Announcing the new MCBA/Jerome Foundation Book Arts Mentorship recipients

November 2, 2018

Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) is pleased to announce the recipients of our seventh series of the MCBA/Jerome Foundation Book Arts Mentorships program:

  • Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra, inter/anti-disciplinary artist and musician
  • Daniel McCarthy Clifford, artist
  • Chaun Webster, poet and sound artist


Three jurors, reflecting diverse perspectives and considerable expertise, reviewed the 37 applications received. They were: Ruthann Godollei, artist and educator; Emmett Ramstad, sculptor, participatory artist, and educator; and Christina Schmid, critical arts writer and educator.

Mentorship recipients will now embark on a year-long study of new artistic disciplines and one-on-one work with master artist mentors to develop their individual projects. The mentorship program will culminate in an exhibition in MCBA’s main gallery in November 2019.

Meet the new recipients and learn about their work at the Mentorship Recipient Artist Talks on Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019 at 6pm in MCBA’s studios.

Since 1985, the Jerome Foundation has helped artists push the boundaries of contemporary book arts by supporting the creation of new book works. Through fourteen series of fellowships and six series of mentorships, Minnesota artists of extremely diverse disciplines — including printers, papermakers, binders, painters, sculptors, poets, photographers, choreographers, filmmakers and others – have created projects ranging from exquisitely crafted fine press volumes to documented performances to one-of-a-kind installations that “break the bindings” and redefine conventional notions of book form and content.

Minnesota Center for Book Arts celebrates the book as a vibrant contemporary art form that takes many shapes. From the traditional crafts of papermaking, letterpress printing and hand bookbinding to experimental artmaking and self-publishing techniques, MCBA supports the limitless creative evolution of book arts through book arts workshops and programming for adults, youth, families, K-12 students and teachers. MCBA is located in the Open Book building in downtown Minneapolis, alongside partner organizations The Loft Literary Center and Milkweed Editions. To learn more, visit www.mnbookarts.org.

Mentorship recipient bios and project summaries:

Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra a.k.a. Lady Xok (enrolled Maya-Lenca Nation) is an inter/anti-disciplinary artist, musician, and culture bearer. Firmly rooted in Maya-Lenca cosmovision and Indigenous Futurisms, her experimental anti-disciplinary practice pulls across seemingly distant disciplines of archaeology, epigraphy, ethnoastronomy, theology, and public art. She writes and performs bilingual music under the pseudonym Lady Xok and is currently recording a Future-Folk EP, made possible by funds provided by the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, to be released this winter. Rebekah co-founded Electric Machete Studios, a Twin Cities Latinx Art + Music production house. During her Jerome Mentorship she will focus on a public art project titled The Mayan Calendar, which is an artistic and ethno-astronomy cultural revitalization project of Mayan epigraphy, astrology, and star maps.

Daniel McCarthy Clifford works across disciplines to explore the dynamics, materials, and histories of disciplinary structures; prisons and schools become entry points to a broader conversation about power, race, class, and sexuality. He holds a BA in art history and BFA in sculpture from the University of New Mexico, and recently completed an MFA in photography at the University of Minnesota. He is a current artist in residence in Weisman Art Museum’s Target Studio for Creative Collaboration.

Chaun Webster is poet and sound artist whose work uses a materialist temporality through a textual critic of linearity, while also interrogating memory, the afterlives of slavery, and black spatiality. Webster’s debut book, GeNtry!fication: or the scene of the crime, was published by Noemi Press April 2018. As a Jerome Foundation Mentorship Recipient, Webster will be focusing on death, time, and black sociality.

Juror bios:

Ruthann Godollei is the Wallace Professor of Art, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN. Her prints critique the abuses of power. Recent exhibits include the 2018 Southern Printmaking Biennial International Juried Exhibition; the 2018 Pacific States Biennial North American Print Exhibit; Multiple Ones: Contemporary Perspectives in Printmedia, Hunterdon Art Museum, NJ, 2018; Nasty Women, Knockdown Center, NYC, 2017; Herd Mentality, SooVAC, Mpls. MN, 2016. Author of a DIY printing book, How to Create Your Own… (Voyageur Press), her work is in many international collections including KUMU Museum, Estonia and the Polish National Museum of Art, Poznañ. She is the recipient of a 2018-’19 Fulbright Canada Research Chair in printmaking at the University of Alberta, Edmonton.

Emmett Ramstad’s sculpture and participatory works investigate the infrastructure of daily life by modifying the scale and function of familiar household objects. Ramstad lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota and has exhibited artworks nationally and internationally, including solo exhibitions at Minneapolis Institute of Arts and Rochester Art Center. He is a recipient of several grants and fellowships including a Jerome Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Artists, a Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Next Step Award, a Forecast Public Art Research and Development Grant, and an Art and Change grant from the The Leeway Foundation. He has performed in productions by The BodyCartography Project, made costumes and sets for five touring contemporary dance productions and has curated and organized numerous gallery shows. His work is in collections at The Weisman Art Museum, MCAD and Second State Press. He is a lecturer in the Department of Art at University of Minnesota.

Christina Schmid thinks with art and writes as critical practice. Her essays and reviews have been published both online and in print, in anthologies, journals, artist books, exhibition catalogs, and digital platforms. She works at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Art in Minneapolis as an Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Art and Social Practice.

About the Book Arts Mentorship:

The Book Arts Mentorship is an artist development program aimed at introducing book arts to emerging artists whose primary medium is in another discipline. There are many reasons to explore book arts as a new artistic medium. As a highly malleable and versatile form of expression, book arts extend the possibilities of other art forms. You can create a conceptual space. Experiment with sequence and visual or verbal narrative. Use book art forms to extend, explore, document or reexamine work produced in other artistic disciplines.

Mentorships are awarded to three emerging artists selected from among the following disciplines:

  • Literary arts (poetry, spoken word, fiction, creative nonfiction)
  • Visual arts (drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, mixed media, new media)
  • Music (composing)
  • Film / video (filmmakers, animation)
  • Theater (playwriting)
  • Dance (choreography)

Only originating artists in these disciplines are eligible for Jerome support; musicians, actors, directors, dancers, screenwriters and other such categories are not eligible.

For more information about the Book Arts Mentorship program: visit www.mnbookarts.org/mentorship