Minnesota Center for Book Arts announces recipients of MCBA/Jerome Foundation Book Arts Fellowships

October 11, 2019

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

  • Austin Nash, printmaking
  • Shun Jie Yong, photography
  • Collaborative team Sarah Evenson and Jade Juno, illustration and printmaking

Three jurors, reflecting diverse perspectives and expertise, reviewed the 29 applications received to select the winning fellows.

They were: Tricia Heuring, Director and Curator of Public Functionary and Studio 400 in Minneapolis; Aki Shibata, artist and past MCBA/Jerome Book Arts Fellowship recipient; and Keith Taylor, photographer and past MCBA/Jerome Book Arts Mentorship recipient.

With generous funding from the Jerome Foundation and technical guidance from MCBA, the Fellowship recipients will develop new independent projects throughout the coming year. The program culminates in a group exhibition at MCBA opening in November 2020.

“It was an amazing experience to have a large-scale, long-term project to work on, and the resources to do it,” said Eric Gjerde, recipient of an MCBA/Jerome Fellowship in 2015-16. “Nothing helps motivate artistic focus and inspiration more than a deadline, the appeal of a public exhibition, and finances to make the work come into being. This was my first time with such a large undertaking and I learned a great deal from the process—about myself as an artist, about streamlining workflows for larger-scale projects, and about refining concepts for large endeavors. I value the experience I had and I am tremendously grateful for it.”

Since 1985, MCBA has partnered with the Jerome Foundation to help early career artists push the boundaries of contemporary book arts by supporting the creation of new work. Under the previous fourteen series of fellowships and seven series of mentorships, this program has served Minnesota artists of diverse disciplines, including printers, papermakers, bookbinders, painters, sculptors, poets, photographers, choreographers, filmmakers and others. With projects ranging from exquisitely-crafted fine press volumes and documented performances to one-of-a-kind installations, Minnesota early career artists have created work that breaks the bindings and redefines conventional notions of book form and content.

As the largest and most comprehensive center of its kind in the nation, 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 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.


Sarah Evenson and Jade Juno

Working collaboratively under the name RUMTUM, gender-variant artists Sarah Evenson and Jade Juno create zines/prints/posters celebrating the joy and playfulness of queer identity. Sarah (they/them) is a printmaker, illustrator, former winter resident at the Penland School of Crafts, and a recipient of awards through the Caxton Club, CERF+, and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (via Hamilton Ink Spot). Jade (they/them) is a visual artist with a background in illustration and a vibrant sketchbook practice. Having worked in tandem since 2017, Sarah and Jade will publish a quarterly artists’ zine in service of queer, transgender, and gender nonconforming people. Their zines will include original text and imagery that explore the body as a fluid, changeable space and communicate nuanced perspectives and empower the LGBTQA+ community.

Austin Nash

Austin Nash is a Minneapolis-based designer and printmaker. Austin has participated as an intern at Highpoint Center for Printmaking and Hamilton Ink Spot and is currently a designer in Target’s Brand Design Lab. He is also a board member of Proof Public, a local letterpress co-op focused on community engagement through printmaking. Austin’s work has been exhibited at Winona Art Center, Highpoint Center for Printmaking, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. His prints are included in collections at MCBA and the Hamilton Wood Type Museum. For his Jerome Fellowship, Austin will produce a series of screen prints that examine mood, tone, and rhythm of color. He will be collaborating with poets to explore a journey of the visual/verbal language of color and emotion.

Shun Jie Yong

Shun Jie Yong is a portrait photographer who documents immigrants and refugees in the United States and Malaysia. Shun is a second-generation Chinese immigrant from Malaysia and also a permanent resident in the United States. Shun received his MFA from Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He has been living in Minnesota for ten years and is still adapting to life in America. Shun has exhibited at Art at 801 Gallery, Squirrel Haus Arts, Open Eye Theater, and New Rules. Shun is the co-founder of CarryOn Homes project, which has collaborated with institutions such as Minneapolis Institute of Art and The Walker Art Center to bridge the gap between immigrant communities and museums by designing activities that engage with the public. For his Jerome Fellowship project, Shun will create an interactive installation honoring immigrants and refugees in their work environments in order to share stories, connect communities, and provide a sense of belonging for himself.


Tricia Heuring

Tricia Heuring is a curator, arts organizer, and educator. Her curatorial practice is balanced between individualized support for emerging artists and building systemic change in the nonprofit arts sector. Tricia is the co-founder of Public Functionary, a multidisciplinary arts platform. Currently, Tricia serves as the Board Chair of the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council and works as a consultant with Forecast Public Art.

Keith Taylor

Keith Taylor is a London-born photographer and printmaker, specializing in platinum-palladium, polymer-photogravure, and gelatin-silver prints, who now lives in Minneapolis. He uses photography to render landscapes, both real and imagined, playing with tensions between geography and experience. His work has been widely exhibited across the US and the UK; he is a four-time recipient of fellowships from the Minnesota State Arts Board, and his photographs are held in many private, corporate, and museum collections. In 2011 he was awarded a Minnesota Center for Book Arts/Jerome Foundation Book Arts Mentorship. He teaches printmaking workshops at Highpoint Center for Printmaking and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He is represented by Obscura Gallery, Santa Fe, and Iris Gallery, Boston, MA.

Aki Shibata

Aki Shibata was born in Tokyo, Japan, and  moved to the USA for her art education. She has worked for Public Art Saint Paul and taught bookmaking, printmaking, and papermaking at Minnesota Center for Book Arts. Currently, she facilitates professional development programs at the IDEAL (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access, Leadership)  Center at the Science Museum of Minnesota. Her hopes are to create more places and ways to let people meet their peace. She creates artworks that explore authentic self in public spaces.