MCBA/Jerome Book Arts Fellowships Series XI

MCBA / Jerome Book Arts Fellowships Series XI
November 2, 2012 – January 13, 2013
Opening reception Friday, November 2; 6-9pm

Photographer Bill Cottman
Cartoonist Will Dinski
Video artist Amanda Lovelee
Book artist Cathy Ryan
Graphic designer and letterpress printer Todd Thyberg

Since 1985 the Jerome Foundation has helped artists push the boundaries of contemporary book arts by supporting the creation of new book works. Through the MCBA/Jerome Book Arts Fellowships, Minnesota artists of diverse disciplines — including printers, papermakers, binders, painters, sculptors, poets, photographers, essayists 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. This exhibition marks the culmination of the eleventh series of Book Arts Fellowships.

View a sampling of images from this exhibition. Refresh the page for another sampling, or visit MCBA on Flickr to view the full album.


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Bill Cottman describes his work as social landscapes of diverging, converging and intersecting narratives. He makes exposures intuitively, memorizing each one and routinely reviewing them through his filter of daily living. His primary visual theme are the compositions of human relationships in everyday settings (social landscapes). He has learned to balance the tension between his artist-engineer personas and to use that tension in refining his creative process.

HIEROGLYPHICs (for a new social landscape) is a selection of collaged text-image representations of imaginary collaborations among painter Romare Bearden, musician John Coltrane, photographer Roy DeCarava and writer Langston Hughes between 1926 and 1967. During this tumultuous period of American history, the gatekeepers used skin color as a requisite for entry into every facet of American life and death. Bearden, Coltrane, DeCarava and Hughes lived, worked and excelled. The MCBA/Jerome Fellowship added a method of presentation to my creative process. HIEROGLYPHICs is presented in an edition of twelve hand-bound, 9×12 inch boxed sets. Campbell Logan Bindery, Cave Paper and bookbinder Jody Williams have been instrumental in the completion of this book.”

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Will Dinski is a cartoonist best known for his mini-comics. His beautiful handmade books are just as renowned for their exquisite silk-screened covers as they are for their oddball stories, unique “silent film style” panel structure, and frequently dismal endings. He continues to live and draw in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the author of the graphic novel Fingerprints, as well as the short stories, Covered in Confusion and Ablatio Penis.

At The End of An Action Movie is a collection of twelve short stories about feelings. Thirteen letterpress prints make up this sometimes comedic and often dark collection. Each print measures 6″ x 15″ and is printed on the Vandercook No. 219 Proving Machine at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. All of the stories are collected and stored in a hand-made clamshell box in an edition of ten. The work simply could not have been done without the assistance of the MCBA/Jerome Fellowship. Because of the funding, I was able to take multiple letterpress printing classes as well as pay for the materials to produce the book. I’m very grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to work more closely with MCBA and look forward to furthering my education in the book arts.”

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Amanda Lovelee is a visual artist based in Minneapolis, MN. She is interested in how people connect and the spaces in which they do so within contemporary society. Her work, presented as interactive public art events, mainly uses video and photography to weave together data, stories and personal experience to create non-linear narratives about the fragility of human relationships. Her recent projects have explored a myriad of topics: family history, the lives of beekeepers and ice fishermen, strangers’ love stories and the sociology of square dancing. She has an MFA in Visual Studies from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and has shown both internationally and across the US in Los Angeles, New York City, Minneapolis, Hartford, and Seattle.

Really Big Table is a 25-foot mobile table that functions as a gathering space and activates streetscapes. Through its modular construction, it can be easily transported throughout the urban landscape by bicycle. The table is an accordion book that holds, tells, and creates stories through the use of technology and participation. The MCBA/Jerome Fellowship helped make this table possible through expanding my ideas on what a book could be and giving access to space to create.”

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Cathy Ryan is a book artist and printmaker. She holds a bachelors degree in art from San Francisco State University, and in 2006, she completed the Post Baccalaureate program in Print, Paper, Book at Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She was recently awarded a 2011/2012 MCBA/Jerome Bookarts Fellowship and her work will be included in the upcoming publication 1000 Artist Books. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally and is included in private and institutional collections

“The images in this suite of prints entitled Atlas reflect my response to distinct and resonant descriptions of the North American landscape chosen from the works of seven iconic authors. Great writers have always had the power to convey a sense of place through vivid and compelling narrative. As a reader, I have explored these places, both familiar and unknown, through the force and beauty of the writer’s words. And now, I have taken their words as a point of departure, a catalyst to a visual response. While the words evoke a detailed sensory awareness of a particular place, the images search for its essence through minimal forms that trace the geometry of the land. The MCBA/Jerome Fellowship has been a tremendous experience and opportunity for me. Beyond project funding, it provided a context that supported the focus and dedication necessary to complete the work, and a venue in which to exhibit it. Most significantly, it provided the gift of time to consider and refine intension, content and process.”

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Todd Thyberg is the owner of Angel Bomb Design + Letterpress, a Minneapolis-based graphic design and letterpress studio. He first formed Angel Bomb in 1997 and added letterpress in 2007. When not creating work for clients, he makes limited edition art prints, greeting cards and even labels his own beer. In 2011 he received an MCBA / Jerome Foundation Book Arts Fellowship to assist in creating The Airship. This is his first foray into bookmaking, though he already has plans brewing for several more.

The Airship is a science fiction story and the first in a trilogy of letterpress graphic novels. The work draws a literary bridge between modern-day digital design tools and the vintage analog printing equipment used in production. This connection allows the reader to bridge the gap between the era of the story and the analog equipment used to fully experience the content of the book via digital smartphone and QR code technology.”

Three jurors, reflecting diverse perspectives and considerable expertise, reviewed 35 applications and selected the five recipients. Jurors were: Ian Stade, librarian at Special Collections, Minneapolis Central Library, Hennepin County Library; Jana Pullman, bookbinder and proprietor of Western Slope Press; and Amanda Degener, sculptor, papermaker, and co-proprietor of Cave Paper handmade paper mill. With generous funding from the Jerome Foundation and technical guidance from MCBA, the Fellowship recipients will develop their independent projects throughout the coming year. The program will culminate in a group exhibition at MCBA, opening in November 2012.

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