Design & Content

MCBA’s in-person and virtual workshops in book arts are designed for adults looking to spark their creativity and professionals aiming to hone their practice. Our in-studio workshops offer hands-on experiences with specialized equipment and small class sizes, and often include a physical takeaway like a book, poster, or handmade paper. Virtual workshops feature processes that require easy-to-source materials and the opportunity to connect with artists from near and far. Our teaching artists—who bring a wide range of experience and education—thoughtfully balance lecture, demonstration, work time, and group sharing.

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Spring Pop-Up Cards

with Rosemary Rae
Tuesday, April 16; 6–9pm CT

Pop-up cards are fun to make and even more fun to share! In this virtual workshop, explore an accessible method for making pop-up structures you can embellish with images—your own or those provided electronically by the teaching artist—to create lush, imaginary gardens and other fanciful spring scenes. This process can also be a helpful way to play with adding dimension to two-dimensional artwork. Continue reading “Spring Pop-Up Cards”

Poems & Paintings: Masking Fluid Watercolor Portraits

with grace (ge) gilbert
Tuesday, May 7; 7–9pm CT

Writing is, in a way, painting. Painting, in turn, is a visual language. In this beginner-friendly, virtual workshop, choose a portrait that feels significant to you—such as a family photograph or portrait of a loved one. Learn how to paint watercolor portraits using masking fluid, a latex-based pigment that can be removed to create negative space in a painting. Then, we’ll respond to these images with writing prompts. This generative workshop is great for those who are interested in telling personal stories across art mediums. Come for a fun evening of poetry and painting and leave with ideas for how to use both text and image in your art practice. Basic watercolor experience might come in handy, but instruction will give an overview of basic concepts for those who are unfamiliar.  Continue reading “Poems & Paintings: Masking Fluid Watercolor Portraits”

Art Share for MCBA Members

with Anika Schneider
Tuesday, May 21; 6:30–8:30pm CT

Art Share provides MCBA members an opportunity to connect and inspire each other’s creative practice. Join other MCBA members in MCBA’s studios and take turns sharing about your artwork and responding to others’ artwork in a safe and supportive space. MCBA’s Director of Exhibitions & Artist Programs will facilitate and watch the time for each speaker, but it is up to each artist to direct the conversation during their designated time, when they can choose to share or ask questions and receive feedback from the group. Continue reading “Art Share for MCBA Members”

Erasure Poetry

with grace (ge) gilbert
Tuesdays: June 4, 11, 18; 5–6:30pm CT

Erasure poetry involves using a source document, or source text, to create a work of your own. It’s a contentious practice, but one that allows the maker to re-contextualize history, or the present, as they want it to be seen. In this virtual workshop, participants of all experience levels will learn simple, low-cost techniques in digital and mixed media erasure, and how to sustain a book-length project of erasure poetry. Each week, learn from model theorists and artists to really attune yourself to the language of the source text, and to understand your role in manipulating it. Learn from step-by-step demos, and complete a generative prompt with the option of sharing and receiving feedback. Come away from the workshop with the beginnings of a book-length project idea, simple erasure techniques, and a deeper understanding of text and image relationships.  Continue reading “Erasure Poetry”

Experimental Cover Design: Thread, Leather, Paper

with María Carolina Ceballos
Wednesdays: June 5, 12, 19; 4:30–6:30pm CT

In this virtual workshop, make one or more mixed-media artworks using materials already in your home. Do you have paper you bought or made that hasn’t found a use yet? Or embroidery thread from a project in a color you love? Find new inspiration in these materials by experimenting with their individual possibilities—how could I use this?—and by bringing them together into visual dialogue with each other, understanding the specific qualities of line, color, shape, and texture to create new art. Instruction will cover in-lays, on-lays, embroidery, and collage. Finished pieces could become a cover for a book or a one-of-a-kind artwork. Continue reading “Experimental Cover Design: Thread, Leather, Paper”

Digital Resources for Printmakers

with Camilo Aguirre
Saturdays: June 15, 22, 29; 9:30–10:30am CT

In this virtual workshop, explore open-source software and free online applications to identify effective tools for printmakers that focus on raster images, layout, and file management. Instruction will center on two specific programs: Krita, a powerful and completely free open-source program for desktop computers; and Procreate, an affordable, user-friendly drawing app for iPads. There will be a strong focus on Krita as it has precise design tools. Procreate is especially useful when preparing to print. The workshop will cover available software, design patterns, guidelines, color separation, halftone patterns, mirroring techniques for images and text, and various file formats. Continue reading “Digital Resources for Printmakers”

Garden Monotypes

with Mary Leikvold and Anika Schneider
Sundays: June 16 & 23; 10am–4pm CT

Calling all garden lovers! In this lively in-person workshop, transform plant material from your garden (or someone else’s) into beautiful one-of-a-kind prints. Monotypes offer artists the spontaneity of painting combined with the structure and deliberation of printmaking. The process is fun and freeing for everyonefrom beginners to experienced artists. Learn the basics, then experiment and explore the medium under the guidance of two experienced printmakers and teachers. Come away from the workshop with a portfolio of prints celebrating the garden. Continue reading “Garden Monotypes”

Ekphrastic Poetry: Writing about Your Art

with grace (ge) gilbert
Wednesday, June 19; 7–9pm CT

The word ‘ekphrasis’—poetry that is inspired by works of visual art—comes from the Greek word for ‘description.’ However, ekphrastic poetry moves beyond just describing what is happening in a work of art. It also expands the purpose of the work and re-writes it, as poet Mary Jo Bang says. In this virtual workshop, we will discuss the genesis and history of ekphrastic poetry, why a poet might write in response to art, and how this could apply to your own work. Participants will receive multiple generative prompts for writing their own poems and will come away with both new original writing and a new understanding of the long, storied relationship between text and image. Designed for artists and writers who want to expand their practice.  Continue reading “Ekphrastic Poetry: Writing about Your Art”

Color Theory for Book Artists

with Louise Fisher
Saturday, June 29; 10am–4pm CT

Learn how to mix any color imaginable using Pantone letterpress inks. This in-person workshop is great for any artist who wants to expand their palette or feels intimidated by color. Special attention will be placed on printing, but what’s learned can be easily translated to other art mediums such as painting. Instruction in the morning will focus on color theory, developing your own palette, and color mixing demonstrations. In the afternoon, participants will create color swatch prints using pre-cut blocks on the Vandercook press. Continue reading “Color Theory for Book Artists”