Jerome Residency Announcement

Announcing the MCBA/Jerome Foundation Book Arts Residents


Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) is pleased to announce the recipients of our sixteenth series of the MCBA/Jerome Foundation Book Arts Residency (formerly known as the MCBA/Jerome Foundation Book Arts Fellowship):

      • Nicole Soley – printmaker
      • Brooks Turner – artist, writer, and educator
      • Leah Willemin – artist and designer

Three jurors, reflecting diverse perspectives and expertise, reviewed the applications to select the winning fellows. They were: Paula McCartney, artist and 2020/2021 McKnight Book Artist Fellow; Tia-Simone Gardner, interdisciplinary artist and Assistant Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at Macalester College; and Peng Wu, social practice artist and past Jerome Fellowship recipient.

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 fifteen 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.

About the 2021–2022 MCBA/Jerome Residency Recipients:

Nicole Soley is a Minnesota-based printmaker. Since receiving her Bachelors of Science in Art Education from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a concentration in printmaking in 2017, she has begun her career as an artist and art educator in the suburban metro area. Soley has maintained an active studio practice at Highpoint Center for Printmaking since 2017. Her artwork has been featured in exhibitions nationally and internationally including Highpoint’s Outstanding Affiliates Exhibition, Bankside Gallery’s The Masters Screen and Stone, and the Atlanta Print Biennial, to name a few. Her experiences in art making have illuminated printmaking as a space of empowerment. 

Soley utilizes contemporary and traditional printmaking processes to create dynamic, multi-process prints. By creating cut out, printed, paper objects, she synthesizes lived experience and research. Through layering many forms of printmaking and experimenting with paper colors, inks, and three-dimensional formats, viewers interact directly with the artwork, interpreting both personal narrative as well as cultural critiques. Her artwork emboldens the viewer to explore printmaking as a liberating story-telling medium; through the expression of personal narrative in a book arts format, we reach closer toward universal liberation.

Brooks Turner is an artist, writer, and educator. His recent work engages the history of fascism in Minnesota, and has appeared at the Weisman Art Museum, St. Cloud State University, Ridgewater College, Soo Visual Art Center, and in MnArtists. He has taught at the University of California, Los Angeles, St. Cloud State University, Ridgewater College, University of Minnesota, and is currently Chair of Visual Art at St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists. In 2017, he wrote A Guide to Charles Ray Sleeping Mime, published with Paperleaf Press, and continues to write essays for Hair and Nails Gallery, Temp/reviews, and Art Papers.
Leah Willemin is a St. Paul-based artist and designer working with craft, technology, and performance. She makes projects that explore the interaction between large-scale systems and individual experience. Leah is interested in tool-making, material histories, and teaching. Her work has been exhibited at MCBA, Northfield Arts Guild, and the University of Aalto, and has been acquired by the Minnesota Historical Society. She is a previous MCBA intern, and currently teaches at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She previously taught at Parsons School of Design, where she received her MFA. For her Jerome fellowship, Leah will explore how the format of the book can present nuanced interactions of personal ecological experience and climate data. 

About the 2021–2022 MCBA/Jerome Residency Jurors: 

Paula McCartney makes artist books, photographs, and ceramics that illustrate her collaborations with the natural world and consider ways that light activates both objects and environments. McCartney holds an MFA in Photography from the San Francisco Art Institute and has received grants from the Women’s Studio Workshop, the Aaron Siskind Foundation, the McKnight Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Board. Her work is included in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the artist book collections at the Walker Art Center, Museum of Modern Art, Joan Flasch Artist Book Collection and the Beinecke Rare Book Library at Yale among many others. She has two published monographs: Bird Watching and A Field Guide to Snow and Ice and was a 2020/2021 McKnight Book Artist Fellow. She has taught in the Media Arts Department at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design since 2007.


Tia-Simone Gardner is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, and Black feminist scholar who works primarily with drawing, still and moving-images, archives, and space. Gardner grew up in Fairfield, Alabama, where she received her BA in Art and Art History from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. In 2009 she received her MFA in Interdisciplinary Practices and Time-Based Media from the University of Pennsylvania. She participated  as a Studio Fellow Whitney Independent Study Program at the Whitney Museum Of American Art and has been an invited artist at a number of national and international artist residencies including most recently the Tulsa Artist Fellowship. She has also been awarded a number of fellowships for her work including the McKnight Visual Artist Fellowship and a 2020 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship. Gardner currently lives in Saint Paul where she is an Assistant Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at Macalester College.


Born and raised in China, Peng Wu is a social practice artist and graphic designer dedicated to creating socially engaged projects in public space. His work combines the power of design thinking with contemporary art strategies to address various urgent social issues including immigration, health disparity, and queer rights.

Through collaborating across disciplines and cultures, he has created participatory art installations exhibited in art institutions such as Weisman Art Museum, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Institute of Art, as well as numerous public streets and community centers both in the U.S. and China.

He is also an independent curator working with international cultural organizations on various exhibitions. Recent projects include the tour exhibition Home of Memories by Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project and Shanghai International Paper Art Biennale at Fengxian Museum.



Past Jerome Fellows