MFA in Book Art
Push the boundaries of book art, take artistic risks, and weave together threads from diverse creative disciplines. Combine critical scholarship and studio practice to create art with a contemporary conceptual core and an experimental framework.
About the Program
The master of fine arts (MFA) in book art is an exciting new degree that incorporates nearly 90 years of expertise in book art. This two-year, full-time MFA program builds on our longstanding undergraduate book art curriculum—the most comprehensive in the country—and our groundbreaking MFA in book art and creative writing. Our program features attentive mentoring from distinguished faculty and access to exceptional resources.
You’ll begin the program with a first-year seminar in the material book, studio classes on letterpress printing and hand bookbinding, and an exhibition of your work in a gallery on campus. Your studio classes and study of the book will be supported by a comprehensive range of book art facilities.
Each year, you’ll take critical seminars that deepen your conceptual, theoretical, and historical studies, taught by faculty, librarians, and visiting artists and scholars. Because our book art students often seek to develop their artwork through a political lens, these seminars address social justice, sustainability, intersectionality, and other contemporary topics. You’ll also be encouraged to take electives in creative disciplines outside of book art, particularly studio art, music, and dance.
In your second year, you’ll select a studio concentration in letterpress, bookbinding, or artists’ books. Your work in your chosen area will be supervised by a faculty mentor and will support your MFA thesis, culminating in a thesis exhibition at a professional gallery in Oakland. In addition, you’ll complete a creative or scholarly internship with one of our broad and diverse group of San Francisco Bay Area partners.
You’ll have the opportunity to study with renowned artists and core faculty members Kathleen Walkup and Julie Chen. You'll also learn from the national and international artists who visit our classes such as Jen Bervin, Aimée Lee, Liberatura (Zenon Faifer and Katarzyna Bazarnik), Hedi Kyle, and Helen Mirra.
Students in the Book Art Program are eligible for paid teaching assistantships. Students work closely with faculty in the letterpress and bindery studios and provide essential support for the on-campus Book Art Pocket Gallery.