Keynote Presenter Bio

Cristina de Middel Cristina de Middel is a Spanish photographer whose work investigates photography’s ambiguous relationship to truth. Blending documentary and conceptual photographic practices, she plays with reconstructions and archetypes that blur the border between reality and fiction.

After a 10 year career as a photojournalist and humanitarian photographer, de Middel stepped outside of the photojournalistic gaze. She then produced the critically acclaimed photobook The Afronauts in 2012, which explored the history of a failed space program in Zambia in the 1960s through staged reenactments of obscure narratives.

Since 2012 De Middel has been continuously producing new bodies of work that aim at redefining what documentary can be and at completing the limited description of the world that mass media provide. De Middel’s work shows that fiction can serve as the subject of photography just as well as facts can, highlighting that our expectation that photography must always make reference to reality is flawed.

With more than 12 books published, Cristina De Middel has exhibited extensively internationally and has received numerous awards and nominations, including PhotoFolio Arles 2012, the Deutsche Börse Prize, the Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography in New York. Some of her best known photobooks include The Afronauts, This is What Hatred Did, Sharkification, Party, Polyspam and Jan Mayen.

Cristina de Middel is a Magnum nominee since 2017 and lives and works between Mexico and Brazil. See more about her at:

Moderator & Lecturer Bios

Kate Palmer Albers is Associate Professor of Art History at Whittier College in Los Angeles, where she teaches history and theory of photography, visual culture, new media, and contemporary art. She is the author of Uncertain Histories: Accumulation, Inaccessibility, and Doubt in Contemporary Photography (University of California Press, 2015) and co-editor, with Dr. Jordan Bear, of Before-and-After Photography: Histories and Contexts (Bloomsbury, 2017).

Her current research focuses on the role of ephemerality throughout the history of photography. The concept of ephemerality encompasses artists’ projects that engage with popular modes of contemporary media technology within a deeply networked culture (GPS, Twitter, virtual reality, GIFs, data storage, the community-based and democratic promises of Wikipedia, etc.) and extends back through to the earliest days of the medium. She has ongoing interests in the intersection of photography, geolocational technology, and landscape representations; the roles of narrative, biography, and archive in relation to visual art; and emerging digital technologies and digital humanities approaches in art historical research and student learning.

Recent articles have addressed photography and digital abundance, multi-gigapixel photography, Gerhard Richter’s Atlas, and contemporary artists’ archival projects. Her online writing project, Circulation/Exchange: Moving Images in Contemporary Art, is devoted to contemporary art practices that engage with intersections of physical and immaterial photographic images, and was supported by a 2015 Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant.

Rebecca Chamlee is a book artist, printer, writer and bookbinder who has published letterpress printed, limited-edition fine press and artist’s books under the imprint of Pie In The Sky Press since 1986. Her work is in prominent special and private collections throughout the U.S. and has been exhibited widely.

As a self-taught naturalist, Rebecca’s artist’s books examine the intersection of her artistic and scientific interests by collecting and cataloging the natural world. She is inspired to record, interpret and celebrate nature.

Rebecca is an associate professor at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles where she teaches bookbinding, letterpress printing and artists’ book classes and heads the Book Arts minor program. She also holds workshops at her studio and book arts centers throughout the country.

Bridget Elmer is an artist living in Saint Petersburg, Florida. She is the co-founder of Impractical Labor in Service of the Speculative Arts (ILSSA), co-owner of The Southern Letterpress, and founding member of Print St. Pete Community Letterpress. Bridget works as the Coordinator of the Letterpress and Book Arts Center at Ringling College of Art and Design, where she also teaches as Adjunct Faculty. She received an MFA in the Book Arts and an MLIS from the University of Alabama and has taught at Penland School of Crafts, Ox-Bow School of Art, Florida State University, and Colorado College. Her work can be found internationally in collections including Yale University, Tate Britain, UCLA, and the Brooklyn Museum. Bridget currently serves as the President of the College Book Art Association.

Susan kae Grant is an artist, educator, and early proponent of photographic book arts. Her innovative studio practice and distinct personal vision represent one of the mediums more sustained and recognizable contributions to fabricated photography and book art. She has lectured and exhibited throughout the United States and internationally, from Spain to Japan. Her series, Night Journey and her curated exhibition Photographic Book Art in the United States (1991-1995) have traveled to over 30 venues between them. Public collections representing her photographs and book-works include George Eastman Museum; J. Paul Getty Museum, Special Collections; Minneapolis Institute of Art; Tokyo Photographic Museum; Victoria & Albert National Art Library; and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Starting in 1981, Grant developed nationally recognized photography and book art programs at Texas Woman’s University, from where many accomplished women artists have since graduated. Her teaching awards include being named 2014 Society for Photographic Education Honored Educator, recognizing her distinguished tenure at TWU and her 25 years of annual photographic bookmaking workshops at the International Center of Photography (NYC).

Grant’s limited edition artists’ books include Radioactive Substances, a tribute to Marie Curie for the Smithsonian Institution, and Shadowed Memory, created at the Visual Studies Workshop when she was artist in residence.

Books and publications featuring her work are wide ranging, from photography periodicals to textbooks to group exhibition catalogs. Notable recent and a forthcoming title include: Framing Beauty: Intimate Visions; Constructed: The Contemporary History of the Constructed Image in Photography Since 1990.

In 2018, Grant was accorded Cornaro Professor Emerita at TWU. She is on the staff of ICP (NYC) where she continues to teach The Art of Photographic Bookmaking each spring. Her work is represented by, Conduit Gallery, Dallas, TX and Vamp & Tramp Booksellers, LTD, Brimingham, AL.


Molly Kalkstein is a PhD candidate in Art History at the University of Arizona, with a focus on the history of photography, museum studies, and Digital Humanities. She received an MA in Photographic Preservation and Collections Management from Ryerson University in 2013, an MFA in Print Media from Concordia University in 2005, and a BA in English Literature and Studio Art from Swarthmore College in 2001. From 2013–2016, she worked at the Center for Creative Photography (CCP) as the Research Associate on the Harry Callahan project, and from 2017–2018, she was the Ansel Adams Intern, creating an online version of CCP’s scholarly publication The Archive.

Emily Larned has been printing and publishing as an artistic practice since 1993, when as a teenager she made her first zine. She is co-founder of Impractical Labor in Service of the Speculative Arts (ILSSA). Her handmade books have been collected by over 70 institutions across the USA and UK, exhibited internationally, and awarded honors from the Type Directors Club (World’s Best Typography)  and the AIGA (50 Books | 50 Covers). She teaches and lectures widely. She holds an MFA from Yale School of Art, and is currently Chair & Associate Professor of Graphic Design at SASD, University of Bridgeport, CT.

Grounded in the understanding that photography and print developed simultaneously and in all their myriad permutations are inextricably connected, Joan Lyons has made work in a variety of media including, and often combining, silver gelatin prints, artists’ books, archaic photographic processes, pinhole photography, offset lithography, Xerography, screenprinting, photo-quiltmaking, and computer based work. She has published over 40 editions of her artist’s books.

Founding Director of the Visual Studies Workshop Press, 1972–2005, responsible for its development and operation and for the publication of over 450 titles. The Press, a leading publisher and printer of artists’ books, has been active in the evolution and definition of the field over the past three decades. In addition to artists’ books, the Press has designed and produced books by photographers and writers, as well as titles relating to theory and historical inquiry in the visual arts.Taught in the M.F.A. Program in Visual Studies in affiliation with SUNY Brockport.

She has edited the following books: Artist's Books: Visual Studies Workshop Press, 1972–2008 Visual Studies Workshop Press, (2009); Artist's Books: A Critical Anthology and Sourcebook, Visual Studies Workshop Press with Peregrine Smith Books, 1986, 1988, 1991, VSW Press 1993, 1995.

Lyons has been a Visiting Artist / Faculty at the following: The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, 2005; Colombia College, Center for the Book and Paper Arts, 1998; Cranbrook Academy of Art,1987.; Rhode Island School of Design, 1986; Visiting Critic Minnesota Center for Book Arts, 1989; Artist-in-Residence, Austin Peay State University, 1989; Green Honors Professor, Texas Christian University, 1991; Colombia College, 1991; Artist-in-Residence, Headland Arts Center, Marin, CA, 1993; Brown University, 1995; American Photography Institute, National Graduate Seminar, New York University. Photo credit: Eve Lyons

Clifton Meador combines writing, photography, printmaking, and design to make works that explore how the narratives of culture, history, and place are the basis for identity. His work is in many collections, including the Library of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Yale Art of the Book collection. His work has been supported by grants from the Rubin Foundation, the NEA, The Soros Foundation for Open Society, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He was twice awarded a NYFA fellowship, was a Fulbright Scholar to the Republic of Georgia, and was the 2013 recipient of the MCBA Book Prize. He led the MFA in Book and Paper in the Interdisciplinary Arts Department at Columbia College Chicago, collaboratively founded an experimental graduate program at SUNY New Paltz—the Visual Research Laboratory, and was director of Nexus Press in the 1980s. Before joining the Academy, he worked as a pressman at several commercial, literary, and small press production facilities, including Open Studio, Nexus Press, and J. B. Richards. He currently serves as Chair of the Department of Art at Appalachian State University.

Tate Shaw is an artist, writer, publisher, and curator living in Rochester, NY. He is the Director of Visual Studies Workshop (VSW), a nonprofit organization with a mission to support artists and critics working in photography, book art, and moving images. For VSW he curates artists’ book publications for VSW Press and directs the exhibitions program. Shaw created and was the programmer of the VSW Photo-Bookworks Symposium from 2010-2016 bringing together makers, publishers, critics, and collectors of photobooks and artists’ books for discussion of visual books. He is co-founder of Preacher’s Biscuit Books, an occasional publisher of books by artists working in other media like photography, drawing, graphic design, film, and text-based works. Shaw's own books experimenting with photography, drawing, and writing are in international collections including the Tate Modern, London, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Joan Flasch Artists’ Books Collection, Yale Special Collections, the George Eastman Museum Library, amongst others. Cuneiform Press published a collection of Shaw’s essays on artists’ books, Blurred Library, in 2017. He is an Assistant Professor of English at The College at Brockport, SUNY, where he directs the MFA in Visual Studies program at VSW.

Mary Virginia Swanson is an educator, author, advisor and entrepreneur who guides and assists artists to find the strengths in their work, identify appropriate audiences, and present their work in a professional, informed manner. Her public lectures and workshops on marketing opportunities have proven to aid photographers in moving their careers to the next level.

Ms. Swanson counts among her consulting clients internationally known artists and respected arts organizations. Her broad background in our industry encompasses the fine art, editorial, commercial and licensing arenas, bringing an important range of perspectives on both the making and marketing of art to her students and clients.

Ms. Swanson is the author of The Business of Photography: Principles and Practices, and coauthored with Darius Himes Publish Your Photography Book (Princeton Architectural Press, 2011, updated and revised 2014).  Her forthcoming title Finding Your Audience: An Introduction to Marketing Your Photographs is in the final phases of research and nearing completion, anticipated Spring 2019.

Swanson has contributed articles in numerous publications, including Photo District News, British Journal of Photography and the compilation The Education of a Photographer. She frequently serves as a Judge on contemporary photography and photobook competitions, visits academic programs to work with emerging artists and offers educational opportunities for those deep in their creative practice. Photo credit: Stefan Wachs

Website:; Instagram: @maryvirginiaswanson.

Barbara Tetenbaum is a visual artist interested in the act of reading. She uses the mediums of books, prints, installation, and animation to explore this topic. She founded her artist book imprint, Triangular Press, in 1979, and produces one to two small editions each year. Barb is the recipient of two Fulbright Fellowships, career and project awards from the Oregon Arts Commission, Ford Family Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation and the Regional Arts and Culture Council (Portland area). She is currently Professor and Head of the Book + Print at the Oregon College of Art and Craft. Her most recent project is The Slow Read;

Barb holds a BS (Fine Art) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Tricia Treacy’s creative practice is actively engaged in the field of design with an emphasis on collaborative practices and experimental bookmaking. She has initiated international collaborations that have resulted in publications such as Touch: Vista Sans Wood Type Project and The Phonographic Collectivo with Ashley John Pigford. Research on these projects and for the Technographic Workshops has gained international recognition and a project grant from the Center for Craft, Creativity & Design. Her work has been presented and exhibited at various venues internationally and books are in more than fifty collections. Tricia was awarded fellowships from: DesignInquiry (2015-16) and the American Academy in Rome (2017-2018). She is an Associate Professor of Graphic Design at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.

*Her recent artist book, slot was printed in collaboration with Jo Frenken on a A2 risograph while in residence at the Charles Nypels Lab in the Van Eyck Academie in Maastricht, Netherlands.

Steve Woodall is the collections specialist for artists’ books at the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, where he is leading a project to create greater public and scholarly engagement with the Reva and David Logan Collection of Illustrated Books. To that end, he has curated five exhibitions of artists’ books at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor museum and produced three symposiums on the artists’ book. He is also producing content for media-rich websites at the Fine Arts Museums that contextualize artists’ books as primary works in twentieth and twenty-first century art history. The first of the websites, released in July, 2018, is an examination of La Prose du Transsibérien et de la petite Jehanne de France, the iconic 1913 artist’s book by Blaise Cendrars and Sonia Delaunay.

From 2008-2014 he was director of Columbia College Chicago's Center for Book and Paper Arts, and from 1996-2008 artistic director at the San Francisco Center for the Book. In 1999-2000 he was an artist in residence at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). There he worked with PARC’s Research in Experimental Documents group and seven other artists as manager of a digital studio for the on-site creation of artists’ books at the Tech Museum of Innovation, San Jose, CA, part of the exhibition XFR: Experiments in the Future of Reading.

He served for several years on the board of San Francisco’s PhotoAlliance, a non-profit dedicated to fine art photography, organizing two symposiums on photographic artists’ books for that group.

Philip Zimmermann is an artist living in Tucson, Arizona. He studied architecture and fine arts at Cornell University where he received a BFA in 1973. He earned his MFA in Photographic Studies at the The Visual Studies Workshop/SUNY Buffalo in Rochester NY in 1980. Although working in various media, his preferred form is the photo bookwork. He publishes his and other's work under the Spaceheater Editions imprint. He has received a National Endowment of the Arts Individual Fellowship and two New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowships among other awards. His work is in many museum, library and individual collections including The Museum of Modern Art, Yale University, Harvard University, the Biblioteque Nationale, The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Getty Museum and many others.

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