News | June 3, 2015

Minnesota Center for Book Arts Announces Finalists for The MCBA Prize 2015

Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) is proud to announce the five finalists for this year's MCBA Prize — established in 2009 as the first honor to recognize book art from across the field and around the world.

For the 2015 competition — celebrated in coordination with MCBA’s 30th Anniversary — a jury of three experts in the field of book arts reviewed 170 submissions. Entries represented 18 nations around the world on five continents, including 34 of the 50 United States.

The jurors narrowed the field to five finalists; these five works will be judged at MCBA during Book Art Biennial 2015 (, a multi-day academic symposium on contemporary practice in the book arts. The winner will be announced at MCBA’s 30th Anniversary Gala and award ceremony on Saturday, July 25. The five finalists each receive a $500 cash award, plus a $750 travel stipend to attend Book Art Biennial and The MCBA Prize Gala; the winner receives an additional $2,000 cash award.

Finalists for The MCBA Prize 2015 (in alphabetical order):

- Ken Botnick, "Diderot Project"

- Sarah Bryant and David Allen, "Figure Study"

- Casey Gardner, "Matter, Antimatter, and So Forth"

- Sara Langworthy, "On Physical Lines"

- Robin Price, "Love in the Time of War"

The MCBA Prize 2015 jury consists of: 

- Aaron Cohick, proprietor of NewLights Press and master printer at The Press at Colorado College

- Daniel E. Kelm, book artist and founder of the Garage Annex School for Book Arts

- Jae Jennifer Rossman, Assistant Director for Special Collections, Yale University Library

In summing up this first stage of the competition, the jury stated:

"The MCBA Prize 2015 attracted work of impressive depth and quality. The selection process to name five finalists from the pool of 170 submissions compelled an active discussion on topics such as integrity, finish, physicality, complexity, and the development of ideas. We found our discussions thought-provoking, yet fun, as we anticipated the next missive from our colleagues. Eventually, the difficult decisions were made, but not before each juror passionately articulated their opinions. We are looking forward to continuing the discussion at MCBA’s Book Art Biennial and beyond. Thank you to all who entered for sharing your work with us, and congratulations to the finalists."

The jury also awarded three Special Recognitions of Merit:

- Rhiannon Alpers, "Remnants"

- Candace Hicks, "String Theory, Vol. III"

- Gabriella Solti, "The Book of Hours"

The works will be on display at MCBA from July 17 through August 3, 2015. Complete artist statements, additional photos, and the online gallery of all entries for the 2015 competition are available now at

The winner will be announced live at MCBA’s 30th Anniversary Gala and Award Ceremony on Saturday, July 25. Enjoy wine and cocktails, pour-over coffees, hors d'oeuvres, and live music by the Jimmy Kennedy Jazz Trio, while you experience the five finalists' work and mingle with artists and special guests. Then attend the evening's program, emceed by Minnesota Public Radio arts host and producer Marianne Combs, where the winner of The MCBA Prize 2015 will be revealed, followed by champagne and desserts. VIP attendees are invited to a pre-reception craft beer and spirits tasting, featuring Norseman Distillery and Dangerous Man Brewing, paired with light snacks and delicacies.

Gala tickets ($50 / $130 VIP) are available online at, or by calling The Shop at MCBA at 612-215-2520.

The MCBA Prize is presented in conjunction with Book Art Biennial 2015 (July 23-26), a series of workshops, exhibitions, presentations and performances that explore contemporary practice in the book arts. The 2015 Biennial Symposium will continue a tradition of stimulating critical thinking and dialogue. New this year is a free citywide Book Arts Art Crawl in celebration of MCBA’s 30th Anniversary; participating venues include MCBA, Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD), the Walker Art Center Library, and Form + Content Gallery. For more details on Symposium programming or to register, visit