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Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) has named Jeff Rathermel as the
organization¹s first full-time Artistic Director. Rathermel will assume
artistic leadership of the arts and education non-profit on July 14, 2004.

Rathermel, of Minneapolis, currently teaches book arts as affiliate faculty
at the University of Minnesota and papermaking and book arts as a visiting
assistant professor at Carleton College. Since 2001, he has served as artist
in residence and instructor at MCBA, and is currently curating Artists¹
Books: No Reading Required, a joint MCBA and Walker Without Walls
exhibition. In 1996, he established Reliquary Editions, a line of handmade
paper items, sold through retail outlets and the Internet.

Rathermel holds a BFA and MFA from the University of Minnesota, with
emphasis in printmaking, hand papermaking and book arts. He also has a BS
from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and earned an MA in Public
Affairs from the University of Minnesota¹s Humphrey Institute. Rathermel
served nine years as a management consultant for the Minnesota State
Department of Administration before turning to art full time.

"In my years affiliated with MCBA, I¹ve played many peripheral roles?from
instructor and mentor to organizer and advocate," said Rathermel. "Now, as a
member of the leadership team, I have the opportunity to actively affect
change in pursuit of MCBA¹s artistic vision. I especially look forward to
developing programs and services that will nurture artists at all stages of
their creative lives."

MCBA Executive Director Dorothy Goldie said that focused, full-time artistic
leadership was identified as a critical organizational development
opportunity during MCBA¹s successful application to the Bush Foundation's
Regional Arts Development Program in 2004.

"Bush funding enabled us to conduct a national search for someone who could
elevate our artistic and programmatic activities," said Goldie. "We
considered some excellent candidates from diverse backgrounds as artists,
curators, educators, and community builders. It turned out the person who
best represented these attributes was already affiliated with MCBA."

One of the Artistic Director¹s primary roles is to champion book arts and
book artists, said Goldie. "Jeff impressed us so much with his ability to
see the big picture. He has both the passion and the skills to bring
together diverse artists and audiences. Under his artistic leadership, MCBA
will become an even more welcoming place for artists and lovers of the

Established in 1983, MCBA is the most comprehensive independent book arts
facility in the nation, with an annual operating budget of $700,000.  MCBA
engages diverse artists and learners in exploring the vitality of the book
arts through classes, exhibitions, youth programs, a retail shop and other
participatory programs. For more information, visit www.mnbookarts.org

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