Book Arts Fellowships

Get inspired! Scroll down to view selected works by past MCBA/Jerome Book Arts Fellows.

Suitcase Farming: Travels in Three Volumes
Jennifer Amie and Jeffrey Morrison
The suitcase and travel guide format for this bookwork relates to suitcase farmers of the 1930s; itinerant businessmen whose practices were precursory to modern agribusiness.

Types of Insects
Bill Moran
A 19th century insect guide forms the basis for this fictional recreation. The book shows the effects of mutation and evolution on its contents if left unopened for 100 years.

Bus Parts
Susannah Bielak
Reflecting on the communal and sensory experience of mass-transit ridership, Bus Parts is comprised of 4 components, including Passage, a large-scale installation book with “pages” made up of 4 bus doors.

The Handbook of Practical Geographies
Heather O’Hara
The Handbook of Practical Geographies engages curious viewers with timely lessons in political and cultural understanding. Designed to make learning easy in these confusing times, the bookwork frames each lesson around a quote from a well-loved 1960s geography textbook.

Leaving Santa Lucia
Laura Migliorino
Leaving Santa Lucia explores the story of the artist’s grandparents’ arranged marriage and immigration to the United States from Italy. Images were layered using Photoshop, juxtaposing old and new photographs, postcards, letters, and immigration documents.

Minnesota Center for Book Arts is pleased to announce the recipients of Series XII of the MCBA/Jerome Foundation Book Arts Fellowships:

Visual artist and writer Georgia A. Greeley
Book artist, designer and shoe maker Amara Hark-Weber
Mixed media artist Lisa Loudon and sculptor Alonso Sierralta
Tattoo artist, illustrator, and printmaker Amoreena Tarvas

Jurors for Fellowship Series XII were Kathy Heuer, Rachel Melis and Wilber H. “Chip” Schilling. These three jurors, reflecting diverse perspectives and considerable expertise, reviewed 28 applications and selected the recipients. With generous funding from the Jerome Foundation and technical guidance from MCBA, the Fellowship recipients will develop their independent projects throughout the coming year. The program will culminate in a group exhibition opening October 3, 2014.

Fellowship recipient bios:

Georgia A. Greeley is an artist and writer who lives and works in Saint Paul. Her passion for combining words and images frequently shows up as fine press broadsides and handmade artist’s books. Her visual work has been in exhibitions regionally and nationally. Her writing has been published in local and regional presses and in Canada. She has an MFA in Writing from Hamline University and a B.A. in English and Art from St. Catherine University.

Amara Hark-Weber recently completed her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and has past degrees from the London School of Economics and Bard College. She has worked around the world as a documentary writer and photographer, as well as taught classes in documentary photography, oral history, and storytelling. While working toward her MFA, she began making shoes, and is currently exploring the many ways that movement and body language impact our understanding of ourselves and each other through sculptural and performative footwear. She is very grateful for her time here on Earth, and is trying her best to both use it wisely and have fun.

Lisa Loudon is a mixed media artist living in the Twin Cities. Her work explores ideas of invasion and disintegration. She attended the University of Nebraska where she earned an MFA in painting and drawing. Her work has been exhibited nationally. She is also the recipient of a Jerome Fiber Art Project Grant (2011) and the Jerome Book Arts Mentorship (2012). She maintains a studio in Northeast Minneapolis.

Alonso Sierralta’s work explores the visual relationship created by combining natural and manufactured elements. Sierralta is a native of Chile, and lives and works in Northeast Minneapolis. He earned an MFA from the University of Nebraska, and has received several awards including a Next Step grant through the McKnight Foundation. His work has been featured in numerous national shows and he has been a featured artist on TPT’s Minnesota Original. He has created work for Stevens Point Sculpture Park in Stevens Point, WI, and Silverwood Park in St. Anthony, MN.

Amoreena “Amo” Tarvas grew up in the eclectic town of Duluth, Minnesota. Her earliest memories of drawing consist of copying album cover art from her parents’ extensive collection. She began getting tattoos at eighteen, and quickly became infatuated with the art form. After high school she enrolled at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, and in 2010 earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Illustration. Amoreena then spent several years teaching at a private art studio before moving to Minneapolis. She currently works as a tattoo artist at Unusual Expressions, interns with printmaker and book artist Richard Stephens, and enjoys taking on freelance illustration work in her spare time.

Juror bios:

Librarian and information specialist Kathy Heuer has worked in academic libraries for over twenty years. She was the Reference and Electronic Resources Librarian at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and later was the Library Director at the College of Visual Arts. Both institutions had significant artists’ books collections; working with these collections has given her a deep understanding and appreciation for the work of book artists. She has also served as a juror for the Minnesota Book Artist category for the Minnesota Book Awards, sponsored by the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library.

Printer and book artist Rachel Melis is an Associate Professor at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University. She received her MFA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her BA at Grinnell College. Rachel’s recent books use letterpress-printed texts and engraved textures to compare human (particularly women’s) experiences to natural phenomena. Her collaborative broadsides focus on similar themes and celebrate authors who visit central Minnesota, home of Ms. Melis’ press The Greenleaf Line. Her work has been exhibited in solo shows throughout the Midwest and numerous national and international juried exhibitions.

Wilber H. “Chip” Schilling creates fine press books, artists’ books, broadsides and prints, specializing in design, photography, letterpress printing and binding. Since 1992, he has worked under the imprint of Indulgence Press. Schilling earned a BA in history and photography from Clark University and an MFA in book arts and printmaking from The University of the Arts. His work is collected and exhibited internationally. He has been an adjunct faculty member at the College of Visual Arts and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and taught as a full time lecturer at Columbia College Chicago in the graduate program of the Interdisciplinary Arts Department. His work is featured Masters: Book Arts, 500 Handmade Books, Volumes 1 & 2 and book art object (Codex Foundation). In 2010, Schilling won the Minnesota Book Artist Award.

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About the MCBA / Jerome Foundation Book Arts Fellowships

The book arts are a dynamic discipline within the larger landscape of contemporary art. At Minnesota Center for Book Arts, the definition of book arts is broad and inclusive. Though book arts often require binding, printing and/or papermaking to come to fruition, contemporary book artists use these traditional practices and others in surprising and exciting new ways. The creative evolution of book arts is limitless.

Since 1985, the Jerome Foundation has helped artists push the boundaries of contemporary book arts by supporting the creation of new work. Book arts projects funded by the eleven previous series range from exquisitely crafted fine press volumes and sculptural books to documented performances and one-of-a-kind installations that “break the bindings” and redefine conventional notions of book form and content.

Awards and Eligibility

The fellowship program is open to artists of all disciplines interested in exploring the book form. Each applicant may submit a project proposal not to exceed $5,000. Funds may be applied to materials and supplies necessary for completion of the project, studio rental costs, and fees to collaborating artists and writers.

Fellowship recipients will receive project funding, studio and equipment use, artistic support from MCBA staff and artists, as well as a one-year MCBA membership. Recipients have one year to complete the proposed work, which will be exhibited at MCBA in the fall of 2014. Recipients will also give public presentations relating to their work.

Applications must be submitted by an emerging artist or team thereof. An “emerging” artist is generally defined as an artist who shows significant potential, yet has not achieved a commensurate amount of professional recognition regardless of age or recognition in other fields. MCBA and the Jerome Foundation reserve the right to review and determine any applicant’s status as emerging or established.

Minnesota residency must be maintained during the entire program. In addition, applicants must have continuously resided in Minnesota for the last 12 months or longer.

You are NOT eligible to apply for this fellowship if you are:

  • a student pursuing a degree, full-time or part-time.
  • an MCBA artist-in-residence or staff member.
  • a Book Arts Fellowship recipient from the immediate previous series.
  • a two-time prior Book Arts Fellowship recipient.
  • an established artist in any field or discipline.

Applications are reviewed by a panel of jurors representing the broad conceptual range of the art form. Jurors are not identified until after fellowship recipients are announced.

Submission guidelines and additional info will be posted in Summer 2015. If you have any questions about the fellowships or the application process, please contact Sara R. Parr, MCBA Artist and Adult Programs Director, at 612-215-2526 or