Artist-in-Residence Program


MCBA welcomes Leah Willemin as Spring 2015 artist-in-residence!

Leah Willemin is a Minneapolis-based book artist and jewelry designer. She is a 2013 graduate of Carleton College, where she studied studio art including printmaking and woodworking. Having grown up in the Twin Cities and attended college in Northfield, MN, Leah is influenced by the Minnesota tradition of small-batch manufacturing. Her functional work draws upon historical imagery, including lace and woven cloth, that references craft production. Leah currently works in the Casket Arts building in Minneapolis.


Past MCBA artists-in-residence:

Shana Agid (Spring 2012)

Everything You Hear
Melissa Wagner-Lawler (Summer 2012)

Cole Hoyer-Winfield (Fall 2009)

Amanda Nelsen (Spring 2010)

Javier Corral (Summer 2007)

Chandler O’Leary (2007)

About MCBA’s Artist-in-Residence Program

MCBA’s Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program is designed to support selected artists by providing financial and community resources, space, and access to equipment to assist in the creation and promotion of their work. Residencies may be from two weeks to three months in duration. Participation in the program is based on the artistic merit of proposed projects as well as the degree to which artists further MCBA’s artistic mission: to lead the advancement of the book as an evolving art form. MCBA envisions a world where book art is created, cultivated, celebrated and understood as a vital and lasting expression of culture. While integrating the elements of papermaking, bookbinding, printing, typography and graphic design, MCBA supports the limitless creative evolution of the book format.

Residency Periods

MCBA typically offers residencies in the Spring (January–April) and Summer (May–August) of each calendar year. Duration of a residency can be from 2 weeks to 3 months and is at the discretion of the artist, but should be based on the scope of their proposal. Applications are now being accepted for three residency periods:

Summer 2015 application deadline: March 4, 2015

Proposed residencies must take place between May 1 and August 30, 2015
Residency recipient(s) will be announced by March 18, 2015.
Click here to apply.


MCBA houses well-equipped letterpress, binding and papermaking studios. The print studio features nine Vandercook proof presses, two iron hand presses, six platen presses, two etching presses and a sign press. The print studio also has a well-stocked composing room with wood and metal type, a variety of press bases and a photopolymer platemaker. The bindery is outfitted with a variety of cutting equipment and houses a drill press, nipping presses, finishing presses and sewing frames. Two papermaking studios provide space for wet work and include vats, felts, hydraulic presses, and drying systems. Three paper beaters are available for preparing fiber along with basic equipment for Western- and Eastern-style sheet formation. MCBA also has equipment for traditional marbling, hot stamping, leather tooling, wood engraving, screen printing, and alternative photographic techniques. The Shop, MCBA’s retail outlet, also offers a variety of supplies for printmaking, papermaking, and binding.

Selection Process and Criteria

Applications and supporting materials will be reviewed by MCBA staff and panelists from the book arts community. A variety of factors will be used to assess residency candidates. Basic criteria are listed below. These elements should be clearly articulated in the candidate’s letter of intent, project description, artist statement and resume. They should also be supported by work submitted for visual review.

  • Technical expertise as demonstrated through the artist’s body of work and practical experience
  • The specificity and clarity of artistic goals as expressed through the artist’s project description and artist statement
  • The degree to which the residency benefits the artist’s further development
  • A readiness by the artist to engage with MCBA’s community
  • An understanding of and willingness to work in a shared-studio environment
  • MCBA’s ability to offer support and equipment needed for project

Artist-in-Residence Benefits

  • $2000 stipend for supplies, travel and/or living expenses
  • 24-hour access to MCBA facilities and equipment, including a dedicated AIR studio with a press, cutting equipment and storage space
  • Consignment opportunity through The Shop at MCBA (acceptance of consignment works is at the discretion of Shop staff.)
  • Exhibition opportunities
  • Support from a community of working artists

Artist-in-Residence Responsibilities

  • Provide his/her own materials for work
  • Keep facilities and equipment clean and undertake regular maintenance and organizational tasks required for communal studio use
  • When possible, establish regular work hours. A final project calendar should be submitted to MCBA at the beginning of the residency term.
  • Demonstrate a willingness to conduct demonstrations and/or participate in MCBA programming such as tours, exhibition openings and Book Arts Roundtable presentations
  • For artwork created in residence at MCBA, submit samples for the MCBA archive. The form of sample is negotiable based on the type of work created while in residence. Any material accepted shall be considered a donation and become the property of MCBA.

For further information about Artist Residency opportunities at MCBA, contact us at

To learn more about Minnesota Center for Book Arts, visit us in person at Open Book in downtown Minneapolis, call us at 612-215-2520, or visit us online at


air-farkasAndy Farkas (2006)

air-mccartneyPaula McCartney (2006)

air-gordon2Frances Gordon (Winter 2007)

air-ichiyama2Dennis Ichiyama (Summer 2006)