Degrees of Innovation

Exhibition :: Degrees of Innovation :: Alumni of the Mills College MFA Program in Book Art and Creative Writing

Exhibition Run Dates :: October 13, 2017 through January 14, 2018

Location :: San Francisco Center for the Book, 375 Rhode Island Street, San Francisco, CA

Admission is free.

The Mills College MFA Program in Book Art and Creative Writing was launched in 2006 and is the first program in the nation to combine these two disciplines into one degree. In hindsight, it seems only natural to combine the study of a field that focuses on a vital form of creative content-making with the study of a field that focuses on the history, design, and craft of objects that contain content. But the program at Mills is so much more than the combination of two interrelated disciplines: it offers an innovative interdisciplinary space for students to expand their approach and understanding of each field through the lens of the other, allowing them to experiment with creation of new visions of what a book can be when elevated to the plane of art.

Join artists from the Degrees of Innovation Exhibition on Friday, December 8 from 6-8pm for a "vitrine tops off" tour of work in the show. Alumni from the Mills College MFA Program in Book Art and Creative Writing will be on hand to talk about their process, materials, and inspiration for their work. Bring questions! The reception begins at 6:00 PM. The walk-through starts at 6:30 PM and will run for about an hour. 


About the Artists
e bond makes digital spaces by day, handmade books by night, hangs out with trees on weekends and writes something close to poems in the spaces between. Under the studio name roughdrAftbooks, she makes artists books and fine art that merge and blur the boundaries of art, craft, design and poetry.

Zoë Bulick is a poet and book artist originally from Boulder, Colorado. She received her MFA in Book Art and Creative Writing from Mills College in 2015.

Robert Borges’s work merges memoir, performance art, and music in the form of print and book art. Borges has over forty total printed works, musical releases, and published works. He received his MFA in Book Art and Creative Writing from Mills College in 2013.

J. Curtis Brown Jr. is an artist from Akron, Ohio (currently based in Oakland, California) whose work incorporates music, multimedia art, and writing with an emphasis on experientialism, materiality, and mysticism. He has released a range of art objects and taken part in numerous solo and collaborative performances and exhibitions throughout the United States. In 2010 he graduated from the University of Akron with a B.A. in English & Creative Writing and was a co-founder of the Rubber City Noise art collective ( He moved to Oakland in 2014 where he founded Eucarya Press ( and enrolled at Mills College, completing an M.F.A. in Book Art & Fiction in 2016. 

Isabel Duffy earned a BA in Art from the University of Oregon and an MFA in Book Art and Creative Writing from Mills College. Currently she teaches letterpress printing at the Oregon College of Art and Craft.

Jess Marks Gale is an Oakland-based writer and artist who got her MFA in Book Art and Creative at Mills in 2014. Her work explores areas of fracture in embodiment, gender, community, and selfhood in an effort to find healing not in some mythical and impossible return to wholeness, but rather in reimagining how to live in fracture.

Faith Hale is a writer and book maker who teaches art and craft classes in San Francisco. She received an MFA in Book Art and Creative Writing from Mills College.

Ariel Hansen Strong is a book artist, printmaker, and designer residing in San Francisco, CA. She received her MFA in Book Art and Creative Writing from Mills College in 2015, and currently serves as Public Education Faculty at the San Francisco Art Institute. Strong's work focuses mainly on socio-environmental concepts.

Manar Harb Manar Harb is a researcher, writer, and artist. She grew up in Ramallah, Palestine, and currently pursues her M.F.A. in Book Art and Creative Writing at Mills College, in Oakland, CA.

Brooke Hardy is pursuing an M.F.A. in Book Art and Creative Writing from Mills College.

Lyall Harris is an award-winning artist and published writer with a BA in Art History from Northwestern University and an MFA in Book Art and Creative Writing from Mills College. Harris' artwork has been widely exhibited and her book art is held in Special Collection libraries across the US.

Kat Howard is a poet and visual artist whose work explores text + textile + texture. She holds a BA in Creative Writing from Brandeis University and an MFA in Book Art and Creative Writing from Mills College. Kat lives in Kingston, New York where she runs Book Meat Studio, est. 2009.

Shiloh Jines is a queer poet & visual artist from East Tennessee, currently living in Oakland, California. Shiloh holds a BA in creative writing from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville & an MFA in Creative Writing & Book Art from Mills College. 

Mirabelle Jones is a multimedia performance artist, writer, advocate, and visual artist from Oakland whose works combine digital and analog processes with a focus on generating dialogues about safety, the body in public and private space, gender violence, and narratives of social justice. She is the founder of Art Against Assault, a grassroots arts organization that seeks to create public dialogue about sexual assault and domestic violence through survivor-directed creative projects. /

Perla Yasmeen Meléndez holds a BA from UC Santa Barbara, MFA in Book Art & Creative Writing from Mills College, and a Culinary Arts Degree from Costa Rica's Escuela Gourmet ARCAM. Meléndez has extensive experience teaching art, cooking, and creative writing to youth and adults.

Nora McKinnon is an interdisciplinary artist and writer based in Oakland, California. Their work examines hyperreality and imperialism using various print mediums and hand constructed pop up mechanisms. They hold an MFA in Book Art and Poetry from Mills College.  

Heather Peters is an artist, writer and teacher with a background in illustration. As an undergraduate she studied at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, and has worked in many aspects of book arts, most recently as the papermaker at Magnolia Editions in Oakland. After completing her graduate studies at Mills College she plans to open her own studio in Southern California, focusing on hand papermaking, fine binding and experimental structures. 

Kate Robinson is a poet and intermedia book artist from Oakland, CA where she co-curates the Manifest Reading and Workshop Series and creates artists’ books under the imprint Manifest Press. Kate was the 2014 Mills College Book Art Teaching Fellow.

Ava Sayaka Rosen is a San Francisco-based poet, artist and arts educator. Ava (of four eyes press) and Alexandra Jane Williams (of Triangle House) are collaborators and co-founders of Open Windows Cooperative, an print shop, bindery and alternative gallery. Their latest collaborations include Groundwork and an artist residency at This Will Take Time

Keri Miki-Lani Schroeder is a book artist, writer, and illustrator based out of the bay area. She creates artist books under the imprint of Coyote Bones Press, and hosts a monthly book art podcast called Books in the Wild. Keri holds a BA in Art History, earned an MFA in Book Art and Creative Writing from Mills College in 2015, and was the 2016 Mills College Book Art Teaching Fellow.