Book Artist Award Winners

Sponsored by Lerner Publishing

This annual award, presented by The Friends, the Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) and the Minnesota Book Awards, recognizes a Minnesota book artist or book artist collaborative group for outstanding new work in the book arts during the last year, a demonstrated proficiency in the book arts, and significant contributions to Minnesota’s book arts community.


2017 Book Artist: Steven McCarthy

Graphic design professor Steven McCarthy is the recipient 2017 Minnesota Book Artist Award for his Wee Go Library project – a mobile collection of 22 altered books found in Little Free Libraries throughout the Twin Cities. Using various techniques – collage, rebinding, cutting, folding, tearing, gluing – McCarthy altered the books to create a collection in which used items are reborn as a part of the larger library narrative. Each book is sourced to its donor library with a small pamphlet that has a pin-pointed map and photos of the library structure and sponsoring house. The entire collection is beautifully housed in a custom-built oak and pine display case with felt-lined drawers to hold each of McCarthy’s whimsical creations.

2016 Book Artist: Wendy Fernstrum

The Minnesota Book Awards is pleased to announce Wendy Fernstrum as the winner of the 2016 Minnesota Book Artist Award for her new piece, One Is the Holiest Number (#2), which was completed in 2015. Her award-winning piece is a meditation on the paradox of one: how each of us as an individual is distinctly one, yet simultaneously part of a unified whole, as one.

2015 Book Artist: Harriet Bart, in collaboration with Philip Gallo & Jill Jevne

The Minnesota Book Awards is pleased to announce Harriet Bart and her longtime collaborative partners, printer Philip Gallo and binder Jill Jevne, as the winners of the 2015 Minnesota Book Artist Award for a new piece entitled Ghost Maps.

2014 Book Artist: Fred Hagstrom

A distinguished professor of art at Carleton College since 1984, Fred Hagstrom came to the book arts through a long background in printmaking. His recent work focuses on historical subjects, juxtaposing archival photographs with carefully chosen text to produce work both visually rich and emotionally provocative.

2013 Book Artist: Jana Pullman

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.

2012 Book Artist: Cave Paper

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 book artists.

2011 Book Artist: Regula Russelle

“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, and the larger world?"

2010 Book Artist: Wilbur H. "Chip" Schilling

“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.

2009 Book Artist: 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.”

2008 Book Artist: Jody Williams

Jody Williams has been publishing limited edition artist’s books in Minnesota since 1989. “Books communicate information and ideas; boxes keep things safe and hidden,” she says. “Most of my work deals with artist’s books and boxes, and with the relationship between communication and containers.”