Minnesota Book Artist Award

The Minnesota Book Artist Award

The Minnesota Book Artist Award recognizes a Minnesota book artist or collaborative group for excellence in new artistic work, depth of knowledge and quality in the book arts through supporting previous work, as well as significant contributions to Minnesota’s book arts community.

In order to comply with state health and safety recommendations surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library and MCBA have decided to shift the Minnesota Book Artist Award to a biennial award. Therefore, the award will not be presented this season; instead, submissions will open at the start of the next Book Awards Season (August 2021) and eligible works will include those created in both 2020 and 2021. Look for more information soon as plans develop for programming this winter and spring to highlight the work of previous Minnesota Book Artist Award winners and this unique intersection of the literary and book arts communities!

2020 Minnesota Book Artist Award Winners:

In the photo (by Paul Nylander), from front to back: Gaylord Schanilec, Hans Koch, John Coy, Paul Nylander, Barbara Eijadi, Rayan Macalin, Paris Fobbe, Monica Edwards Larson, Sorcha Douglas, Greta Lapcinski, Kerri Mulcare.

The collaborative team that created My Mighty Journey: A Waterfall’s Story
Writer: John Coy
Artist: Gaylord Schanilec
Image development, composition, printing, and binding team: Sorcha Douglas,  Barbara Eijadi, Paris Fobbe, Ellen Janda, Hans Koch, Greta Lapcinski, Monica Edwards Larson, Rayan Macalin, Kerri Mulcare, Paul Nylander, and Emily Pressprich, as well as papermaker Amanda Degener.

My Mighty Journey is the story of the only major waterfall on the Mississippi River, and the changes it has witnessed over twelve thousand years. 

Enhancing this story are stunning letterpress images created with materials collected along the riverbank: wood and bark, limestone and bricks. The illustrations show the progression of the waterfall—eventually known as St. Anthony Falls—as it moved fifteen miles upriver. My Mighty Journey helps viewers realize that most of us are newcomers here.

The committee commented on how the weight and impressive scale of the work fits with the subject. “It couldn’t have been any other way,” stated one juror.


Previous Minnesota Book Artist Award Recipients

Jody Williams (2019)
Erica Spitzer Rasmussen (2018)
Steven McCarthy (2017)
Wendy Fernstrum(2016)
Harriet Bart, Philip Gallo, and Jill Jevne (2015)
Fred Hagstrom (2014)
Jana Pullman (2013)
Bridget O’Malley and Amanda Degener of Cave Paper (2012)
Regula Russelle (2011)
Wilber H. “Chip” Schilling (2010)
Paulette Myers-Rich (2009)
Jody Williams (2008)

About the Minnesota Book Awards

Created in 1988, The Minnesota Book Awards is a statewide, year-round outreach program of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library in partnership with the Saint Paul Public Library and City of Saint Paul. For more information about the Minnesota Book Artist Award, visit the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library’s website or call 651-366-6497.