Book Arts Mentorships — application guidelines


Get inspired! View a selection of projects by past Book Arts Mentorship recipients:

Dimensional paper installation by mixed media artist Mira Rojanasakul (Series II recipient)


Valley (detail)
Felt, wood and paper artist’s book by sculptor and textile artist Caroline Keefe (Series III recipient)


My Brother’s Keeper (detail)
Ethiopian prayer scrolls by painter and mixed media artist Tanaegh Haddad (Series II recipient)


Call & Answer
Letterpress keepsake by multimedia artist Amanda Lovelee (Series III recipient)


Dark Matter
Portfolio suite of prints by photographer and printmaker Keith Taylor (Series III recipient)


Three Trees That Chose Me
Installation and artist’s book using handmade papers and dyes, by environmental artist Presley Martin (Series IV recipient)


Tango (detail)
A contemporary take on traditional wooden books of various cultures, palm leaf books and Mayan codices, designed using visual and lyrical interpretations of Argentine and Uruguayan tango, by sculptor and mixed media artist Cecilia Ramón (Series I recipient)


Metro Transit Portraits (detail)
Photo, video and print installation by photographer Ben Lansky (Series III recipient)


Transmogrification (detail)
Sculptural abaca paper installation by mixed media artist Lisa Loudon (Series IV recipient)


Letterpress artist’s books and cast paper figure by poet Meryl DePasquale (Series III recipient)


An Architecture of Waiting (detail)
Mixed media and metal-stamped text by poet Sheila Lynch-Salamon (Series II recipient)


What Is, Nothing Is, Omitted (detail)
Print works and performance artifacts by choreographer, playwright and director Rachel Perlmeter (Series III recipient)


Artist’s book series by digital artist and animator Emma Burghardt (Series IV recipient)


Metamorphosis (detail)
Installation by photographer Gregory Carideo (Series II recipient)

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.

The application window for the MCBA / Jerome Foundation Book Arts Mentorship Series V has now closed. Mentorship recipients will be announced by Friday, October 10.

Three jurors will review all applications and select six mentorship recipients. Artists in the following disciplines are encouraged to apply:

  • 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.

Artists selected for the Book Arts Mentorship will receive:

  • $2,000 for the purchase of materials and to supplement other project costs (subject to state and federal income tax guidelines)
  • Three months of basic book arts training at MCBA
  • Free tuition to participate in up to three workshops offered by MCBA through its regular adult education schedule (artist pays applicable supply/material fees)
  • The ability to meet regularly with a mentor and attend master classes that provide contextual and historical foundations for book arts
  • One year free membership to MCBA
  • Recognition through a culminating exhibition in MCBA’s main gallery

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 twelve series of Fellowships and four prior series of Mentorships 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.

Jerome_foundation new

Awards and Eligibility

Applications must be submitted by emerging artists. An “emerging artist” is generally defined as an artist who shows significant potential, yet has not received 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 status as “emerging” or “established”.

Applicants must reside in Minnesota and must have held legal residency in Minnesota for the preceding year.

An artist is not eligible to apply for the Book Arts Mentorship if they are:

  • a student, full-time or part-time
  • a current MCBA artist-in-residence or staff member
  • an artist who already uses book arts as a primary form of creative expression
  • an artist who is already well-established in their field of work
  • a prior recipient of any MCBA/Jerome Book Arts Mentorship or Fellowship

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.

How to Apply

The applications deadline for Series V was Monday, September 1, 2014 at 11:59pm.

Applicants must submit all application materials through the online application portal below.

PLEASE NOTE: Jurors will review applications anonymously; do not include your name or other identifying information on résumé, letter of intent or work samples. Applicants’ names should appear only where required on the online application form.

Online application form (NO LONGER AVAILABLE):
Complete the online application form by providing your name, contact information and other required details in the appropriate fields. The online application form includes areas to upload the following materials (Word or PDF format):

Letter of intent:
In your letter of intent, you are not required to include details about a specific book arts project you propose to complete. Rather, you should describe how you plan to explore, through the book arts, the themes, subject matter, structure or other aspects of your primary art form. Also describe the educational and artistic goals you hope to accomplish during the mentorship program. The letter of intent should not exceed one page. For purposes of blind jurying, do not include your name or other identifying information in this file.

Include all relevant professional, educational and artistic achievements. Your résumé should not exceed three pages. For purposes of blind jurying, do not include your name in this file.

Work samples and Work sample list:
Submit up to six work samples and a one-page list of work sample descriptions, numbered to correspond with work sample file names. For purposes of blind jurying, do not include your name or other identifying information on the images or in the work sample list. Work samples should accurately reflect your current work. Submit samples according to the following guidelines:

  • Digital images: maximum of six (6) images, JPG format, 72 dpi with dimensions no larger than 1500 pixels. Maximum file size 1 MB. Images must be clear, professionally presented, and accurately represent the work. Name each file “image1.jpg”, “image2.jpg”, and so on, and make sure the image numbers correspond to the information in your work sample list.
  • Literary works: maximum of 10 total pages. Accepted file formats: PDF or Word (.doc/.docx). For purposes of blind jurying, do not include your name in this file.
  • Audio or video works: maximum of 10 total minutes. Do not send audio or video files. Instead, upload the files to an online host (YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud, etc.) and submit links where specified on the online application form. The samples must be classified as “public” for the jurors to be able to access them.

Monday, September 1, 2014; 11:59pm

All application materials must be submitted through MCBA’s online application portal by 11:59pm Monday evening, September 1. Late or incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Friday, October 10, 2014
Announcement of mentorship recipients

Tuesday, October 21, 2014; 7:00pm
Mentorship program commences with initial meeting and orientation at MCBA’s studios (mandatory for all recipients)

November 2015
Group exhibition opens

If you have any questions about the Book Arts Mentorship program or the application process that this webpage does not answer, please contact Anna Bredeson by phone at 612-215-2526 or by email at

If you have any technical issues with the submission process, please contact us at; include “Mentorship application” in the subject of your email.

The Online Application Portal is Now Closed

If your application was submitted successfully, you will receive a confirmation email. If you have not received a confirmation email within one day of submitting your application, please contact Anna Bredeson at; include “Mentorship application” in the subject of your email.