Book Arts Certificate Program

Forms

Certificate Enrollment form
Download (PDF format)

Core Certificate Tracking form
Download (PDF format)

Advanced Certificate Tracking form
Download (PDF format)

If you have any trouble with the downloadable forms, or need hard copies mailed to you, please contact certificate@mnbookarts.org.

Retroactive Credit Guides

Certificate enrollees may apply for retroactive credit for classes and workshops completed at MCBA up to 5 years prior to their enrollment, pending review, verification and approval by the Artist and Adult Programs Director.

Use the following guides (PDF format) to determine equivalent credit hours and categories for past workshops and classes:

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Minnesota Center for Book Arts plays a leading role in training and supporting the next generation of book artists.

MCBA offers two Certificate programs of study, to recognize dedicated adult students who complete significant coursework in the book arts and demonstrate knowledge and proficiency across book arts disciplines.

The Core Certificate in Book Arts is designed to recognize the achievements of a student who has attained a broad knowledge in the fundamentals of book arts, as well as a more in-depth understanding in one or more areas or techniques. Students must complete a uniform Core Curriculum, as well as a number of elective courses within defined categories.

After earning the Core Certificate, you may choose to pursue an Advanced Certificate in Book Arts. The Advanced Certificate is designed to recognize and support the work of individuals who choose to seriously pursue advanced-level independent projects in one or more areas of book arts.

One key benefit of pursuing a Certificate program is eligibility for an Early Registration discount for workshops. Upon earning a Certificate, students will qualify for a number of additional benefits, ranging from enhanced studio access to teaching and exhibition opportunities.

Credit hours and categories for current class and workshop offerings are listed on MCBA’s class schedules (both online and print). MCBA Teacher Workshops are also eligible for credit toward the Certificate.

Coursework toward these certificates must be completed over the span of no more than five years. New enrollees can receive up to 25 hours of retroactive credit for classes taken no more than five years prior to the date of their certificate application. See the sidebar on the left for assistance in determining retroactive credit hours and categories for workshops and classes taken in prior years.

If you have questions about the Certificate programs which this webpage and the accompanying forms do not address, please email certificate@mnbookarts.org.

Core Certificate graduates:

Christine Anderson
Kirsten Annexstad
Suzanne Asher
Pamela Burkley
Brenda Butler
Helen Carlson
Marianne Davis Combs
Sarah Dimick Core
Meryl DePasquale
Stephanie Dickson
Christine Dockry
Barbara Eijadi
Carol Garner
Tari Goerlitz
Sylvia Gonzalez
Georgia Greeley
Marvel Gregoire
Frederic Gustafson
Frank Hurley
Laurel Jedamus
Renee King
Karen Kinoshita
Gretchen Blase Kreidler
Lin Lacy
Scott Miller
Linda Montana
Patrick Mulrooney
Barbara Portwood
Cathy Ryan
CB Sherlock
Jessica Shimek
Cynthia Werner
Morgan Grace Willow
Mary Witkus

Advanced Certificate graduates:

Suzanne Asher
Sue Bjerke
Elizabeth Carls
Helen Carlson
Marianne Davis
Stephanie Dickson
Georgia Greeley
Gretchen Blase Kreidler
Lin Lacy
Mary Lee
Olga Ricalde Moreno
Jill Weese
Cynthia Werner
Laurie Wright

Application Process

Once a student has completed 25 hours of classes at MCBA, s/he must register for the certificate with MCBA’s Artist and Adult Programs Director using the Certificate Enrollment Form (download from Forms section at left). Upon completing registration, the student will be eligible for Early Registration discounts for classes toward her/his certificate (one key benefit of pursuing the certificate).

In addition to completing 25 hours of classes at MCBA, students are expected to be active members of MCBA at the time of enrollment and throughout the program. For membership information and to become a member of MCBA, visit our membership page.

Students will be expected to track their own progress toward their certificates, using the Core Certificate Tracking Form and/or the Advanced Certificate Tracking Form (download from Forms section below). These Tracking Forms ask students to log the classes they take in fulfillment of requirements, and to obtain teacher signatures confirming their successful completion of those classes. Students may submit their Tracking Forms to the Artist and Adult Programs Director to obtain retroactive credit for classes taken up to 5 years prior.

Once a student has completed the required class hours for the MCBA Certificate, s/he must submit her/his Certificate Tracking Form to the Artist and Adult Programs Director. Certificates will be awarded once a year, in the spring. Students will receive written approval on the completion of their certificates no more than a month after the submission of their paperwork.

Benefits of Enrollment

MCBA certificates denote recognition of proficiency in core and/or advanced book arts practices, and entitle students to the following benefits:

  • Certificate graduates and students enrolled in the certificate program will receive early registration discounts for classes for which they register at least three weeks in advance
  • Certificate graduates and students will be eligible to participate in MCBA Community Shows in the gallery spaces within the Open Book Building
  • Certificate graduates will be listed on MCBA’s website
  • Certificate graduates may also be eligible for teaching opportunities and/or referrals from MCBA
  • Certificate graduates (of the core or of the core and advanced) will have free access to cutting equipment in MCBA’s bindery when that equipment is not being used by a class or MCBA program

Curriculum: MCBA Core Certificate in Book Arts

This certificate is designed to recognize the achievements of a student who has attained a broad knowledge in the fundamentals of book arts, as well as a more in-depth understanding of one or more areas or techniques. To complete this certificate, a student must complete at least 140 hours of classes in three categories: A (Introductory classes and Core Curriculum), B (Intermediate-level classes), and D (Electives).

Category A Classes

These classes, which include a core curriculum that acquaints students with the fundamental tools and techniques of book arts, are geared to the beginning-level student. Any student pursuing the Core Certificate in Book Arts must complete 60 hours of Category A Classes, including at least one class each in design, papermaking, letterpress printing, and bookbinding.

Core Curriculum (required):
– Letterpress I
– Introduction to Binding
– Introduction to Papermaking (Western or Eastern style)
– Introduction to Design (offered with varying focus)

Additional Category A Classes:
– Introduction to Screenprinting
– Introduction to Marbling
– Beginning Book Repair
– Boxmaking Made Easy
– Introduction to Relief Printing

Category B Classes

These classes are geared toward deepening knowledge of the processes and materials introduced in Category A Classes. Enrollment in these classes generally carries a prerequisite (usually a Category A class in the same discipline). Any student pursuing the Core Certificate in Book Arts must complete 40 hours of Category B Classes. In some cases (such as Letterpress II), it may be permissible to repeat a class for credit toward the certificate.

Sample Category B Classes:
– Letterpress II
– Platen Press
– Printing with Polymer Plates
– Intermediate Bookbinding
– Intermediate Book Repair
– Nonadhesive Bindings
– Boxmaking Made Hard
– Beyond Boxmaking

Category D Classes

These classes generally deal with a specific technique, such as a single binding or printing process. Electives are generally open to students at all levels of expertise. Any student pursuing the Core Certificate in Book Arts must complete 40 hours of Category D Classes.

Sample Category D Classes:
– Journal Practice: Collage and Sketching
– Making a Golden Impression: Foil Stamping
– Paper As Narrative
– Experiments in Pressure Printing
– Brush, Ink, Breath: Sumi-E As Meditation
– Presentation Portfolios
– Concertina Book Structures

Curriculum: MCBA Advanced Certificate in Book Arts

This certificate is designed to recognize and support the work of individuals who choose to seriously pursue advanced-level independent projects in one or more areas of book arts. To be a candidate for the MCBA Advanced Certificate in Book Arts, a student must first obtain the MCBA Core Certificate in Book Arts, and must be prepared to conceptualize and execute independent projects that require proficiency in one or more areas of book arts.

To complete this certificate, a student must complete at least 120 hours of classes in two categories: C (Advanced-level classes and Guided Projects) and D (Electives), as well as the 18-hour Book Arts Seminar, then must mount a culminating exhibition of a body of work in MCBA’s bindery gallery space.

Category C Classes

These classes are designed for advanced students, and are of two sorts: technique-based, which build skills and develop advanced techniques, and guided projects, which allow students to work with the supervision of an experienced artist and community of peers on a project of the student’s design. Any student pursuing the Advanced Certificate in Book Arts must complete 100 hours of Category C Classes.

Sample Technique-Based Category C Classes
– Extreme Boxmaking
– Advanced Binding II: Full-Leather Binding on Raised Cords

Sample Guided Projects Category C Classes
– Advanced Letterpress: Guided Projects
– Advanced Bookbinding: Guided Projects
– Advanced Papermaking: Guided Projects
– Artist’s Book: Guided Projects

Category D Classes

These classes generally deal with a specific technique, such as a single binding or printing process. Electives are generally open to students at all levels of expertise. Any student pursuing the Advanced Certificate in Book Arts must complete 20 hours of Category D Classes.

Sample Category D Classes:
– Journal Practice: Collage and Sketching
– Making a Golden Impression: Foil Stamping
– Paper As Narrative
– Experiments in Pressure Printing
– Brush, Ink, Breath: Sumi-E As Meditation
– Presentation Portfolios
– Concertina Book Structures

Book Arts Seminar

The Book Arts Seminar will be taught once a year in the fall, and will feature a series of six lecture courses taught by artists and/or scholars in the book arts. The Seminar will be designed to give participants a thorough grounding in issues in contemporary book arts, as well as historical dimensions of book and book arts culture. Topics to be covered may include: surveys of contemporary artists’ books or fine bindings, histories of bookbinding techniques and tools, special collections libraries and book arts collections, theoretical issues in book arts scholarship, or professional practices in the field. Any student pursuing the Advanced Certificate in Book Arts must complete the Book Arts Seminar. This class will also be open to the public.