Book Art Biennial




Book Art Biennial 2015
July 23-26, 2015

2015 marks not only the next convening of Book Art Biennial, but MCBA’s 30th Anniversary as well! Celebrate this milestone by joining us for this very special series of events.

Through workshops, lectures, panel conversations, exhibitions, and a gala celebration and awards ceremony, Book Art Biennial invites artists, educators, curators and scholars to explore current trends in contemporary artists’ books.


Pre-Biennial Workshops (July 23-24)

Book Arts Art Crawl (July 24)

Book Art Biennial Symposium (July 25-26)
Register for the Symposium

MCBA’s 30th Anniversary Gala and MCBA Prize Award Ceremony July 25
Purchase your Gala tickets

Become a Biennial sponsor

Thank you to our Biennial and Gala sponsors!

Cathy Ryan and Doris Engibous


Patron Sponsors
Joseph G. Sitter

Program Supporters and Exhibition Sponsors


In-kind event sponsors:

Event Hosts:


James Alcott
Suzanne Asher and Tom Ducker
Harriet Bart
Laurel Bradley and Sam Demas
Ellen L. Breyer
Betty Bright
Ronnie and Roger Brooks
Tom and Dawn Cassidy
Peggy Korsmo-Kennon and Mike Kennon

Cinda Kornblum
James and Susan Lenfestey
Marci Malzahn
Jennifer Martin
Steven McCarthy and Dominique Bouvier
Diane Merrifield
Barbara and Don Portwood

Marguerite Ragnow Campion and Joe Campion
Regula and Michael Russelle
Ryan and Julie Scheife
Chip and Trish Schilling
Gail See
Julie Sirek
Joanne Von Blon
Karen Wirth


Pre-Biennial Workshops

Thursday and Friday, July 23–24; 10am–5pm
Three very special workshops will be offered prior to the Book Art Biennial. Each is designed to inspire students and demonstrate the intersection of historical craft with contemporary content:

Workshops will be conducted in MCBA’s world-class studios; participants at all skill levels are welcome. Register early; space is limited.



Book Arts Art Crawl

Friday, July 24; 6–9pm
Enjoy coordinated receptions across downtown Minneapolis, including MCBA, Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD), Form + Content Gallery, and the Walker Art Center Library.

Presented at the Walker Art Center Library:
Highlights and recent acquisitions from the Rosemary Furtak Artist’s Book Collection

Presented at Minneapolis College of Art and Design:
The Book in Extremis
An exploration of where the fine arts, media arts, and design fields have taken the notion of the book, through the work of over 20 local and national artists and designers

Presented at Form + Content Gallery:
Common Denominators: An Invitational Exhibition of Five Book Artists
Work by Inge Bruggeman, Daniel Essig, Karen Kunc, Sara Langworthy and Gaylord Schanilec

Presented at Minnesota Center for Book Arts:
The Contained Narrative: Defining the Contemporary Artist’s Book
Reader’s Art: Concealed, Confined and Collected
The MCBA Prize 2015 Finalists



Book Art Biennial Symposium
The Contained Narrative: Defining the Contemporary Artist’s Book

Saturday and Sunday, July 25–26; 10am–4pm

The 2015 Biennial Symposium will explore the expansive definition of “book” in contemporary artistic practice, stimulating critical thinking and dialogue. Saturday’s presentations include:

  • I Contain Multitudes: Multiple Legibilities and Intersecting Texts
    with Aaron Cohick, proprietor of NewLights Press and master printer at The Press at Colorado College
  • End Grain Infinity
    with Joanne Price, printmaker, book artist and president of the Wood Engravers’ Network
  • Inspiring Narrative Through Form: The Book Artist/Reader Collaboration
    with Daniel E. Kelm, book artist and founder of the Garage Annex School for Book Arts
  • Containers of the Past: Windows to the Present
    with Jae Jennifer Rossman, Assistant Director for Special Collections at the Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library, Yale University
  • A performance-reading from A Life In Books by writer, artist and book designer Warren Lehrer

The Symposium closes Sunday morning with a “Teaching the Book Arts” roundtable, where both educators and practitioners can share practical techniques for teaching and exploring the medium, facilitated by MCBA Executive Director Jeff Rathermel.

Coordinated Exhibitions

The Contained Narrative: Defining the Contemporary Artist’s Book
April 8 – July 26, 2015
Opening reception Friday, May 8; 6–9pm
At the most fundamental level, a book is a contained narrative. This exhibition brings definition to the artist’s book by focusing on such varied practices as “Bound and Unbound,” “The Virtual Book,” “Book as Environment” and more. Works by over 100 artists are on display in MCBA’s gallery, library, and throughout the studios. Curated by Cathy Ryan; sponsored by Daily Printing Inc. and Neenah Paper. Read more…

Reader’s Art: Concealed, Confined and Collected
May 8 – July 26, 2015
Reader’s Art highlights work by over 40 emerging book artists and book arts students responding to the theme of containment. Presented in collaboration with the College Book Art Association and Susan Hensel Gallery. Read more…

Register for Book Art Biennial

Enjoy both days of the 2015 Book Art Biennial Symposium for $50; space is limited. You may register by phone at 612-215-2520, in person at The Shop at MCBA, or online using the form below. You may register for multiple attendees; simply add the first attendee to your cart, then click “Continue Shopping” to return to this page and add additional attendees before checking out.

Name of attendee:


MCBA’s 30th Anniversary Gala
and presentation of the 2015 MCBA Prize

Saturday, July 25; 7pm

Celebrate MCBA’s 30th Anniversary in style! Begin the evening at 7:00pm in MCBA’s gallery and studios. Enjoy a variety of wines, summery cocktails and other refreshments; hors d’oeuvres and savory bites with a farm-to-table flair; and live music by the Jimmy Kennedy Jazz Trio while you mingle with artists and special guests.

The award ceremony convenes at 8:30pm. The MCBA Prize 2015 competition included work by over 150 artists representing 18 nations; marvel at the five finalist works and witness the announcement of the winner, presented by Minnesota Public Radio arts host and producer Marianne Combs. At the close, honor the winner with a champagne toast, artisan pour-over coffees by Blue Ox Coffee, and decadent desserts from Patisserie Margo.

The VIP package includes an exclusive pre-reception (6:30-7:30pm) where you can enjoy a tasting of craft beers from Dangerous Man Brewing and artisan spirits by Norseman Distillery, along with hand-tied soft pretzels by Patisserie Margo and a variety of other sweet and savory pairings. VIP attendees will also have the opportunity to meet the honorees and experience the finalist artworks in an intimate setting.

Free parking is available at Open Book and adjacent lots.

Visit to learn more about the honored works and see the amazing variety of works submitted for this year’s competition.

Reserve your tickets today by calling The Shop at MCBA at 612-215-2520, or by purchasing below. VIP tickets are also available as part of our sponsorship and event host packages; see the Sponsorships section below for more details.


General tickets


VIP tickets



Become a sponsor

You can support Book Art Biennial and The MCBA Prize in a variety of ways, from attending the Symposium to celebrating at the Gala. All methods demonstrate your dedication to the field and your love of art. A series of special sponsorship opportunities are available for those wishing to provide further support:

Promotional Sponsor $2,500

Benefits include: 8 VIP Gala tickets; and logo acknowledgement in print and online materials.

Patron $1,000

Benefits include: 4 VIP Gala tickets; and logo acknowledgement in print and online materials.

Program Supporter $500

Benefits include: 2 VIP Gala tickets; and logo acknowledgement in print and online materials. Program Supporters may direct their sponsorship to specific components of the Biennial, such as the Book Arts Art Crawl, Pre-Biennial workshops, or the Symposium. Preference for acknowledgment opportunities are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Event Host $300

Benefits include: 2 VIP Gala tickets; and acknowledgement in print and online materials.


To make a gift of support at any level not listed above, or to inquire about in-kind support opportunities, please contact Amanda Kaler, MCBA Membership and Giving Manager, at 612-215-2531 or

For Program Supporter or Event Host sponsors, you can make your sponsorship donation online, by mail, or by phone. Complete your donation below, or contact Amanda Kaler at 612-215-2531 or

Sponsorship level