Beyond the Classroom

Outside of your studio and classes and seminars, you’ll find a wide range of opportunities for inspiration, professional development, connecting with other artists, and building networks.


Events & Activities

A number of activities on campus enable you to participate in our thriving book art community as well as our campus-wide interdisciplinary arts scene.

  • Student members of the Book Art Club have organized activities like the Protest Postcard Printathon and the Bay Area Bindathon, which produced blank journals for people in prison classes, adult literacy programs, and youth writing groups.
  • The Mills College Summer Institute for Book and Print Technologies attracts advanced practitioners of book art from around the country for two weeks of master-class workshops and artist presentations on campus.
  • Visiting composers and choreographers, the College’s celebrated music and dance faculty, and graduate students perform in cutting-edge music and dance concerts.
  • Influential and innovative artists, art critics, and curators come to speak on campus as part of the Art Department’s Visiting Artist Lecture Series; these talks often relate to exhibitions in the Mills College Art Museum and Slide Space 123.

Teaching Assistantship

A vital aspect of our MFA program, teaching assistantships provide graduate students with financial support and enable them to gain professional experience as they assist with instruction in studio classes, support undergraduate students, help formulate curriculum, teach extra-curricular workshops, manage the Book Art Pocket Gallery and curate exhibitions, and manage social media for the program.

What Can I Do with an MFA in Book Art from Mills? 

Our MFA in book art prepares you for a career as an independent, professional book artist with your own working studio or for professional roles such as:

  • Book art instructor in an academic, community, or online setting
  • Special collections librarian
  • Director, studio manager, or curator in a book-related nonprofit organization, art gallery, or museum
  • Art director or designer for an online or print publication
  • Small press publisher
  • Specialized book dealer
  • Book, print, or paper conservator

Alumnae of our book art program are highly innovative artists who combine multiple genres and media, from performance art to printmaking. They actively exhibit, perform, and publish their work across the country. Below is a sampling of the activities of graduates of our previous MFA program in book art and creative writing.

  • Nora McKinnon, MFA ’16, uses letterpress printing and innovative hand-bound structures to create books that address imperialism, surveillance, and gender.
  • Printmaker Ariel Hansen Strong, MFA ’15, founded Cloudship Creative, a vendor of printed goods and handmade journals, and teaches at Interlochen Center for the Arts.
  • Emji Spero, MFA ’14, works as an editor and designer at Timeless, Infinite Light, a small press in Oakland, and recently published a limited-edition artist book through the press.
  • Mirabelle Jones, MFA ’13, creates artists’ books that seek to end the silence and stigma surrounding sexual assault and rape.
  • Book art by poet Lyall F. Harris, MFA ’12 can be found in numerous special collections across the nation.