Minnesota Book Artist Award

2024 Minnesota Book Artist Award Winner Announced!

Vesna Kittelson is the winner of the 2024 Minnesota Book Artist Award for her new book entitled Letters to AmeriKa. Sponsored by Lerner Publishing Group, this biennial award is presented as part of the Minnesota Book Awards and recognizes a Minnesota book artist or collaborative group for excellence of a new artistic work.

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Join us for an artist talk on Wednesday, April 24, 7–8:30pm CT at Open Book.

Vesna Kittelson will also receive special recognition and an award at the 2024 Minnesota Book Awards Celebration in May.

Vesna Kittelson’s work is based on a decades-long imaginary conversation between Kittelson and American culture. As described by the artist, “the dialogue has been about everything, but especially my trying to understand the meaning of democracy and (absence of) justice for immigrants.” 

Members of the award committee appreciated the layered intentionality of the work, noting the artistic construction of Letters to AmeriKa’s physical elements (binding, form, and text, both hand-drawn and printed) as thoughtful linking of form to content. The choice to move “between words and pages that we can read and those we can’t read” point toward Kittelson’s understanding of living as an immigrant – “things understood and not understood.” Kittelson adds “As an artist, I should like to increase awareness of how helpless it can be to find yourself outside a language.” 

Vesna Kittelson is a book artist based in MinneapolisShe is recipient of the 2024 Woman of Influence Award from the Croatian Women Network, has won a silver medal from the Midwest Independent Publishers Association for her 2020 work Synthesis-Lost and Found in America: The Art of Vesna Kittelson (Afton Press), and received a 2019 Artist’s Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. She has work in the Brooklyn Museum Art Library, the Victoria and Albert Museum National Art Library in London, the Walker Art Center Library, Getty Research Institute, Minnesota History Museum Library, and many others. 

Previous Minnesota Book Artist Award Recipients

Cathy Ryan
The Team Behind My Mighty Journey (2020)
Jody Williams (2019)
Erica Spitzer Rasmussen (2018)
Steven McCarthy (2017)
Wendy Fernstrum(2016)
Harriet Bart, Philip Gallo, and Jill Jevne (2015)
Fred Hagstrom (2014)
Jana Pullman (2013)
Bridget O’Malley and Amanda Degener of Cave Paper (2012)
Regula Russelle (2011)
Wilber H. “Chip” Schilling (2010)
Paulette Myers-Rich (2009)
Jody Williams (2008)

About the Minnesota Book Awards

Created in 1988, The Minnesota Book Awards is a statewide, year-round outreach program of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library in partnership with the Saint Paul Public Library and City of Saint Paul. For more information about the Minnesota Book Artist Award, visit the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library’s website or call 651-366-6497.