Book Art Biennial 2017


The 2017 Book Art Biennial — Shout Out: Community Intervention, Independent Publishing, and Alternative Distribution — features programming that encourages people of all disciplines and skill levels to amplify individual and collective voice through grassroots artistic practice.

The centerpiece of the Book Art Biennial is the presentation of the MCBA Prize, a unique award that showcases and honors the best artists’ books in the world. The winner will be announced at a gala and awards ceremony the evening of Saturday, July 22.

MCBA Prize Gala

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The MCBA Prize

The MCBA Prize is the first honor to celebrate the diversity of book art and recognize work from across the field and around the world. A jury of three distinguished leaders in the field will review all submissions and choose five finalists. These five works will be on display at MCBA during the Biennial. From these works, the jury will select the recipient of the 2017 MCBA Prize. Integrity and the unity of form, materials, and content will determine the winner. Over $9,000 will be awarded. For more information please visit

Book Art Biennial Symposium

Book Art Biennial Symposium

Book Art Biennial Symposium
Saturday, July 22 - Sunday, July 23

Join us for this special series of talks that explore the broad definition of "book" in contemporary artistic practice.

Saturday, July 22; 8:30am–4:30pm

  • Keynote address by Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr.;
  • Making Books, presented by Simon Goode, founder and director of the London Centre for Book Arts;
  • The Constellation Metaphor, presented by Karen Kunc, artist, educator, and founder of Constellation Studios;
  • Book Arts in Havana, presented by Steven Daiber, proprietor of Red Trillium Press;
  • We Are What We Do, presented by Angie Butler, letterpress scholar, University of the West of England;
  • Report from the Field: Papermaking as Community Catalyst, presented by Mary Hark, Professor in Design Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison;
  • Medium to Message: Art as Culture-making/Public-making, a panel discussion with artists Sam Gould, Lacey Prpić Hedtke, Regula Russelle, and Elana Schwartzman, and moderated by Monica Edwards Larson.

Sunday, July 23; 10am–noon

We'll conclude the Symposium with Teaching the Book Arts: Making it Matter. In this informal roundtable discussion, facilitated by artist and instructor Rachel Melis, participants will share practical techniques with special emphasis on social engagement, accessibility, and grassroots practice.

Enjoy both days of the Book Art Biennial Symposium for $65. We are also pleased to offer a $30 student rate. Call 612 215 2520 to register, or click the link below.

Online registration is now closed but tickets will be available for purchase at the door.

Price: $30.00

Date: July 22, 2017

Pre-Biennial Workshops

Pre-Biennial Workshops

Four unique workshops will be offered prior to the Book Art Biennial:

Each is designed to inspire participants and demonstrate the intersection of historical craft with contemporary content. Participants of all skill levels are welcome!

Tuition for each is $250 ($225 for MCBA members) plus a $55 supply fee. Follow the links above or call 612 215 2520 to register.

Exhibitions throughout Open Book!

Seven Exhibitions

An unprecedented number of exhibitions provide an exciting backdrop for the 2017 Book Art Biennial. Join us for a free, public reception for these exhibitions on Friday, July 21, 6-9pm! Visit our Facebook event to RSVP.

  • Amos Paul Kennedy Jr.’s democratic and collaborative project, Open Book Takeover, features 5,000 community-made prints that cover the 55,000 square foot Open Book Building.
  • An interactive zine reading lounge, Free for All is in MCBA’s Main Gallery, organized by Twin Cities Zine Fest.
  • Guest curator Heid E. Erdrich has gathered Native American voices in the exhibition (About that) Water is Life in MCBA’s Main Gallery.
  • Reader’s Art: Control/Alt/Shift, a juried exhibition of artists’ books exploring the politics of control and alternative methods of public discourse, is on view in Open Book’s Cowles Literary Commons.
  • End of Times 2, a portfolio of broadsides by 41 letterpress printers organized by Mary Bruno, is on view in the Lerner Bindery Gallery.
  • Stamp of Disapproval showcases counter-culture work from MCBA’s S. Helmes and W. Gaglione Rubber Stamp Archive.
  • Meander, new work by environmental artist Alyssa Baguss, is on view in the Outlook Gallery.


Become a Sponsor

Sponsorships have now closed. For information on sponsoring other MCBA programs or events, please contact Amanda Kaler, at / 612-215-2531.