Mar 302015

From Art Hop to poetry readings, guest artist presentations, special workshops and themed exhibits the KBAC present a wide array of public events year round. The Illustrated Accordion, an exhibition of accordion style books has been attracting entries from book artists around the world since 2009. The Edible Book Festival, our annual April Fool’s Day event, invites the community to share intriguing and edible tributes to the book. Guest Artists present exhibitions, lectures and workshops by internationally known artists. Special Events celebrate the book arts with unique events and presentations. Details on those are shown below.

Oct 242017


Kalamadoodle Cut Out Spectacular!

KBAC Gallery, Nov. 10, 6:30 – 8:30pm

The KBAC is partnering with Kalamadoodle and One Well Brewing for our second annual Cut-Out Spectacular! Kalamadoodle has offered the opportunity to cut-out and keep doodles and illustrations from previous events. The KBAC will also be recycling old drawings and scraps to make brand new paper. Drink beer and make art!

Kalamadoodle is a celebration of craft and creativity in Kalamazoo, Michigan. They bring people together in a fun and refreshing way with a night of drinks, drawing, and a whole lot of laughs. It’s meant for everyone; whether you’re a master stick-figurer, or an acclaimed artist. Our hope is that you will be inspired by the ideas and creativity of others, make some new friends, and love Kalamazoo just a little bit more.

Mar 242017

TeenProgramSiteImageFor teens interested in the visual arts who are planning on studying art in college and would like to add to their art portfolio for college applications.

This Program is FREE but you must register!

Monday, April 24th 6-8:30pm

Make sheets of paper from 100% cotton fiber, embellish with inclusions and colored pulp, then use the hydraulic and drying paper presses to turn them into covers for your own book.

Monday, May 1st 6-8:30pm

Learn how to make your own intaglio print using Plexiglas, an etching needle, ink and our old printing presses.

Monday, May 8th 6-8:30pm

Use various bookbinding tools to bind two different books that will showcase the paper and prints you’ve made.

To register:

Simply email and include your name, phone number, which classes you will attend and the name of your school.

The Kalamazoo Book Arts Center is a community organization that produces books and related products; holds art exhibitions, poetry readings and other events; and promotes book arts through workshops and community educational programs.

326 W Kalamazoo Ave, Ste 103A
Kalamazoo, MI 49007

Nov 012016

Kalamadoodle Cut Out Spectacular!

KBAC Gallery, Nov. 9, 6:30 – 8:30pm

The KBAC is partnering with Kalamadoodle and One Well Brewing for the first ever Cut-Out Spectacular! This will be the first time Kalamadoodle has offered the opportunity to cut-out and keep doodles and illustrations from previous events.  The KBAC will also be recycling old drawings and scraps to make brand new paper. Drink beer and make art!


Kalamadoodle is a celebration of craft and creativity in Kalamazoo, Michigan. They bring people together in a fun and refreshing way with a night of drinks, drawing, and a whole lot of laughs. It’s meant for everyone; whether you’re a master stick-figurer, or an acclaimed artist. Our hope is that you will be inspired by the ideas and creativity of others, make some new friends, and love Kalamazoo just a little bit more.

Oct 072016

KBAC Gallery, Saturday, October 29, 2016, 7:00pm

The KBAC is proud to announce the publication of two new chapbooks: Steinmetz Suite by Susan Blackwell Ramsey and Chain of Lakes by Elizabeth Kerlikowske. Please join us Saturday, October 29 at 7 p.m. to celebrate the publication of these books with a poetry reading by the authors.

Susan Blackwell Ramsey’s book A Mind Like This won the Prairie Schooner Poetry Book Prize and her work has appeared in publications from Poetry Motel to Best American Poetry.







elizabethElizabeth Kerlikowske grew up in Michigan and her writing reflects that. She is president of Friends of Poetry. She and visual artist Mary Hatch have just completed a book of paired paintings and poems.


Jan 072016

Helen Hiebert: The Secret Life of Paper


Helen Hiebert, Interluceo, Handmade Book

The KBAC is pleased to join with the Southwest Michigan Paper Guild, Western Michigan University Visiting Scholars and Artists Program, and Friends of WMU Libraries to host visiting artist and internationally-known papermaker Helen Hiebert, who will present a lecture, exhibition, and workshop. Hiebert creates installations, sculptures, films, artists’ books, and other works using handmade paper as her primary medium. This retrospective exhibition will be accompanied by a new full-color catalog of her extensive body of work.

Helen Hiebert is the author of five books including The Papermaker’s Companion, Playing with Pop-Ups, and Playing with Paper. She has taught all over the world at venues such as the PapierWespe in Austria, Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, Dieu Donné Papermill in New York, and Minnesota Center for Book Arts. Hiebert has served on the boards of the International Association of Hand Papermakers and Paper Artists and Hand Papermaking Magazine. You can find her work at


Helen Hiebert, Alpha Beta, Handmade Book


Wednesday, April 6, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Western Michigan University, Richmond Center for Arts, Room 2008

The Secret Life of Paper: 25 Years of Works in Paper by Helen Hiebert
NOTE: This will be a special exhibition opening, not during Art Hop
Online Exhibition
Friday, April 8, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Kalamazoo Book Arts Center


Helen Hiebert, Window Weaving

WORKSHOP: Innovations in Paper Weaving
$110 + $10 material fee
Saturday, April 9, 10:00-4:00 p.m.
Kalamazoo Book Arts Center

Weaving paper is much faster than weaving cloth, and with so many decorative papers out there, it is both fun and easy to come up with a multitude of paper combinations. We will experiment with paper crumpling, varying the warp and weft lines and cutting tiny windows to expose the paper which lies beneath. Come explore book structures, lantern forms featuring “woven” hinges, and works that can hang on the wall or in a window as we bring paper weaving into new dimensions. Participants will leave the workshop with at least one flat paper weaving and a woven paper lantern. Find out more about our events with visiting artist Helen Hiebert here (coming soon) or visit her website There is a $10 material fee that should be paid directly to the artist for this class. 

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Helen Hiebert, Cosmology, Handmade Book

Oct 022015

Kalamazoo Book Arts Center 10th Anniversary Celebration and

Paul Robbert: A Retrospective

KBAC Gallery, October 2-30
Opens During Art Hop, October 2,  2015, 6:00-9:00 p.m.tree3

Paul Robbert was one of the founders of the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center and our paper mill, which he engineered, constructed, and installed, is dedicated to him. Paul was a professor in the Frostic School of Art at Western Michigan University from 1957–98. He set up the printmaking department and was instrumental in establishing papermaking into the curriculum. Paul’s award-winning artwork was exhibited across the country and known in many parts of the world.

Paul was dedicated to art from a very young age. His talents ranged from painting to printmaking, and to the art form to which he dedicated much of his last thirty years, papermaking. All phases of his career will be represented in this exhibition, on display in the gallery and throughout the KBAC studios.

Early in his career Robbert began working with paper, he made his own paper mill, and created new processes to form sheets. At the time, hand papermaking was a lost art in this country and much of the process he employed was experimental. He was an innovator in vacuum-formed paper that created a more sculptural effect. Paul found new and creative ways to retrofit ordinary found objects into new equipment for making paper. These invocations are now part of the Paul Robbert Paper Studio at the KBAC.

Join us for this retrospective exhibition of Paul Robbert’s work, from his earliest drawings and paintings through his large handmade paper art, and celebrate 10 years of the KBAC!


Mar 112015

A Celebration of Conrad Hilberry

The Savory Wheel Release Party

KBAC Gallery, Saturday, April 4, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. 

Page from The Savory Wheel

Join us to celebrate the work of poet Conrad Hilberry.
Favorite poems by Hilberry will be read by local poets and friends, and the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center will release a new handmade, limited edition of his book The Savory Wheel. 
Also featured will be the 2014 KBAC letterpress publication, God of Longevity by Hilberry, printed on handmade paper.
Feb 112015

Illuminare: The Uses and Embellishment of Gold and Other Metallic Leaf and Inks in Medieval and Renaissance Manuscript PaintingSE_Loew

Nancy Turner,Conservator of Manuscripts, J. Paul Getty Museum

Cornelius Loew Lecture in Medieval Studies

Thursday, March 19, 2015, 5:15 p.m.
1010 Fetzer Center

Free and open to the public
reception to follow

Nancy Turner is the Conservator of Manuscripts in the Department of Paper Conservation at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Ms. Turner is one of country’s leading conservators of medieval codices, having worked on and with the Getty Museum’s collection of manuscripts almost since its foundation in 1983. She is an expert on medieval and early modern pigments, with a rich knowledge of the materials in surviving manuscripts and also of the written sources (largely recipe books) related to the acquisition of coloring agents and the manufacture of paints in the Middle Ages and the early modern period. Her publications include numerous technical studies and reports on conservation treatments and techniques, and she has made a significant contribution to the scholarly literature, especially on medieval manuscript painting techniques.


Feb 112015

The Paper Guild is bringing Laura Lein-Svencer from Chicago to the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center for a workshop. Space is very limited. Please call 269-373-4938 for enrollment.

Collage Intuitive Process
March 14th & March 15th
9:30 to 4:30

$230 includes instructor’s fee and most materials

Summer Fun by Laura Lein-Svencner

Students will be altering their own papers, creating their own color palettes, making collages that are delightfully and uniquely theirs.  Composition, design principles and the intuitive process inherent in fine art collage all come together in this workshop.  Whether students are new to collage or more experienced, Laura’s high-energy workshop is designed to engage, inform and encourage students in the contemporary medium of collage.
Laura Lein-Svencner, from Darien, Illinois, creates personal studies in drawing, printmaking, sculpture/assemblage, papermaking and collage. Laura has pursued her love of paper; this steady pace of exploration has led her to become a member of many local and international collage groups. She also co-founded the Midwest Collage Society and her work has won many awards  During the summer months you will find her creating in her studio, gardening and walking in the woods with her dogs and exhibiting at local art fairs and teaching collage workshops throughout the Midwest.
Oct 172014

Linocut from Songs of an Abandoned Place by Jeff Abshear

Canti di un luogo abbandonato
By Azzurra d’Agostino

Songs of an Abandoned Place
Translation and linocuts by Jeff Abshear

On Saturday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m., Jeff will give a bilingual reading of the poems, and show the edition in the gallery. 

During the summer of 2014, KBAC Director Jeff Abshear worked at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice, and Tipoteca Italiana Fondazione in Cornuda, to print the letterpress edition Canti di un luogo abbandonato/Songs of an Abandoned Place, by Azzurra d’Agostino. He translated the poems to English and printed them with four linocut prints, on handmade paper created in the KBAC studio and shipped to Italy.
This project was funded by a KADI Grant from the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, the WMU Frostic School of Art, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Feb 222014
Mary Heebner, Unearthed, artist book

Mary Heebner, Unearthed, Artist’s Book

The KBAC is pleased to join the Friends of the WMU Libraries, the WMU Visiting Scholars and Artists Program, and the Gwen Frostic School of Art to host visiting artist Mary Heebner who will present an exhibition, lecture, and workshop.

Mary Heebner and Simplemente Maria Press: A Selection of Artist’s Books and the Paintings That Inspired Them

March 7—28, 2014
Opening reception March 7 during Art Hop, 6 to 9 p.m.

More paintings and book are on display at the Special Collections Department of WMU’s Waldo Library

Mary Heebner came to the book arts by way of her practice as a painter. All of the artist’s books created under her imprint ‘simplemente maria press’ originate with a series of drawings and paintings. Living in Santa Barbara, California, she has traveled extensively with her husband, photographer Macduff Everton, and these experiences often inspire her work. The result is an eclectic style, specific to real experiences on the road and in the studio, expressed in well-crafted objects that are tactile, sensual, and firmly rooted in  content. This exhibit will feature a selection of her paintings and books. For more information visit:
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Aug 162013

KBAC Gallery, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, 1 to 4 p.m.
Letterpress Poster

Come celebrate the 100th birthday of our Chandler & Price press! This antique platin letterpress was manufactured by Harrison T. Chandler and William H. Price one hundred years ago, in 1913. The Chandler & Price company, founded in 1881 in Cleveland, Ohio, manufactured very popular presses that were used in the printing industry through the mid-20th century. Let’s have a birthday party for ours! Join us for letterpress demonstrations, printing, bookbinding, and papermaking activities for kids, door prizes, refreshments, and cake! We also have a commemorative limited edition letterpress poster to celebrate the day, available for a donation to the KBAC Youth Scholarship fund. This is a free event. Families with children are encouraged to join the fun, and learn more about books. 

Sep 212010

Special Event: Saturday, October 23, 7 to 9 p.m., doors open at 6:30
KBAC Gallery, 103A Park Trades, 326 W. Kalamazoo Avenue

(left) Sheep, From "Indigo by Susan Ramsey"; (right) pages from "Joe's Garage" by Elaine Koren Seaman

(left) Sheep, From “Indigo by Susan Ramsey”; (right) pages from “Joe’s Garage” by Elaine Koren Seaman

During the summer of 2010 six local poets participated in a six-week workshop in which they created limited-edition handmade books at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center. These poets include Nina Feirer, Shanda Hansma Blue, Conrad Hilberry, Elizabeth Kerlikowske, Susan Ramsey, and Elaine Seaman. The poets made handmade paper covers for the books, created relief print illustrations, and sewed the books together by hand.

For this event the poet’s books will be displayed in the gallery, and they will read from their work. Please join us for this special exhibition and reading.

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