wavelengths. The resulting synthesis is bold, authentic, fanciful, and free … a reminder of the untamed world of possibility that lies within every human heart. This book is a jewel.”

“Storm of the i” has received numerous other awards, including a Benjamin Franklin silver medal and is currently a finalist for Book of the Year from Foreword Magazine.

An inspirational speaker, Collen recently addressed an audience of 250 at an event sponsored by the Denver Eclectics. Her next book signing will be at BookExpo America at the Javits Center in NYC on May 24.

Colleen concludes her talks with the surprising story of what transpired between her and her father, who is now 95, after she finished writing the book.

Excerpts of the book can be read at www.TinaCollen.com. Her book is for sale ($29.99) at the Boulder Bookstore and Barnes & Noble. At the Boulder JCC booksigning, she will be offering her book at a special price of $25. Reservations are appreciated but not required: Kathryn@boulderjcc.org.

Powerful. This is a poignant and gripping Rorschach test of a book. Smart, funny and deep, it is filled with wonderful art and the wisdom of a truly original mind.”

—Joan Holt, Editor-in-Chief, Metropolitan Museum of Art Magazine, 1979-2005

Artists and writers are often the ones forging the path for the rest of us. It’s inspirational to see Collen set down her brush and pick up a pen and write her life with equal mastery. As the baby boomers enter their most reflective decades, watch for Artobiography to become an emerging trend.”

—Patricia Aburdene, author of “Megatrends 2010″, co-author of “Megatrends”, #1 New York Times bestseller for 2 years

About Kathryn Bernheimer

Kathryn Bernheimer
Director of Menorah: Arts, Culture and Education at the Boulder JCC. The former film and theater critic for the Boulder Daily Camera, Kathryn is the author of "The Fifty Greatest Jewish Movies" and "The Fifty Funniest Films of All Time."

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