Center for Book and Paper Arts, Columbia College Chicago

Columbia College Chicago’s Center for Book and Paper Arts is
one of the only graduate programs in the country that offers a specific
focus on paper-making, a specialty that interdisciplinary arts
professor Melissa Potter
calls “a distinctly American form of fine art.” Students can earn
a Master of Fine Arts in Book and Paper Arts or in Interdisciplinary
Arts and Media, which incorporates traditional papermaking with other
forms of media, including performance and installation art. One recent
thesis explored gender issues in society by creating an army of blow-up
dolls individually encased in translucent paper. “I’m confident in
saying that our facilities are probably the best in the world,” says

David Jones, the executive director of Anchor Graphics, the school’s
fine arts press, describes the ideal student as someone who wants to
work to preserve historical techniques while researching and exploring
innovations in the book and paper arts. Exhibits of students’ and
professors’ work, including a recent show about offset printing for
artists’ books, highlight the merging of the old and the new.