Kalamazoo Book Arts Center

At the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center (Book Arts) you can print on a 100-year-old press, learn to make paper and set type, bind books, and explore the vast world of book arts. Since 2005 founder Jeff Abshear has attracted students aged 6 – 80+, artists, interns, and the “book curious” to revive and preserve the book arts.

A classroom and studio, gallery and shop, the Book Arts is a destination for visiting artists and writers from around the country. Master printmakers, makers of miniature books, pop-up book artists, and poets take time to share their craft, work in a classroom setting with students of all abilities, and create unique works of art in the Book Arts studio. The Book Arts’ own Poets in Print presents award-winning writers and is recognized as one of the best reading series in the Midwest. Exhibits vary from the invitational accordion books show in May (which draws international entries), to student, member and faculty shows, and exhibits that bring in celebrated artists from near and far.

The Make a Book from Scratch class is a perennial
favorite with K-12 students who create their own books of poetry. “I’ll never tire of seeing the delight on their faces when they realize they’ve made something with their own hands,” says Abshear. Or as one student put it, “I love getting messy with pulp!”