funderlogos-copyThe KBAC was founded in 2005 by artists and writers with a passion for book arts. Their vision is now a creative public space where artists and book enthusiasts of all kinds gather to collaborate and celebrate books and the many arts that inform them: papermaking, printmaking, letterpress, creative writing, and bookbinding.

If you love books—in any form—we have something for you: events and exhibits, classes for all ages and abilities, presentations, guest and resident artists, a book arts store, library, and regular celebrations of the book.

Our support

Grants from the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts have supported our establishment and growth. Contributions from members, volunteers, interns, the community and collaborations with other groups support workshops, programs for youth and educational institutions in the Kalamazoo area.

Our people

Jeff Abshear, Director, jeff@kalbookarts.org
Jeff was a Fulbright Research Scholar in Venice, Italy, where he worked at the Accademia di Belle Arti and studied the history of Italian printing, bookbinding, and papermaking. He teaches book arts each summer to children in Sardinia, Italy. He has a Master of Fine Arts from Western Michigan University’s School of Art where he helped establish a letterpress studio as part of his creative program. He has taught at Interlochen Center for the Arts and is adjunct faculty at Western Michigan University. He is a founding member of the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center.

Lorrie Grainger Abdo,  Administrator, lorrie@kalbookarts.org
Lorrie is a graduate of The University of Michigan and Thunderbird School of Global Management.  She has worked for a large publishing corporation as well as advertising and design firms focusing on marketing, advertising and design.  She is a paper artist working with handmade paper, surface design applications and paper mosaics.  She teaches various paper-related classes at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center and at other venues in Michigan and beyond.

Katie Platte, Studio Manager, katie@kalbookarts.org
Katie is a graduate of the Studio Art program at Grand Valley State University. She completed an internship at the Women’s Studio Workshop, an arts organization specializing in printmaking and book arts in Rosendale, New York.

Crystal Shaulis, Intern Coordinator for the KBAC, crystal@kalbookarts.org
Crystal earned her BFA from Western Michigan University. She is an alumni from KBAC’s own Book Arts in Venice program and has remained with KBAC ever since. Though the focus of her study at Western was painting, she has developed a deep interest in bookbinding and letterpress and shares this knowledge with the local community and beyond. Website: behance.net/CrystalShaulis


Board of Directors

Amy Ferguson, President
Tom Krol, Vice President
Scott MacCallum, Treasurer
Michael Center
Krieg Lee
Eve Reid
Ros Robbert
Elaine Seaman
Elizabeth Teviotdale
Allison Walker

In Memoriam

Paul Robbert

Paul Robbert

Paul Alvin Robbert —  July 2, 1928 – September 22, 2008
Founding member of the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center

Papermaker and Professor of Art; MA in Fine Arts specializing in painting and printmaking, Michigan State University. Paul served on the faculty of Western Michigan University for more than forty years. Following his retirement he remained active in the arts, continuing to produce his own work and was also known as a dedicated mentor and advisor to other artists. As an artist, he was nationally and internationally recognized. His affinity for materials and color eventually led to his exploration of paper as an art form, which he pursued for the past 30 years. As a faculty member at Western Michigan University he established the papermaking curriculum. Paul inspired many young artists with his experimental approach and spirit. The papermaking area at KBAC is dedicated to him containing much equipment he built himself and used in his studio at Park Trades Center. Please visit paul-robbert.com to find out more about Paul’s work.


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