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Member Month 2024: Meet the Book Arts Team!

 

Allow us to reintroduce ourselves!

Over the past year or so there have been a few changes made at Book Arts; with those changes came a few new faces! Our small, but mighty staff set the foundation for maintaining the collaborative, innovative spirit that makes Book Arts what it is.

This month we are hosting our annual membership drive: we are actively seeking new & returning members this month (and every month). If you’re not already a member, consider joining our growing community of artists, makers & creatively curious folks. This blog post is a way for you to get to know the Book Arts Team before joining!

Executive Director: Michael Bosworth

What value do you think Book Arts brings to the Buffalo community?

“Organizations like Book Arts are the enzymes of culture. Although they are a small part of society, they help speed up reactions by bringing communities together and providing access to knowledge and facilities. The studio space and unique equipment and tools within the Book Arts building, the artist residency and education programs, exhibitions, festivals, and events all help foster the creation of art and interaction of individuals that is our culture.”

 

Fun Fact: As a freshman in high school I used my newspaper route money to buy and restore a vintage wooden speedboat.

Education Director: Rosemary Williams

What value do you think Book Arts brings to the Buffalo community?

“Book Arts is special because not only do we offer a variety of hands-on book & printmaking classes for folks of all skill levels to take part in (both at our Center and in the community through our Printing Partners program), we also have an open studio model where local artists can create their work, and a shop & gallery space to showcase it! Book Arts supports makers where they’re at, and has a great cycle of create, share and support.”
 

FUN FACT: Almost always brings in a different coffee mug each day. (I have a weakness for milk glass mugs…)

Program Manager: Alyssa Fiumara

What do you find to be most rewarding working with Book Arts?

“Working at Book Arts is rewarding in many different ways. One of my favorite things about working at this art center is meeting new artists! In our consignment shop, we have so many local artists that utilize Book Arts as a hub to sell their work and get their name out there. I feel so grateful to get to meet so many creators with different experiences. It’s great to learn about whats going on in the art community through our art center!”

 

FUN FACT: My Dad called me Noodle Queen growing up. I love noodles so much, I got a Ramen tattoo.

Jamey Alea

Jamey Alea

Resident Printer

What do you find to be most rewarding working with Book Arts?

“When I originally got involved with Book Arts, it was solely because I wanted to use the equipment in the print studio. I had just discovered letterpress as an artistic medium (after taking a class here!) and I felt lucky to have such a nice community print shop with such a large type library here in my hometown of Buffalo. But my intention was just to work on my art and keep to myself. I wasn’t looking to make friends or be part of a community; I just wanted to make art.

But the more time I spent at Book Arts, the more I found myself becoming part of a community anyway. I started to get to know the other artists and members who spent time around the space. I started teaching classes and became friends with some of the other teaching artists. I got support and advice from printmakers who have been doing this longer than me; I started giving out support and advice to novice printmakers. And at some point I realized that, completely by accident, I had not only found a community, but become an important part of it myself! (Remember that class I took here that introduced me to letterpress? I teach that class now!)
What I’m trying to say is, that’s how strong and welcoming the Book Arts community is.”
 

Fun fact: Jamey is also the designer of the Tarot of Sorts, a letterpress themed tarot deck!

Ruby Merritt

Ruby Merritt

Lead Teaching Artist

How did you become involved with Book Arts?

“I heard chatter about a space downtown that had multiple printing abilities, exhibition space, and that they use a steam roller to make prints at an outdoor festival every year, and I was awe-struck and determined to check it out. With my curious foot in the door, I noticed I knew some of the staff from my MFA studies at UB, so delightful to see familiar faces a few years after graduation. Book Arts then approached me in late 2017 and asked if I was interested in being a teaching artist for the center, specifically working with a grant-funded program that would have me as WNY BOOK ARTS bringing book arts, printing, and learning to other community centers of the Western New York where the arts are underserved. This offer came six months after I suddenly lost my mother, Sue; who gave me the confidence and support to make a living as an artist and a teacher. Working with the community and families helped me grieve in a positive way, and let me reminisce about the two of us putting our love and energy into the arts in our community.”

 

And that’s the team! Stop by during our open hours Tuesday 12:30pm-5pm, Wednesday-Friday 11:30am – 5pm, Saturday 10am – 2pm., and we’ll be able to answer any questions you may have about joining the fold!

 

Your annual membership donation directly supports our 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and furthers our mission! Memberships are crucial to the growth of book arts in our community, and support our arts education outreach & artist opportunities.

A few member perks include:

  • Discounted classes and events

  • Access to our letterpress and screen print studio

  • Display your art work at at the members show