nea-newThe Kalamazoo Book Arts Center is pleased to announce that we have received our first Art Works Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, to support our 2014-15 Poets in Print reading series. Since 2008 the KBAC has invited over seventy writers to participate in poetry readings in our gallery. In preparation for these events we work with visual artists to prepare letterpress broadsides from movable type, with images created using traditional printmaking techniques. A complete archive of the Poets in Print broadsides can be found on our website. The new NEA grant will allow us to expand the program to include more writers and also to produce limited-edition books.


November Art Hop: contiguity

November 7 – 26
Opening during Art Hop Nov. 7, 6 – 9pm

contiguity references the essential nature of printmaking as a physical act of transferring a trace by direct contact. contiguity invites current BFA in Printmedia majors and alumni to consider this essential aspect of print as they make artwork for the exhibition and invites the viewer/audience to engage in a dialogue with the works exhibited.




Linocut from Songs of an Abandoned Place by Jeff Abshear


Canti di un luogo abbandonato

By Azzurra d’Agostino

Songs of an Abandoned Place
Translation and linocuts by Jeff Abshear

On Saturday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m., Jeff will give a bilingual reading of the poems, and show the edition in the gallery. 

During the summer of 2014, KBAC Director Jeff Abshear worked at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice, and Tipoteca Italiana Fondazione in Cornuda, to print the letterpress edition Canti di un luogo abbandonato/Songs of an Abandoned Place, by Azzurra d’Agostino. He translated the poems to English and printed them with four linocut prints, on handmade paper created in the KBAC studio and shipped to Italy.

 This project was funded by a KADI Grant from the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, the WMU Frostic School of Art, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

October 2014: Three decades of Book Arts by Ladislav Hanka

October 3 -31


Ladislav Hanka, Bur Oak at Angel Field

Opens during Art Hop, Friday October 3, from 6-9pm

This month the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center features printmaker and book artist Ladislav Hanka. About his work he says:

“People here know me for my etchings, but I have a secret second life as a book artist that takes my works around the world and into many libraries.  Much of my work explores environmental themes in series and I find that the book is a beautiful way to preserve these works alongside my thoughts and what went into their creation, with modest amounts of text set in letterpress on exquisite papers in a fine binding.  It’s an obscure art-form not particularly conducive to hanging on the wall, and yet who among us doesn’t love a book of old botanical engravings or getting a glimpse of Leonardo’s notebooks.  My own model is Linnaeus and his Lapland notebooks from the late 18th century.  Here you will see a selection from thirty years of activity in the book arts in collaboration with various book binders.”

Ladislav Hanka’s Great Wall of Bees at Artprize
September 24 – October 12
Ladislav Hanka’s installation Great Wall of Bees, will be on display during Artprize at the Grand Rapids Urban Institute of Contemporary Art (UICA) in an alcove just off to the left of the grand staircase. For several years Hanka has been placing etchings into beehives in order to collaborate with bees to create new works of art. Those many bee collaborations are now assembled under glass into a Great Wall of Bees. There will be live bees in the exhibit flying around freely behind glass visiting the artwork, tending their brood and just being bees. The artwork is informed by Hanka’s decades as a naturalist, zoologist, and environmentalist as well as his newfound love for bee-keeping.


Fall 2014 Workshops


Pulp painting with guest artist Don Widmer

 We’re shaking things up around here with 10 new classes and many new instructors. That makes our Fall Workshop schedule, with 15 classes, the largest and most exciting one ever! The schedule offers Pulp Painting on Handmade Paper with visiting Chicago artist Don Widmer and several brand new classes like Painterly Monotypes, Introduction to Book Repair, and an encaustic adventure called Encaustigraphics. Of course, we’re not forgetting some of our most popular classes like Papermaking, Paper Marbling, Beginning Bookbinding, Image Transfer and Letterpress. No matter your interests, we’ve got something for you!


Daniela Olszewska and Mark Neely

Poets in Print: KBAC Gallery
Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 7:00pm

Daniela Olszewska is the author of four books of poetry, including cloudfang: : cakedirt (Horse Less Press, 2012), Citizen J(Artifice Books, 2013) and How To Feel Confident With Your Special Talents (Black Lawrence Press, 2014). She was born in Poland and received her MFA at University of Alabama, but she self-identifies as a Chicagoan.


Mark Neely and Daniela Olszewska

Mark Neely is the author of Beasts of the Hill (winner of the FIELD Poetry Prize) and Dirty Bomb (forthcoming 2015), both from Oberlin College Press. His chapbook, Four of a Kind, was published by Concrete Wolf Press and his poems have appeared in many anthologies and magazines, including Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, Boulevard, Willow Springs, and Barrow Street. He is an Associate Professor of English at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, and the editor of The Broken Plate.

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