Introducing the New Book Arts Center Director Mary Tasillo

August 24, 2023

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Mary comes to the Book Arts Center at Wells College with two decades of experience in book arts, letterpress, papermaking, and zine communities as an artist, educator, and arts administrator. Most recently, Mary served as Director of Common Press, the letterpress and book arts studio at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, where she fostered partnerships and collaborations on campus, in the region and throughout the international communities of book artists and letterpress printing. Mary is excited to welcome students and community members from across majors and interests to the Book Arts Center at Wells.

Mary has taught numerous classes and workshops for institutions and community organizations including Haystack Mountain School of Craft, Naropa University, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program.  She is also a founder of The Soapbox, a community print shop and artist book and zine library in Southwest Philadelphia, where she has taught classes and organized numerous community events.

Over the years, Mary has maintained an active exhibition record including participation in shows at Street Road Artists’ Space, Center for Book Arts in New York and the Salina Art Center — as well as curating exhibits at the Brodsky Gallery at Kelly Writers House and at Fisher Fine Arts Library at University of Pennsylvania . Her own artwork can be found in numerous collections including Barnard College Library, Free Library of Philadelphia’s Print and Picture Collection, Goya Contemporary, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Newark Public Library Fine Print Collection, Scripps College Library, and the University of the Arts. 

Her background in book arts, studio management, and letterpress began when she apprenticed with Quercus Press in Waltham, Massachusetts. She holds an MFA in Book Arts and Printmaking from the University of the Arts and a BA in Visual Arts and Children’s Literature from Bennington College.

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