WHO WE ARE
WE ARE BOOK ARTS COLLABORATIVE
Book Arts Collaborative is an immersive learning course and student-managed business that offers Ball State University and community courses in letterpress printing, book binding, and collaborative opportunities for artist's book making. Initially funded by a Virginia Ball Center Grant and Provost's Initiative monies, the Book Arts Collaborative was founded in 2016, and is the dream-come-true of Rai Peterson and Rob and Kim Miller at Tribune Showprint, Inc in Muncie, Indiana. Many other community members, teachers, and learners share the dream now.
More than 75 Ball State students have comprised the management, product development staff, and workshop leaders of Book Arts Collaborative. Additionally, more than 100 community members have engaged with us as makers. Book Arts Collaborative invites Ball State University students and members of the larger surrounding population to create with us.
Meet Our Team
Rai Peterson teaches American and Modernist literature, queer theory, history of the book, and bookbinding classes in the Department of English. Her scholarly publications focus on American and British women writers in Paris between the World Wars, but she frequently returns to the topic of her doctoral dissertation, E. E. Cummings. She likes to experiment with contemporary variations on classic designs as a book-binder, and she is an apprentice printer. Rai held the H.D. Fellowship in American literature at the Beinecke Library, Yale University. She is writing a biography of Solita Solano. Her previous immersive seminars have focused on Paris in the 1920s and Hoosier author Kurt Vonnegut.
Jim Bradley is Head of Metadata and Digital Initiatives at Ball State University Libraries. Since 2004, he has overseen the creation of online cultural heritage collections – providing access to more than one-million museum and archival assets available via Ball State’s Digital Media Repository. He additionally taught art history courses in the School of Art for a decade, and remains active in the classroom teaching metadata and archival best practices for the Department of History’s course “History in the Digital Age.” Jim is excited to draw from his combined library and visual arts backgrounds for the Book Arts Collaborative, exploring the history of the book and printmaking practices.
Jim Shimkus is an Information Services Librarian with Ball State University Libraries. He supports students and faculty research as liaison to the College of Communication, Information, and Media (Communication Studies, Journalism, Telecommunications, and the Center for Information and Communication Sciences); and Visual Communication (Graphic Design). Jim holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of South Florida.
Kim Miller is the owner/operator of Tribune Showprint Posters, Inc., our community partner who is conveniently located in the same facilities as we are. A former public school art teacher, Kim taught kindergarten and middle school students before striking out on her own as a printer. At Tribune, she prints letter pressed posters for local and national events as well as invitations, drink coasters, and other letter pressed products. Kim is also a silk screen artist who runs a t-shirt printing business "in her spare time." Kim is the shop manager at Book Arts Collaborative, which means she oversees use of presses, type, and other tools as well as teaching screen printing workshops and advising students on their projects.
Rob Miller is the co-owner of Tribune Showprint Posters, Inc. and our unpaid, go-to consultant on all things printing, equipment, tools repair, and heavy lifting. By day he is a transportation engineer, but during most evenings and weekends he helps us acquire presses, solve problems, figure out vintage equipment, welcome guests, and teach printing workshops. A Ball State alumnus, he developed an unhealthy interest in letter press printing about half a dozen years ago, and we are all the richer for it.