An Exhibition of Artists’ Books, Prints and Zines with a Social Conscience

April 18- June 29, 2019

Rising Together at the Center for Book Arts, 2019

A traveling exhibit organized by the College Book Art Association

Rising Together showcases the potential of the book arts to engage—through messaging, through critique, through action—and to speak truth to power in an era when such truth is dire. 

The work in Rising Together demonstrates how artist books give activism a visual voice, and can serve as powerful agents in effecting positive social change on issues encompassing social justice, power, politics, the environment and more. 

Rising Together is a traveling book arts exhibition organized by the College Book Art Association and hosted from 2018 – 2021 in conjunction with the Art Center College of Design, Center for Book Arts, Mills College, San Francisco Center for the Book, University of Iowa, University of Puget Sound, and the University of Utah.

Opening Reception: April 18, 2019, 6:30 pm

Curator Talk: May 9, 2019, 6:30 pm – Alison Karasyk will be in conversation with Rising Together’s artists. See more here.


APRIL 18 – JUNE 29, 2019

Governing Vessels by Milcah Bassel, 2018.

The 2018 Workspace Residents will be exhibiting the projects completed during their year-long Residency at the Center.

International Woman of Mystery II: Amru Sani, by Shelly Bahl; Governing Vessels, by Milcah Bassel; Force Field Series, by Charlotte Becket; The Inclining Dial, by Alix Pentecost Farren; Sunny Garden in Blue: Stories from the Caribbean to Brooklyn, by Bundith Phunsombatlert.



APRIL 18 – JUNE 29, 2019

Featured artist, Inge Bruggeman will be exhibiting her new project Deposits, which is the second piece in her ongoing series called The Active Reading Series where readers explore the physical act of reading in different ways. Deposits is a book that is meant to be read while ascending or descending a short ladder.

She will also be displaying another recent book project titled, The Quickest Forever, a contemplative series of works rendering language as an attempt to know, control, and own one’s existence over time. Inspired by the life and work of Orra White Hitchcock, one of America’s earliest women botanical and scientific illustrators and artists, Inge investigates the book as a geological artifact in itself. The exhibition will also feature other sculptural and framed works that engage the viewer in asking how we embody information (text, words, language) from our surrounding environment and how it becomes part of the layers of ourselves.

The Quickest Forever by Inge Bruggeman, 2017. 10.5 x 7 x .5” (last spread), mixed media letterpress printed artist book.

Opening Reception: April 18, 2019, 6:30 pm
Artist Talk: June 27, 2019, 6:30 pm

New Book Art

Scholar Residents of 2018

January 18 – March 30, 2019

New Book Art: Scholars 2018 at the Center for Book Arts, 2019

Each year the Center invites three talented emerging artists, who have demonstrated a commitment to book arts, the opportunity to spend a year at the Center. Each scholar has 24/7 access to the Center studios and equipment, and the opportunity to take advanced classes with master book arts instructors here at the Center. The year culminates in a group show for the artists to exhibit the work they have created while in residence. This year’s show features the works of Laura Byrne, Elizabeth Castaldo, and Ben Denzer.

Opening Reception: January 18th, 2019, 6:30 pm

Artist Talk and Reception: February 21, 2019, 6:30 pm

Dignidad: Maria Veronica San Martin

JANUARY 18 – MARCH 30, 2019

Photo by Catalina Riutort

An exhibition based on secret telephone documents about Colonia Dignidad in collaboration with The National Archives of Chile, The Association of Memory and Human Rights on Colonia Dignidad and the lawyer Winfried Hempel.

Dignidad is an Art installation at The National Archive of Chile of the Chilean artist María Verónica San Martín based on secret telephone documents about Colonia Dignidad. Found in 2012 by the ex-colonel and lawyer Winfried Hempel, the audios reveal for the first time to the public conversations between Paul Schäfer and other Nazi agents during 1978. Through sculpture, sound, performance, text, and a selection of historical archives, San Martín reveals a complex system of codes and transcontinental actions that culminated in crimes against minors and opponents of the Chilean civic-military dictatorship (1973-1990). Next year the exhibition Dignidad will travel to the The Center for Book Arts in New York, the ATA gallery in San Francisco as a performance, and to the Museum Meermanno in The Hague.

María Verónica San Martín is a Chilean-born, New York-based artist working in printmaking, artist books, installations, sculpture, and performance art. San Martín addresses memory as a pivotal factor for the understanding of the neo-liberal, globalized present, turning recently to the subject matter of the Chilean dictatorship’s violence (1973-1990), vis-à-vis the United States and Nazism’s involvement in that violence. She was a studio artist at The Whitney Museum ISP during 2017-2018 and has had exhibitions at The Museum of Memory and Human Rights, Chile; BRIC Arts Media, NY; The Cantor Art Center, Stanford University, CA; The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Germany. Her work is in the collections of The Pompidou Centre, The New York Public Library, and The Walker Museum, among others.

Photo by Catalina Riutort


Una exhibición basada en documentos telefónicos secretos sobre Colonia Dignidad en colaboración con el Archivo Nacional de Chile, La Asociación por la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos Colonia Dignidad Y el abogado Winfried Hempel.

Dignidad es una instalación de la artista chilena María Verónica San Martín basada en documentos telefónicos secretos sobre Colonia Dignidad. Encontrados el año 2012 por el ex colono Winfried Hempel, los audios revelan por primera vez al público conversaciones entre Paul Schäfer y otros agentes Nazis durante 1978. Por medio de la escultura, el sonido, la performance, el texto y selección de archivos históricos, San Martín revela un complejo sistema de claves y acciones transcontinentales que culminaron en crímenes a menores y disidentes políticos. El próximo año la exposición Dignidad viajara al Center for Arts de Nueva York, la galería ATA en San Francisco como performance, y al Museo Meermanno de la Haya.

María Verónica San Martín es artista chilena residente en Nueva York. Desde el año 2012 se ha especializado en técnicas de grabado desarrollando la serie Memoriales Móviles compuesta por siete libros de artista en torno a las violaciones a los derechos humanos ocurridas durante la dictadura chilena, y la directa participación de Estados Unidos y el Nazismo. Su obra se encuentra presente en más de 44 colecciones en siete países alrededor del mundo, incluyendo el Museo Pompidou en París, el Museo Meermanno en La Haya y la Librería del Congreso en Washington DC, entre otros. San Martín ha exhibido de forma individual y grupal destacando el Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos de Santiago; BRIC Arts Media en Nueva York; The Bayerische Staatsbibliotheken Múnich. San Martín es representada por la galería Booklyn Inc. en Nueva York.

Opening Reception: January 18, 2019, 6:30 pm

Artist Performance: March 7, 2019, 6:30 pm



October 5 – December 15, 2018

Surface Area by Sally Alatalo

Alatalo’s current projects originate in the investigation and rehabilitation of an orchard, small farm and woodlands at the edge of the Great Lakes Basin in rural SW Michigan. Cultivating Book and Land features works that draw from Alatalo’s career as an artist, writer and publisher in relationship to the agri/horti/cultur/al practices with which she is now engaged. The landscape of the book serves as apt metaphor for cultivation, seeding, nurturing and harvest. Soil science, bird migration, the sky, sun, moon, flowering plants, and perhaps surprisingly, plastics, all contribute to Alatalo’s concurrent cultivation of book and land.

Cultivating Book and Land at the Center for Book Arts, 2018

Alatalo has performed her texts at the Poetry Foundation and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Room Gallery in Rotterdam, The Poetry Society in London, and exhibited her work at museums, galleries and artist book fairs across the globe, including in New York, Los Angeles, London, Hamburg and Seoul. She is Professor and Chair of the Writing Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Artist Talk: Friday, December 7, 2018, 6:30 pm

Master Class: Saturday & Sunday, December 8-9, 10 am – 4 pm

INSIDE/OUT: self-published photobooks


October 5 – December 15, 2018

Inside/Out at the Center for Book Arts, 2018

Organized by Carole Naggar, poet, artist, curator, educator, and photography historian

Self-published photobooks first made their appearance in Europe right after World War II. At that time photographers mainly published in magazines, and the form of the photobook was still somewhat exotic, used infrequently by photographers. Today, self-published photobooks are also well represented in collections such as the New York MoMA’s library, The Indie Photo Library at the Beinecke (Yale), which inspired the creation of other independent photobook archives, like The Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive, as well as private collections.

This exhibition features thirty-four self-published photobooks, varying in sizes and aspect, usually printed in small editions. Their form varies from the classic, traditionally printed book to the zine, the folio, the leporello book, the panoramic shape, the I-phone… Also including selected photographs, Inside/Out shows a range of media from gelatin prints to C-prints, collotype, inkjet and Xerox.

Libretto by Julia Borissova

The photographers and artists in this exhibition see the self-published photobook as a place of independence, a place where they can experiment freely with form, but, more importantly, as a testing ground for reflection, self-examination, meditation and ideas that the main market does little to accommodate. The quick turnaround from concept to creation also allows them to react to national and international news, making the books not only an aesthetic endeavor but also a political one.

The chosen books illustrate very personal subjects such as family, memory, loss and identity as well as larger topics such as immigration, displacement and exile and catastrophic events such as World War II, the AIDS epidemic, September 11 and Fukushima. A few are historical and most contemporary. They originate from twenty countries: Argentina, Azerbadjian, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Great Britain, Mexico, The Netherlands,The Philippines, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States and Vietnam.

It had been predicted that the rise of the Internet would mean the end of the book on paper. However, it had an opposite effect, creating “digital fatigue” because ephemeral images are everywhere. Readers still crave a hands-on experience and the concrete sensations associated with reading and looking.

While some deplore the rise of self-publishing because it tramples the gates and gatekeepers who once decided what should be published, the trend gave artists new freedom. Self-published photobooks provide the experience of looking at work the way the artist envisioned it. Most self-published photobooks are issued in limited editions, hand-numbered or signed, which makes them works of arts themselves. They become places for debating ideas, articulating insights and experience, and testing out new forms. And many are objects of beauty.

Artists include: Olivia Arthur, Barbara Bash, Doug Beube, Julia Borissova, Machiel Botman, Chien Chi Chang, Cristina De Middel, Giovanni del Brenna, Michel Delsol, Eamonn Doyle, Carolyn Drake, Tina Enghoff, Veronica Fieiras, Claire Fouquet and Patty Smith, Lee Friedlander, Ralph Gibson, Hiroshi Hamaya, Simone Hoang, Fumiko Imano, Miho Kajioka, Kent Klich, Anouk Kruithof, Susan Meiselas, Editha Mesina, Kazuma Obara, Pablo Ortiz Monasterio, Sophie Ristelhueber, Alec Soth, Jordan Sullivan, Peter Van Agtmael, Todd Walker, Mo Yi, and Ksenia Yurkova

Roundtable Discussion: Friday, October 19, 6:30 pm

Purchase the Exhibition Catalogue