About


The mission of Austin Book Arts Center is to engage people of all ages in creative, interpretive, and educational experiences related to the arts of the book.

ABAC regularly offers workshops in letterpress printing, bookbinding, papermaking, typography, book history and design, and various arts of the book. In addition, ABAC will provide access to equipment for qualified users during regularly scheduled Open Studio times.

VISION
Through its activities, ABAC seeks to advance the book as a vital contemporary art form, preserve the traditional and robust crafts related to making books, promote the contemporary arts of making books, inspire diverse artists and learners, and engage the community in creative, interpretive, and educational experiences, including the improvement of literacy for people of all ages.

ABAC rejects the millennial notion that the printed book is no longer relevant. For centuries, the book has been the prime mode for communicating knowledge and continues to be a vital force for literacy and education. We envision a future where books continue to play an important role in our everyday lives. Our children and grandchildren will share with us the tactile experience of holding a book in our hands and turning the pages, no batteries required. Through books we learn of the world around us; imaginations are sparked; spirits are ignited. We seek continuity in these intellectual experiences and wish to share the delight in the sight and touch of a well-constructed book.

 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Amanda Stevenson

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Mary Baughman
Mark Hall
Deborah Hartigan
Kyle Hawley
Dana Kull
Cari Marshall
Mark Smith

ADVISORY COUNCIL
Betty Sue Flowers
Gary Frost
Craig Jensen
Sarah Nicholls
Kyle Schlesinger
Priscilla Spitler
Beck Whitehead

 

A BRIEF HISTORY
The Austin Book Arts Center has been years in the making and is the result of the efforts and interests of a diverse array of persons who share a passion for the traditions and crafts of the book arts. The ABAC evolved from the Austin Book Workers, a group that has met in schools, libraries, businesses, and homes since 1986. From 1990 to 2013, the ABW sponsored a book arts fair annually first at Murchison Middle School and later at the Laguna Gloria Art School.

In May 2015, the newly forming Austin Book Arts Center was offered an opportunity to rent a studio at Flatbed Press, an art gallery and workshop for printers and artists, located on the burgeoning east side of Austin. Several local printers, bookmakers, and other book artists contributed a variety of essential equipment, including letterpresses, tabletop cutters, and a board shear.

In the summer of 2015, the Austin Book Arts Center Board of Directors was formed and application was made to the IRS for tax-exempt status. The Austin Book Arts Center became an official 501(c)(3) organization in September 2015.