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.

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 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.

Pre-Biennial Workshops

Discover innovative practices and hone skills by working closely with master artists. Choose from four two-day workshops, each designed to demonstrate the intersection of historical craft with contemporary content through bookbinding, paper decoration, content development, and letterpress printing.

Seven 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.
  • Artist Julie Sirek will present her installation No Private Matter.
  • Guest curator Heid Erdrich will gather Native American voices in the exhibition About that (Water is) Life.
  • Stamp of Disapproval will showcase counter-culture work from MCBA’s S. Helmes and W. Gaglione Rubber Stamp Archive.
  • Meander, new work by environmental artist Alyssa Baguss, will be on view in the Outlook Gallery.
  • 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.
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.

Submissions are due by May 5, 2017 at

Gala and Award Celebration

Toast the best new artists’ books in the world on Saturday, July 22. Enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and live music while 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 buffet. A limited number of VIP tickets are available.