2023 McKnight Book Artist Fellows Artist Talk

Open Book Performance Hall
Saturday, June 29, 2024

Minnesota Center for Book Arts is pleased to present our 2023 McKnight Book Artist Fellows, Brien Biedler and Todd Thyberg in conversation with Emily Zaiden and Marcia Reed, the arts professionals who worked closely with them throughout their fellowship year. 

Emily Zaiden is Director and Curator of the Craft in America Center in Los Angeles, and Marcia Reed is recently retired from her position as  Chief Curator and Associate Director for Special Collections and Exhibitions at the Getty Research Institute.

The panel talk is free and open to the public and will take place in the Open Book Performance Hall on the second floor of the Open Book building on Saturday, June 29th, 2024, 12pm–2pm. Light refreshments will be provided at a community reception following the presentation.

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2023 McKnight Book Artist Fellows

Brien Beidler is the proprietor of Beidler Made, a bookbinding and toolmaking practice located in the Northeast neighborhood of Minneapolis. He operates within a small niche, making bespoke leather books for book lovers and specialized tools for book makers and other craftspeople. His book work celebrates the structure and aesthetics of pre-industrial bindings in a 21st century context, and his toolmaking focuses on the creation of hand-engraved decorative leather stamps, called finishing tools. Though much of his practice is dedicated to executing commissions from private individuals and fellow binders, Brien has work that can be found at the San Francisco Public Library, the Oak Spring Garden Foundation, The Library of Congress, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Brien is often invited to share his binding and toolmaking through workshops at various art and craft institutions, and he has taught both nationally and internationally.

Instagram: @bhbeidler.

Ever since Todd Thyberg was a kid, he loved books and wanted to tell stories. Books were an escape from the tedium of small town life and a creative inspiration that stuck with him for life. For him, books opened up the world and exposed a wider canvas for him to explore.

Todd studied commercial art and creative writing at the University of Minnesota and eventually started Angel Bomb to provide clients with graphic design and letterpress printing. With a focus on package design, he since has taken this skill and uses it to create books that encourage the reader to explore the object as well as what it means to them. His first two books were assisted in part through an MCBA/Jerome Book Arts Fellowship Grant and MN State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant. These paved the way for a change in focus from client work to book arts and have allowed Todd to refine his practice. He was Master Printer for Minnesota Center for Book Arts’ Winter Books in 2014 and 2016. Todd’s work is in the collections of nearly 50 special collections including Yale University, Wesleyan University, Savannah College of Art & Design, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, and Duke University.

Instagram: @angelbomb and @antarctichorror.

Visiting Arts Professionals

Marcia Reed recently retired from the Getty Research Institute where she was Chief Curator and Associate Director for Special Collections and Exhibitions. From the time of the GRI’s establishment in 1983, she acquired many of its notable rare books, prints, and archives. Her research focuses on the history of illustrated books and prints with special interest in avant-garde editions and contemporary artists’ books. As Head of Exhibitions, she oversaw the Research Institute’s expanded program of exhibitions, its gallery expansion, and exhibition-related programs and publications. Among the many exhibitions she curated are Naples and Vesuvius on the Grand Tour (2001-2); Picturing the Natural World (2003); China on Paper: European and Chinese Works from the Sixteenth to the Early Nineteenth Centuries (2007-8); The Magnificent Piranesi (2007-8); The Edible Monument: The Art of Food for Festivals (in 2001, with an expanded version in 2015-6); and Cave Temples of Dunhuang: Buddhist Art on the Silk Road (2016). Her award-winning catalogue of the GRI’s artists’ book collection Artists and Their Books, Books and Their Artists, co-authored with Glenn Phillips, accompanied the Summer 2018 exhibition. Her most recent catalogue was published for the 2021 exhibition on Dada, Surrealist, and Fluxus works: Fluxus Means Change: Jean Brown’s Avant Garde Archive.is a curator and writer focused on global contemporary art. Her work is invested in ecological thinking and feminist perspectives.

Emily Zaiden is Director and Curator of the Craft in America Center in Los Angeles, where she has organized nearly eighty contemporary art, craft, and design exhibitions for the Center and partner museum venues since 2010. Zaiden oversees public programs, a K-12 education initiative, and digital projects, including the development of an online Craft Video Dictionary that was recently launched. She writes and publishes exhibition catalogs, essays, and articles for journals and books such as, Archives of American Art Journal, American Tapestry Alliance, Metalsmith, Ettore Sottsass: Architect and Designer and Consuelo Jimenez Underwood: Art, Weaving, Vision. Zaiden focuses on craft processes, materiality, functional design, and cultural art from a historical lens throughout her work and she received an M.A. from the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture. She was Research Associate to the Decorative Arts and Design department at LACMA and research editor for Architectural Digest prior to joining Craft in America.