2019 Minnesota Book Artist Award

2019 Minnesota Book Artist Award: Works by Jody Williams
February 12, 2019 – April 21, 2019
Open Book Cowles Literary Commons

Opening reception Tuesday, February 19; 6-8pm
Artist talk 6:30, Target Performance Hall

Jody Williams is the winner of the 2019 Minnesota Book Artist Award for her new book entitled For Now. Sponsored by Lerner Publishing Group, this annual award is presented as part of the Minnesota Book Awards with the Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA), and recognizes a Minnesota book artist or book artist collaborative group for excellence of a new artistic work. Winners also show demonstrated proficiency and quality in the book arts through three pieces of supporting previous work, as well as an ongoing commitment and significant contributions to Minnesota’s book arts community.

The retrospective exhibition celebrating For Now will be on display February 12 – April 21 in the Cowles Literary Commons. Join us for a reception and artist presentation on Tuesday, February 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. Williams will also receive special recognition and an award at the 31st annual Minnesota Book Awards Celebration on Saturday, April 6, 2019 at the InterContinental Hotel in downtown Saint Paul, sponsored by Education Minnesota.

At once a book, a box, and a puzzle, For Now was born from a desire to create a book about dust and evolved into a meticulously designed exploration of the number four and its many associations. Less than three inches in height, this miniature masterpiece is comprised of four two-sided boxes, each holding a separate vial of dust, and attached to four accordion-folded pages. Williams says that with each of her artist’s books she tries to use a different box structure to challenge herself. In this case, the structure came first and inspired her to focus the four sections of the book on specific places from her own experience that correlate to the four directions and elements: West/Water/Hawaii; North/Earth/Minnesota; East/Air/Ireland; and South/Fire/Florida.

Members of the award committee praised the book as “small in scale, but monumental in terms of creative achievement.” One judge said: “The design is inventive and engaging, and the craftsmanship is impeccable. The poetic nature of the language, the delightful illustrations and the unknown inclusion of powdered substances all contribute to a sense of magic.”

Jody Williams is a book artist, printmaker, teacher, and writer based in Minneapolis. She has published more than 24 limited edition artist’s books under the Flying Paper Press imprint since 1989. Her books feature her own writings, integrated with intaglio, relief, and screenprinting on fine papers, traditional and innovative bindings and structures, and unexpected elements like metals and natural specimens. Williams teaches printmaking and book arts at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, and has taught workshops and presented lectures at museums and colleges across the United States and in Europe. Her work is in the collections of the Walker Art Center, Minnesota Historical Society, and the University of Minnesota, which also houses her archives, as well as numerous other museums, universities, and libraries. Honors include Jerome Foundation fellowships, grants and awards from the Minnesota Craft Council, the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. In 2008, Williams received the inaugural Minnesota Book Artist Award from The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, and has been awarded Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grants in 2016 and 2013.

For more information on the Minnesota Book Artist Award and to view past winners, please visit our Minnesota Book Artist Award page.