Paper art exhibit, book drive, highlight Stillwater library events

An exhibit of paper art and a holiday book drive highlight activities this month and December at the Stillwater Public Library.

The November and December show in the library gallery is “Handmade Paper and the Artful Book,” an exhibit from Cave Paper artists Bridget O’Malley and Amanda Degener.

Cave Paper is the winner of the 2012 Minnesota Book Award for book arts. As co-proprietors of Cave Paper, O’Malley and Degener have made and sold handmade paper for the last 17 years. Their high-quality papers are used in books held in public collections such as the Library of Congress, St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., and the Walker Art Center.

O’Malley and Degener have collaborated with many artists nationwide including Peter Koch, Alison Knowles, Sue Leopard and Claire Van Vliet. Cave Paper is known for providing custom papers for deluxe limited editions.

A range of books, broadsides, collages, and both letterpress and relief prints, are on display. The work draws attention to nature: the plants and colors they process are a mixture of fiber, sun, soil, and rain. While they process the materials, they cook, beat, color, mould, press, and dry what started as a plant.

After Degener received an MFA from Yale School of Art, she moved her paper studio to the not-yet-opened Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA). Degener has worn several hats at MCBA: founder, educator, first artist-in-residence and first artistic director. She writes, publishes and travels to teach and exhibit her work.

O’Malley is an adjunct professor in the Print Paper Book Department at Minneapolis College of Art and Design. O’Malley also teaches papermaking, bookmaking, and printmaking workshops across the country. After receiving her MA/MFA in Printmaking from the University of Iowa, she was awarded a 5-year papermaking apprenticeship at the University of Iowa Center for the Book. O’Malley moved back to Minneapolis and joined Degener in a 3,000-square-foot paper studio in the basement of the Campbell Logan Bindery. This downtown Minneapolis location is where Cave Paper continues to operate.

The gallery is located on the upper level of the library adjacent to the terrace. More information is available at or at phone 651-275-4338.

The library also is collecting new unwrapped hardcover and paperback books to give to children through the Head Start and Holiday Bureau programs. Book donations can be brought to the library now through Dec. 13. The library is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday and Saturday.