The Minnesota Book Artist Award
The Minnesota Book Awards is pleased to announce Jana Pullman as the winner of the 2013 Minnesota Book Artist Award sponsored by Lerner Publishing Group. This annual award, presented by the Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) and the Minnesota Book Awards, recognizes a Minnesota book artist or book artist collaborative group for excellence throughout a body of work, as well as significant contributions to Minnesota’s book arts community. The award was previously presented to Cave Paper (2012), Regula Russelle (2011), Wilber H. “Chip” Schilling (2010), Paulette Myers-Rich (2009), and Jody Williams (2008).
Pullman’s primary artistic work in the book arts is in the area of design bindings. She creates unique bindings for specific books using materials such as leather, wood, handmade paper, and eggshells. Her high expectation of craftsmanship pushes her to improve technique and explore new approaches. She is continually intrigued by the opportunity to use new materials and enjoys using historical elements in her work. For Pullman, the book is part of a unique artistic medium that will never die out or be fully replaced.
Pullman is a faculty member in Book Arts at the College of Visual Arts in Saint Paul. She has taught a variety of workshops nationwide and, since 1997, has been conducting classes in papermaking and bookbinding at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. Pullman has worked in printmaking, papermaking and as a book and paper conservator. She has been displaying her work in galleries for decades and has participated in exhibitions throughout the United States as well as in England and France. The recipient of several prestigious awards, Pullman was the winner of the 2012 Design Award of the Helen Warren DeGolyer Triennial Competition for American Bookbinding.
An exhibit celebrating Pullman’s work runs January 18 through February 24 in the second floor literary commons of the Open Book, 1011 Washington Avenue South in Minneapolis. A reception showcasing the exhibit and honoring Pullman takes place Friday, February 8 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at MCBA, with a brief program and presentation at 6:30 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public, and features live music, hors d’oeuvres, and wine. Exhibits of Pullman’s work will also be featured at other venues throughout the state this year, including Saint Paul’s Central Library this spring.
Pullman will receive special recognition and an award at the 25th annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at the event’s new location—the Hilton Minneapolis. Awards will be presented that evening to winners in eight book categories (Children’s Literature, General Nonfiction, Genre Fiction, Memoir & Creative Nonfiction, Minnesota, Novel & Short Story, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature) and the Kay Sexton Award, sponsored by Common Good Books. Gala tickets will go on sale in late January.
Acquisitions Librarian Patrick Coleman explains what fine press and artists’ books are, why we collect them, and their importance to the culture of Minnesota. Several examples of these important works are shown; all are available in the Minnesota Historical Society Library.
The Minnesota Book Awards, coordinated by The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, calls for nominations for the 2013 Minnesota Book Artist Award. The annual Award, sponsored by the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, recognizes a Minnesota book artist or book artist collaborative group for excellence of artistic work as well as significant contributions to Minnesota’s book arts community.
Individuals may nominate more than one book artist or collaborative group for the Award. Each nomination requires a separate form. Book artists and book artist collaborative groups may nominate themselves. Nominees who are eligible for the Award will be contacted by the Minnesota Book Awards, inviting them to accept the nomination by submitting up to ten (10) images of their work during 2010-2012 as a book artist (the images may be submitted as slides, or as digital images on a CD/DVD in a common electronic file format), a résumé or vita, and an artist’s statement. Because the judging process for the Award requires that the outlined documentation be provided, book artists will not be considered for the Award unless these required materials are submitted.
About Book Arts
Book arts is a dynamic discipline within the larger landscape of contemporary art. At Minnesota Center for Book Arts, the definition of book arts is broad. Though book arts often require bookbinding, printing or paper-making to come to fruition, contemporary book artists use these traditional book art practices and others in surprising and exciting new ways. The creative evolution of book arts is limitless. For more information about book arts, and Minnesota Center for Book Arts, please visit www.mnbookarts.org.
The 2013 Minnesota Book Artist Award will include the following:
- A $500 award
- A Minnesota Book Award and recognition at the Awards gala on April 13, 2013
- A retrospective exhibit and opening reception at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts in early 2013
- Opportunities for doing programs and having exhibits at Minnesota libraries
- Statewide publicity surrounding announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards
The primary selection criteria, in order, are: demonstrated excellence and innovation of artistic work during the past three years (2010-2012), and significant artistic contributions to Minnesota’s book arts community. Only work created in 2010, 2011 and/or 2012 should be submitted for consideration.
The Minnesota Book Artist Award winner is selected by five jurors in a two-step process. In the first step, finalists are chosen based on the materials submitted during the nomination process. In the second step, the finalists are contacted and asked to provide samples of their work to the Minnesota Book Awards for a one-week period for review by the jurors. All of these materials are returned to the finalists. Jurors select the Award winner based both on the actual work samples provided and the written materials submitted including the nomination form and artist’s statement.
Jurors are selected by the Minnesota Book Awards and are individuals knowledgeable about the book arts community and accomplished artists working in other media. Anyone nominated for the Award may not serve as a juror for the year in which they are being considered.
- Current Minnesota residents are eligible for the Award. Additionally, non-residents are considered eligible if they demonstrate a significant and long-standing contribution to the Minnesota book arts community.
- Artists must be willing to provide actual samples of their work for a brief period if selected as a finalist.
- Artists must be willing and able to participate in the majority of Book Awards activities surrounding the Award, including exhibits, programs and gala, if selected as the winner.
- This Award is for a body of work (three or more pieces), not a single piece.
- DEADLINE EXTENDED! New Deadline: Friday, October 5, 2012, 5 p.m. – Nomination deadline – Nomination forms must be received in the office of the Minnesota Book Awards/The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library
- Friday, October 26, 2012, 5 p.m. – Image, resume or vita, and artist’s statement deadline for nominees – These materials from book artists must be received in the office of the Minnesota Book Awards/The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library. Eligible images must have been created during the past three years (2010, 2011 and/or 2012)
- By November 14, 2012 - Finalists selected
- By December 11, 2012 - Award winner selected
- February 2013 - Award winner exhibit and reception at MCBA
- April 13, 2013 - Minnesota Book Awards Gala and Book Artist Award presentation
Download, print and complete the Minnesota Book Artist Award Nomination Form. (Click here for a PDF)
- Click here to download a Word document to your computer.
- A pop-up window will ask you whether you want to open the file or save it to your computer. Select the option that will save the document to your computer.
- Open your saved document and fill it out.
- Save the completed form to your computer.
- Send us the form by email, selecting and attaching your saved file.
Nomination Deadline: 5 p.m., Friday, October 26, 2012.
Nominations must be received by the deadline – earlier nominations are encouraged to allow ample time for artists to submit images of their work and other required materials. Send the nomination form by mail, email, or fax, to:The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library
325 Cedar Street, Suite 555
Saint Paul, MN 55101-1055
Cave Paper and its founders, Bridget O’Malley and Amanda Degener, were the winners of the 2012 Minnesota Book Artist Award.
Working together at Cave Paper,
O’Malley and Degener have been book artists for over 17 years. There are only a
few contemporary artists in the world who have been making creative papers for
as long and as consistently as Cave Paper. The two artists work in partnership
daily, collaborating with many talented and famous book artists from coast to
coast. Cave Paper is known for teaming with private presses worldwide, often
providing and designing custom papers for deluxe limited editions. O’Malley and
Degener’s attention to detail and high quality of the finished papers are
central to Cave Paper’s mission and reputation.
work blends the contemporary and traditional and reflects an understanding of a
centuries-old craft within the context of an artist’s book,” says O’Malley. “We
continue to invent variations in the steps of fiber preparation, sheet forming,
pressing, drying, and hand dyeing.”
Paper’s groundbreaking work in the hand papermaking field has led to
invitations to teach and lecture in Japan, Sweden, Australia, Korea, Italy,
Canada and China. The artists’ work can be found in many public collections
including the Walker Art Center, Library of Congress, and St. John’s
University. O’Malley has taught papermaking at the Minneapolis College of Art
and Design since 2005, was an artist in residence at MCBA from 1994 to 1996,
and lectures and teaches workshops in papermaking, bookbinding and printing at
MCBA and many other schools. Degener was active at MCBA during its founding
years, was the organization’s first artist in residence, and later, its
artistic director. O’Malley and Degener are committed to teaching and
mentoring, and Cave Paper has hosted over 80 interns.
O’Malley and Degener received special recognition and an award at the 24th annual Minnesota Book Awards, presented by Marvin Windows and Doors. Please call 651/366-6497 for more information about the Minnesota Book Awards. Visit www.mnbookarts.org or call 612-215-2527 for more information about Minnesota Center for Book Arts.
January 5, 2011, SAINT PAUL, MN – The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library is pleased to announce Regula Russelle as the winner of the 2011 Book Artist Award sponsored by the Lerner Publishing Group. This annual award, presented by the Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) and the Minnesota Book Awards, recognizes a Minnesota book artist or book artist collaborative group for excellence throughout a body of work, as well as significant contributions to Minnesota’s book arts community.
“Art making is cultural work,” says Russelle. “It has political and spiritual dimensions. The central themes in my books and prints are the deep questions in my life. Mostly, I am haunted by the great American question, ‘What might we become?’ How do we shape a day, a week, a communal life, the way of the city, and the larger world beyond? Who is my neighbor, who my kin?”
Russelle established Cedar Fence Press in 1999, a small independent press that publishes limited edition books and prints. She teaches books arts and papermaking for undergraduate and graduate students at Augsburg College and beginning through advanced letterpress printing at MCBA. Russelle began making one-of-a-kind books during graduate work at Hamline University in the mid-1990s and has been making books on her own and with others ever since. Her award honors include winning the Minnesota Book Awards Fine Press Award in 2007 and being named a finalist for the same award in 2000, 2001 and 2006.
An exhibit celebrating Russelle’s work ran January 21 through March 6, 2011 in the second floor commons of the Open Book Literary Arts Center, in Minneapolis. A reception showcasing the exhibit took place on Friday, February 4. In her prepared remarks, Russelle acknowledged the "backstage enablers" - people who make things happen behind the scenes but don't always get seen. She also talked about why she does what she does, and where she gets her inspiration. “I know some poems by heart. If you ever want to do something particularly powerful for yourself and your life, this is one way… I think of people as books. We are anthologies. You can make a poem a part of your anthology.” She went on to ask the room, “Why is it we do what we do? Reasons are important. Mary Frank’s list (below) is from a painter’s point of view, but I think it could be just as easily from a reader or viewer’s point of view. Such distinctions are small. It has helped me as a reader and viewer and maker of books.”
Reasons for Art, by Mary Frank:
- to comfort the dead
- to awake the living
- to know migrations of seasons, of birds, of fish
- to feel the power of color and shape
- to fill an unspoken hunger for community
- to give courage
- to use the heart
- to risk
- to never be afraid of tenderness or the absurd
- to gather joy
Russelle also received special recognition and an award at the 23rd annual Minnesota Book Awards gala on Saturday, April 16, 2011 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel – Saint Paul Riverfront. Awards were presented that evening to winners of the eight book categories as well as the Readers’ Choice Award (sponsored by Pioneer Press and TwinCities.com), and the Kay Sexton Award (sponsored by Common Good Books), recognizing an individual for significant contributions to Minnesota’s literary community.
Chip Schilling was named the winner of the 2010 Book Artist Award.
“Experimentation is key to my work,” says Schilling, “and I’m always learning - embracing new technology while continuing to master the traditional book arts. Because of this, my work is varied, reflecting the never ending possibilities that book arts provide for artistic expression. I try to make all aspects of the books I create integral to the whole. For me, this is the essence of book arts. I open myself to the relationship that develops between the content and the structure of the book. I use the structural form of the book (the design, materials, printing, and binding) to bring the content (the essence and the “feel” of images, a story, or text) to life.”
Schilling is the owner of Indulgence Press, which specializes in hand-bound, letterpress printed fine press books, artist books, and limited edition fine art prints. He has lectured at many universities, juried for several arts organizations, and currently teaches workshops at MCBA.
The 2009 Minnesota Book Artist Award went to Paulette Myers-Rich.
Myers-Rich works extensively with black and white photography, with artists’ books being her favored format as they allow the combination of image and text in conventional and non-traditional book forms. “Contemporary book arts has given rise to a variety of structures that both embrace tradition and break with it,” says Myers-Rich, “offering myriad forms and interesting challenges. Yet, regardless of the approach to artists’ books, for me, the practice of craft is important. The book must be a compelling and satisfying object or environment that activates content, a work that satisfies the hands, the eyes and the mind.” Myers-Rich won a Minnesota Book Award in 2000 for her fine press book Broder, an award she shared with poet Anna Reckin, and again in 2006 for Ghost Poems for the Living. She is an active member of several arts organizations, teaches at MCBA and several colleges and universities, and is a graduate program mentor at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
The Minnesota Historical Society's "Collections Up Close" blog lists Myers-Rich's, Ghost Poems as one of their "Favorite Things"
One of Lori Williamson, MNHS Acquisitions Coordinator's favorite things in the collection is a fine press book by Paulette Myers-Rich, Ghost poems for the living: 13 sonnets by Shakespeare with distillations and images. She notes in the blog, "The beauty of this work is really beyond description; to hold it in one’s hands is a joy. It is perfectly constructed, bound using linen cloth and flax papers created by the artist and letterpress printed on photo rag paper in an edition of 26." READ MORE...
For Additional Information
For additional information about the Book Artist Award, or other awards or programs of the Minnesota Book Awards, please contact either of the following staff members of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library:
Ann Nelson, Minnesota Book Awards Coordinator – firstname.lastname@example.org, 651-366-6497
Alayne Hopkins, Friends Programming Coordinator and Minnesota Book Awards Director – email@example.com, 651-366-6488
For information on the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, contact Jeff Rathermel, Artistic Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 612-215-2526
The Minnesota Book Awards is a project of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, in consortium with the Saint Paul Public Library and the City of Saint Paul. Outreach partners and supporting organizations include: MELSA, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Minnesota Department of Education—State Library Services, and Minnesota Educational Media Organization.