walking bird press

I have always loved books. As a child, I made weekly visits to the bookmobile, a cramped but magical bus which brought new books to the neighborhood every week. Ballerinas! Polar Bears! All mine with my pass to the world: a library card.

Twenty years later, as a graduate student in painting, I discovered the magic of letterpress printing and typography. I took a bookbinding course taught by the conservator of the University of Wisconsin Library and I enrolled in Typography. My first books in grad school were published with the imprint Pterodactyl Press (I liked the homophonic Ptero/Tara and the extinct raptor/ obsolete printing connection), and when I moved to New York in 1987, I changed the press name to walking bird press.

Between 1987 and 1992, I took courses at the Center for Book Arts in New York City. Through their Work-Study program, I was able to work in the letterpress area in exchange for taking classes and I 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, I met Zahra Partovi, binder for Vincent FitzGerald & Co., who was looking for an assistant. I worked part-time with Partovi for about a year, then began teaching Art at Rockland Country Day School in Congers, NY.

In 1992 I moved to Newfoundland with a Vandercook and 6 cabinets of type. I continue to paint and make books and have taught workshops to all ages, from kindergarteners to adults. I have 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.

I love the tactile experience of holding and reading a book– the intimacy created between the viewer and object. The creative process in making books is also quite different from the act of painting, in my experience. I continue to make books because the process uses a different part of my brain than painting, and gives me a chance to combine verbal ideas and interesting materials in work the viewer can touch.

Library and Archives Canada - walking bird press

University of Alberta Library Canadian Women Artist Books - Tara Bryan

Editioned Books

Making Bread (not bombs)
The True and Authentick History of Amelia and Reginald

Making Bread (not bombs)
Making Bread (not bombs)

Transaction Three and Transaction Four
Transaction Three and Transaction Four

Good Against the Nightmare
Good Against the Nightmare

My Three Dogs
My Three Dogs

Transaction One and Transaction Two
Transaction One and Transaction Two

world without end
World Without End

two metaphysical threes
Two Metaphysical Threes

henry and rose go to camp
Henry and Rose Go To Camp

gros morne time lines
Gros Morne Time Lines


bonne bay
Bonne Bay

Queen of Hearts
Queen of Hearts

the deaths of the two dans
The Deaths of the Two Dans

 in the hands of the wind
In the Hands of
the Wind

pancho and the (non existant) bears
Pancho and the
(non- existent) Bears

great wall
Great Wall

Down the Rabbit Hole
Down the Rabbit Hole
(sold out)

L'Anse Amour
L'anse Amour
L'anse aux Morts

to stretch the night
To Stretch the Night


Look, Queen, Type Pie
and Cod Cheeks

Unique Books

(please contact Tara regarding pricing and availability)

the ecosystem is convenient
The Ecosystem is

an angel took my hand
An Angel Took My Hand

sonnet to a child
Sonnet to a Child

the send-off
The Send-off

Improv 1

Improv 2

Improv 3

Improv 4

Improv 5

Improv 6

Improv 7

swiles cove
Swiles Cove

Ocean Ice

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