Book Art Biennial 2017

Book Art Biennial 2017
July 20-23, 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.

Pre-Biennial Workshops

Four unique workshops will be offered prior to the Book Art Biennial: Alternative Printmaking with Rubber Stamps, Papermaking in the Islamic World, Innovative Books from Head to Tail: Ideas – Content – Making, and Approachable Metalworking for Book Artists. 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.

Eight Exhibitions

An unprecedented number of exhibitions provide an exciting backdrop for the 2017 Book Art Biennial.

  • Amos Paul Kennedy Jr.’s democratic and collaborative project, Open Book Takeover, will feature 5,000 community-made prints that will cover the 55,000 square foot Open Book Building.
  • An interactive zine reading lounge, Free for All will be installed by organizers of Twin Cities Zine Fest.
  • Guest curator Heid Erdrich will gather Native American voices in the exhibition (About that) Water is Life.
  • Reader’s Art: Control/Alt/Shift, a juried exhibition of artists’ books exploring the politics of control and alternative methods of public discourse, will be on view in Open Book’s Literary Commons.
  • End of Times 2, a portfolio of broadsides by 41 letterpress printers organized by Mary Bruno, will be on view in the Lerner Bindery Gallery.
  • Stamp of Disapproval will showcase counter-culture work from MCBA’s S. Helmes and W. Gaglione Rubber Stamp Archive.
  • Artist Julie Sirek will present her installation No Private Matter.
  • Meander, new work by environmental artist Alyssa Baguss, will be on view in the Outlook Gallery.
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 Gala

Gala & Awards Celebration
Saturday, July 22; 7:30pm - 10:30pm

Toast the best new artists’ books in the world at the Book Art Biennial Gala on Saturday, July 22 from 7:30-10:30pm.

Join us for an evening of live music, refreshments, and mingling with artists, collectors, and special guests! Attend the evening’s program and witness the live presentation of The MCBA Prize, then celebrate with champagne and a dessert reception.

Get the VIP treatment! VIP ticket holders receive access to an exclusive cocktail hour from 6:30-7:30pm where you can view the MCBA Prize finalists’ works and personally meet the artists.

Additional perk! Each VIP ticket holder will receive a commemorative print created under the direction of printer-in-residence Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr.

$35 General Admission, $75 VIP


Price: $75.00

Date: July 22, 2017

Biennial Symposium

Biennial Symposium
Saturday, July 22 - Sunday, July 23

The 2017 Biennial Symposium explores the broad definition of "book" in contemporary artistic practice, stimulating critical thinking and dialogue. Speakers will include Amos Paul Kennedy Jr., Detroit-based printer; Simon Goode, founder and director of the London Centre for Book Arts; Karen Kunc, artist, educator, and founder of Constellation Studios; Steven Daiber, proprietor of Red Trillium Press; Angie Butler, letterpress scholar, University of the West of England; and Mary Hark, Professor in Design Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Enjoy both days of the Book Art Biennial Symposium for $50 (before June 30), $65 (after June 30), or $30 (student rate). Call 612 215 2520 to register.


Price: $30.00

Date: July 22, 2017

Become a Sponsor

A series of special sponsorship opportunities are available to support the Book Art Biennial:

  • Presenting Sponsor—$5,000 ($4,400 tax-deductible)
    Benefits include: 12 VIP Gala tickets; logo or personal acknowledgement in the Gala invitation, event programs and other print and online promotions; and a private reception and tour of MCBA’s galleries and studios for you and 12 fiends with MCBA’s Executive Director.
  • Signature Sponsor—$2,500 ($2,100 tax-deductible)
    Benefits include: 8 VIP Gala tickets; and logo or personal acknowledgement in the Gala invitation, event programs and other print and online promotions.
  • Patron Sponsor—$1,000 ($700 tax-deductible)
    Benefits include: 6 VIP Gala tickets; and logo or personal acknowledgement in the Gala invitation, event programs and other print and online promotions.
  • Program Sponsor—$500 ($300 tax-deductible)
    Benefits include: 4 VIP Gala tickets; and logo or personal acknowledgement in event programs and event webpage.
  • Event Host—$250 ($150 tax-deductible)
    Benefits include: 2 VIP Gala tickets; and personal acknowledgement in event programs and event webpage.

Make your sponsorship gift here. Questions? Contact Amanda Kaler, Development Director, at