Book-Artist-in-Residence at Common Press

CALL FOR ARTISTS: Book-Artist-in-Residence at Common Press in collaboration with Common Press

Philadelphia Center for the Book ( and Common Press ( invite applications for a book arts residency, supporting the creation of a new artist book edition inspired by the collections of Fisher Fine Arts Library at the University of Pennsylvania.

The selected artist will be asked to create an edition of 10 or more bound artist books that incorporate letterpress printing, with five copies remaining with the sponsoring organizations. These five copies will become part of the archives and collections of Philadelphia Center for the Book, Common Press, Fisher Fine Arts Library, Kislak Center for Special Collections at University of Pennsylvania Libraries, and the Print and Picture Collection at the Free Library of Philadelphia.  An honorarium of $1000 will go to the artist towards covering expenses.

To apply: To be eligible, artists should have experience with letterpress printing and book binding. Letterpress printing should be completed at Common Press, and the artist will be required to have or create some weekday availability to complete the project (collections research and letterpress printing components). Board Members or Employees of Philadelphia Center for the Book or Penn Libraries are not eligible to apply. Applicants will be asked to describe their experience, demonstrate the ability to follow through on project completion, describe the area of the collection they are interested in using in creating their work, and submit work samples. Artist must be an active member of PCB during the residency period (but need not be an active member to apply).

Book Artist in Residence Application>>>>>

Selection: Applications will be juried by a panel including representatives from Philadelphia Center for the Book and Fisher Fine Arts Library.


Application deadline: Friday, May 24

Notification of selection by: Monday, June 17

Artist contract due back: June 30

Project research: Summer 2019

Project development: Fall 2019.

Artists are encouraged to be in conversation with Philadelphia Center for the Book and Common Press for project feedback and are encouraged to attend PCB Artists’ Working Group meetings.

50% of stipend to be paid following receipt of developed mock-up.

Project execution: Spring/Summer 2020

Note that Common Press will be most accessible for project work outside of the UPenn fall and spring semesters. The UPenn academic calendar can be viewed at

Project due, with 5 copies delivered: August 31, 2020

50% of stipend to be paid following delivery of completed project.

Artist will be encouraged to give an artist talk, either upon completion of the project or while it is in process, details TBD.


Other Details:

The Fisher Fine Arts Library supports study, teaching and research in contemporary and historical aspects of art, architecture, city and regional planning, historic preservation, landscape architecture, studio art, and urban design. Text and image collections, in analog and digital form, have a global reach and concentrate on the arts of the western experience, Islam, South Asia and East Asia, from prehistory to the present. Fisher’s collections include rare historical books to contemporary art books, as well as a Materials Library and printed matter from the Common Press archives.

Additional project support may be available in the form of access to other printmaking resources outside of letterpress or student assistance, pending availability and timing.