MFA in Book Art

MFA in Book Art

Mills College

Keri Schroeder. Installation view, MFA 2016. © Phil Bond Photography.

September 24, 2018
MFA in Book Art

Application deadline February 1, 2019
Mills College
5000 MacArthur Blvd.
94613 Oakland CA

T 510 430 3309
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Mills College’s MFA in Book Art recognizes that book art is a critical 21st-century visual arts discipline operating within a conceptual, theoretical and historical framework. At Mills there is a focus on material studies and a strong connection between the creation and the production of works of art. The MFA in Book Art is designed to help you to develop as a visual artist, to enhance your understanding of the visual, textual and dimensional nature of the medium, and to encourage a deep exploration of the book as a time-based material object.

The MFA in Book Art provides a space where you can create your own original work, contextualize that work within contemporary visual art practice, and ultimately push and transform the boundaries of these fields. The degree requirements are designed to develop artists who will be at the forefront of re-envisioning the relationship between a book’s form and its content.

Your two years of course work at Mills will prepare you to produce a thesis exhibition that allows you to fully express your ideas in one or more forms of your choosing, including installation, video, music performance, movement, graphics and of course books.  This exhibition takes place at a professional gallery in downtown Oakland. During your time at Mills you’ll share a dedicated graduate studio with the other MFA students, where you will have 24/7 access to a broad range of letterpress, printmaking and bookbinding equipment, along with a large-format digital printer and a large-format scanner. Our Book Art Pocket Gallery will provide you with opportunities to curate exhibitions of your own and other work, and our library’s Special Collections will give you access to a broad and deep range of rare, antiquarian and contemporary books, including several hundred handmade artists’ books.

You’ll have the opportunity to study with renowned core faculty members Julie Chen and Kathleen Walkup, who will help you to plan the trajectory of your education, including a year two concentration in letterpress, hand binding or artists’ books. A core seminar in The Material Book in your first semester will be followed by ongoing study, reading and discussion with visiting artists and scholars, librarians and faculty. Electives in studio art, intermedia including video, art history, music composition and performance, dance and other disciplines will provide the space for you to stretch, develop or try something new. Our unique new program, Bay Area Partnerships, will allow you to work with one or more Bay Area institutions, including among many others San Francisco Center for the Book, Letterform Archive, The Book Club of California, The Logan Collection at the Legion of Honor Museum and the Achenbach Conservation Lab, as part of your coursework.

In short, your Mills experience will be one-of-a-kind, two years of study and creativity that only Mills and the Bay Area, with their rich history and current sizzling opportunities in book art, can offer.

More information
Book Art MFA / Mills College Admissions

About Mills College
Nestled in the foothills of Oakland, California, Mills College is a nationally renowned, independent liberal arts college offering a dynamic progressive education that fosters leadership, social responsibility, and creativity in approximately 950 undergraduate women and more than 600 graduate women and men. The College ranks as one of the Best 377 Colleges in the country and one of the greenest colleges in the nation by The Princeton Review. U.S. News & World Report ranked Mills one of the top-tier regional universities in the country and lists it among the top colleges and universities in the West in the “Great Schools, Great Prices” category. For more information, visit

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Mills College
September 24, 2018

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