About The MCBA Prize

The MCBA Prize was established in 2009 to recognize and promote excellence in new work from across the expressive spectrum of book art. This biennial award is meant to represent the diversity of book art and encourage discussion rather than limit recognition to one aspect of this vital field.

Book art in a broadly defined field includes work that embodies narrative, instruction, reference, mapping, guides, documentation, and more. It is work that engages the viewer and propels the experience forward through narrative, sequencing, spatial elements, visual or verbal language, temporal, mechanical, aural, typographic, symbolic or material means.

Forms, processes, traditions and approaches are open. Work may include unique book objects, altered books, graphic novels, ‘zines, concrete poetry, conceptual, visual and literary works. Processes may include any printing or printmaking methods such as photo-mechanical, hand-worked, analog/digital, relief printmaking, letterpress, intaglio, and screen-printing, as well as hand-lettering. Works may be in edition or unique.

The finished work can depart from a bound book format to engage metaphors of the book in sculpture or installation. Work can be created collaboratively, but ultimately must result from an artist or artists’ vision and active participation.

In each biennial competition, integrity will determine the winning work. Integrity refers to a unity of form, materials and content that reflects an artist’s vision. The primary impetus for the creation of the work must come from the vision of the artist or artistic collaborators. Related works on paper (broadsides, prints, photographic portfolios), journals or diaries, scrapbooks and blank books will not be considered for the award, nor will video or film unless it is integral to an installation that embodies the qualities described above.

The MCBA Prize 2009

Veronika Schäpers (Tokyo, Japan), Durs Grünbein: 26°57,3’N, 142º16,8’E

Julie Chen (Berkeley, California), Panorama
Clifton Meador (Chicago, Illinois), Avalanche
Jan Owen (Belfast, Maine), Requiem
Simon Redington (London, England, UK), Bomb


Scott McCarney
Artist, designer and educator

John Risseeuw
Artist and Professor, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Arizona State University

Ruth Rogers
Curator of Special Collections, Wellesley College Clapp Library

The MCBA Prize 2011

Sarah Bryant (Aurora, New York), Biography

Julie Chen (Berkeley, California), A Guide to Higher Learning
Brad Freeman (Chicago, Illinois), Wrong Size Fits All
Peter Malutzki (Florsheim am Main, Germany), Stundenbuch
Ines von Ketelhodt (Florsheim am Main, Germany), Die bessere Hälfte

Jurors’ Special Recognitions of Merit:
François Deschamps (New Paltz, New York), Drone/1,2,3
Ann Lovett (New Paltz, New York), Glass House
Veronika Schäpers (Tokyo, Japan), Yoko Tawada: Okonomiyaki


AnneDorothee “Doro” Boehme
Curator and Special Collections Librarian, Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Barbara Tetenbaum
Associate Professor and Head of the Book Arts Department, Oregon College of Art and Craft

Philip B. Zimmermann
Professor of Visual Communications, College of Fine Arts of the University of Arizona

The MCBA Prize 2013

Clifton Meador (Chicago, Illinois), A Repeated Misunderstanding of Nature

Amy Borezo (Orange, Massachusetts), Labor/Movement (seven workers)
Inge Bruggeman (Portland, Oregon), the infinite between us
NewLights Press / Aaron Cohick (Colorado Springs, Colorado), What You Will
Barbara Tetenbaum (Portland, Oregon) and Julie Chen (Berkeley, California), Glimpse

Jurors’ Special Recognitions of Merit:
Maureen Cummins (High Falls, New York), Accounting
Marlene MacCallum (Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada), Glaze: Reveal and Veiled
Heidi Neilson (Long Island City, New York), Atlas Dream Sequence


Sarah Bodman
Senior Research Fellow for Artists’ Books at the Centre for Fine Print Research (CFPR), University of the West of England

Sandra Kroupa
Curator of Book Arts and Rare Books at the University of Washington Libraries

Buzz Spector
book, installation and mixed media artist, and Dean of the College and Graduate School of Art, Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis

The MCBA Prize 2015

Ken Botnick (St Louis, Missouri), Diderot Project

Sarah Bryant (East Sussex, U.K.) and David Allen (Middlebury, Vermont), Figure Study
Casey Gardner (Berkeley, California), Matter, Antimatter, and So Forth
Sara Langworthy (Iowa City, Iowa), On Physical Lines
Robin Price (Middletown, Connecticut), Love in the Time of War

Jurors’ Special Recognitions of Merit:
Rhiannon Alpers (San Francisco, CA), Remnants
Candace Hicks (Nacogdoches, Texas), String Theory, Vol. III
Gabriella Solti (London, Ontario, Canada), The Book of Hours


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, Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library, Yale University