Book & Publication Arts Minor

Artist’s Books
Black and yellow book close on table next to open page about humans being broken
Creative Literary Publications
Book open and unfolded represents a map with text about leaving
Sculptural Bookworks
Open book showing off artwork and drawings of heads

The Book & Publication Arts program at Black Rock Press is an established academic book arts program, which conducts a range of activities relating to the field of artists’ books, fine press printing, bookmaking and the publication arts.

The curriculum emphasizes both the book as an art form (from artist’s books and fine press printing to sculptural and abstract bookworks), as well as the field of publishing as artistic practice (from zines to a myriad of other publications that lean towards the idea of the democratic multiple as a means of artistic agency within contemporary culture). The program focuses on the many shapes and forms the book has taken throughout history and across cultures as a way of envisioning the future of the book and publishing as artistic expression. Students study contemporary artists and publishers working in the field, as well as the many artists and historic art movements that have used books and prints as a way of expressing and disseminating their ideas. This program is interdisciplinary in nature and mixed-media in its approach while exploring both digital media along with hand-skills and design/craft techniques. Students learn the history of graphic design and fine typography through letterpress printing from metal and wood type on our historic presses from the 19th and 20th centuries along with the newest design tools in both our studio and in the department’s fabrication lab. This program combines both the literary and visual arts with the history and evolution of book and print technologies, all with an eye towards developing one’s artistic voice and an understanding of book and publication arts within a contemporary art practice.

  • Build your academic and professional portfolio in preparation for graduate school and professional opportunities.
  • Teach in a private art college, university, or middle school/high school environment.
  • Teach workshops for a variety of organizations and institutions.
  • Continue work as an artist by applying for internships and residencies worldwide.
  • Be a professional artist who exhibits in galleries, museums and art fairs and sells their art work nationally and internationally.
  • Go into business for yourself as an artist that makes commercial goods such as custom printed stationery, cards and invitations and other hand-printed or hand-bound commercial artwork.
  • Gain experience to work in for-profit and non-profit arts related businesses and organizations (local examples would be Nevada Humanities, Holland Project, Sierra Arts Foundation, Nevada Museum of Art).
  • Obtain a job for a pre-existing letterpress or other printmaking related business as a printer, designer, illustrator (a good example is Oblation Papers & Press in Portland, OR).
  • Obtain a job for other fine art and commercial artists needing assistants with design, book arts and creative skills.
  • Obtain a job at one of the many book arts or related centers and organizations across the country (San Francisco Center for the Book, Letterform Archive, New York Center for Book Arts, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, etc.).
  • Work for a publisher that issues unique publications like Chronicle Books who publishes trade editions of artist books.
  • Start your own business publishing unique and creative editions of literary and visual arts content.
  • Start or become involved in your own community or collaborative art studio or organization.

*Above student work: left Amaya Rodriguez Keir; center Braulio Fernandez; right Nathan Platon